Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Remember Remember The 5th of November

Last year my oldest son Gandalf had a fun school report where he had to learn about one of our ancestors. And it had to be someone who was an immigrant. As someone who loves all things Family History, I was so excited for this report. I pulled up all our immigrant relatives and he picked one. George Taylor from England.

He had to learn about him and his travels to America. Then he had to decorate a clothes pin in traditional clothing. One part of his report he had to learn about the country, including holidays.

And that is when we stumbled upon Guy Fawkes Day.

I immediately called one of my besties who is from England herself, to find out more about this holiday. I asked her, "Why haven't we been celebrating this awesome holiday?" She knows how much I love crazy holidays. Currently we have celebrated Shrove Tuesday with her. I love getting in touch with my ancestral roots, and it's fun to see Alex in her element. She is a natural when it comes to flipping pancakes.

According to Wikipedia:

" Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure."

It is celebrated with fireworks and a great bonfire where you burn a fake body of Guy Fawkes. Children (because it's always best to involve them in this kind of celebration) go around and say "A penny for a guy/" and collect funds for the firewood. When my son learned about this his response was "Awesome!" 

I told Alex we have to celebrate this next year and then I had to ruin it all by moving out of state. I was doing my research and I found out there is even Bonfire Toffee because what bonfire burning would be complete with out a special treat. 

We are looking forward to celebrate this new tradition for our family. I will be making Guy Fawkes masks and the toffee below. I don't know if we will have a chance to get fireworks this time. I'll let you know how it goes. Super excited to celebrate our English heritage!!!

Remember Remember the 5th of November...

Bonfire toffee
From the BBC Food Recipes
A real British classic, this jaw-breaking treacle toffee dates back hundreds of years and is really easy to make. You will need a candy thermometer, preferably a digital one.
75g/3oz golden syrup
75g/3oz black treacle
150g/6oz light soft brown sugar
75g/3oz butter
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Preparation method
Line a 15 x 20cm/6 x 8in baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
Measure all the ingredients into a deep, heavy-based saucepan. Place over a medium heat and stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved.
When the mixture is smooth and well-combined, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a fast boil. When the mixture reaches 140C/285F, pour carefully into the lined tray.
If you want even pieces, wait until the toffee is cool enough to handle, but elastic enough so that a finger pressed in the top leaves a slight indent (about 15-20 minutes depending on the room temperature). Partially cut the toffee into even pieces with an oiled knife. When it has cooled completely, break along these lines. Alternatively let the toffee cool completely, then break into shards with a toffee hammer or rolling pin.

Store in an airtight container, with individual layers of toffee separated by baking parchment. If left exposed to humidity, the toffee will soften and stick together.


  1. Kristie!! Do you have golden syrup and black treacle??? I have both in my cupboard at all times... maybe I will try and make some too! I usually like chewy and this is going to be rock hard.... another trad. thing you could try is parkin... a dense gingerbread and you can have it with lemon sauce. that sounds even yummier actually.... have fun!

  2. you could use molasses instead of black treacle, I think it's essentially the same thing.

  3. But don't substitute the golden syrup!