Halloween & Bonfire Night

Recipes, Cooking tips and maybe some 'Home Made' secrets !
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lancashire lass
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Halloween & Bonfire Night

Post by lancashire lass »

To be honest, I don't really do anything special on these nights although when I went through a Wicca period many years ago (more out of curiosity and fun than serious), celebrating Halloween wasn't so much about ghosts and ghouls although clearly it was "All Hallows Eve when the veil between the living and the dead is at it's thinnest) but also about celebrating the harvest, so foods tended to be things like pumpkins and roast dinners (as in, foods normally harvested and stored for winter use) I once made a pumpkin pie - for someone with a sweet tooth, it was actually too sweet even for me. And if I recall I did a lamb of shoulder (that is, before modern technology and availability of feed for animals over winter, animals were usually slaughtered and preserved) Halloween these days is a US import for kids to dress up and eat and drink sweet things.

Now I remember Bonfire night from when I was a kid. My mother always made a meat and potato pie which seemed to be traditional where I originate from (Lancashire ... I think my user name might be a clue) - she used a cheap beef cut like skirt, diced and cooked in a bowl in the oven with diced onion and sliced carrot seasoned with salt and pepper. When the meat and vegetables were cooked, she'd add diced potatoes (not into cubes but by holding the potato in one hand and then "chipped off" / sliced off pieces with the knife in the other hand straight into the dish) When the potatoes were cooked, she'd then put a suet crust on top ... this not only soaked up some of the water and meat juices and reduced the remaining to a thicker consistency, but the crust coated with the juices that boiled over gave it a lovely taste. She would serve it with cooked red cabbage and pease pudding. A bit old fashioned by today's expectations.

I don't usually bother with the cabbage or pease pudding and instead add a handful of frozen garden peas to the meat and potato pie when it is cooking. In addition, unless you shop at a proper butcher's, getting hold of skirt or other cheap cuts at a supermarket is unheard of so usually I have to make do with braising or stewing steak instead. Doesn't quite have the same taste as slow cooked skirt.

I suppose sausages have become the normal choice ("bangers") but instead of frying, grilling or having a bbq, I'd be more inclined to use them in a casserole with apple, carrot and onion (or sliced leek) with herbs and thicken the cooking water with something like a sauce mix or dried soup mix (the other day I was amazed to find these seem to be making a come back on the supermarket shelves - I always thought they made a cheap and tasty sauce for a chicken casserole)

I came across this website for Bonfire night recipes which sound interesting:
Bonfire night beetroot soup

This tasty beetroot soup is quick and easy to make, and an instant warmer when you come in from watching the fireworks

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 stick of celery, diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

500g cooked beetroot (2 packets), cut into chunks

500g of ripe tomatoes, halved

750ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed

Salt and pepper

Optional: Double cream

Method:

In large saucepan, sweat the onion, carrot and celery gently in the olive oil until it softens. This will take around 10 minutes – be careful not to burn the onions, you are not trying to caramelize them.

When the onions are soft, add the crushed garlic to the pan and gently fry for a further minute and then add the beetroot, tomatoes, stock, balsamic vinegar, and thyme leaves.

Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Using a liquidiser or stick blender, blend the soup until really smooth.

Pour the soup in bowls and serve immediately.

Optional: drizzle a small amount of double cream on top of the soup for some added decadence.
Sausage sandwiches with shallot, fennel and apple slaw

These banger sandwiches are prefect to eat around the fire - indoors or out!

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

4 pork sausages

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp mustard seeds

2 apples

2 echalion shallots

1 fennel bulb

20ml lemon juice

Small handful of coriander

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tsp Dijon mustard

4 sub rolls

Method:

Heat the oven to 220°C. Rub the sausages with a little oil, put on an oven tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 25 minutes. Turn once halfway through to ensure they’re nicely browned all over.

In a small, dry frying pan toast the mustard seeds until fragrant. Core the apples, finely slice and cut into matchsticks. Peel the shallots and finely slice. Finely slice the fennel or use a mandolin.

Add to a bowl with the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, coriander, seasoning and mustard seeds. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and mustard.

Partially slice open the sub rolls and toast the insides. Spread each roll with a little of the mustard mayonnaise, top with the hot sausages and the slaw.
Burnt cheesecake with spiced mandarins

Bring your get-together to the sweetest of endings with this showstopper of a dessert

Serves: 10-12

Preparation time: 30 minutes.

Cooking time: 1 hour, plus overnight chilling

Ingredients:

680g full-fat cream cheese

250g caster sugar

Good pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

25g cornflour

4 medium eggs

300ml double cream

For the spiced mandarins:

2 cans (298g) Del Monte® Mandarin Segments in Juice

4 tbsp soft light brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

5-6 cardamom pods, slightly squashed

Method:

Make the cheesecake the day before you want to serve it. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and find a 20cm round springform tin. Take a large piece of baking parchment, more than big enough to line the tin, and scrunch it up in your hands – this makes the paper easier to manipulate. Unscrunch the paper and put it in the tin, using a smaller cake tin to help mould it to the sides. Don’t worry about the creases and wrinkles – these are all part of the look of the cheesecake! If you have a mixer, put the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla and cornflour into it and beat them thoroughly together. Otherwise, do this in a large mixing bowl, beating until smooth.

Add the eggs and start beating them into the cream cheese mixture, gradually pouring in the cream as you go. If you’re using a mixing bowl, beat in the eggs one at a time before beating in the cream. You want a nice, smooth mixture.

Pour the mixture carefully into the lined tin and transfer to the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the cheesecake is puffed up, very brown at the edges and a rich golden brown in the centre. It should have a slight wobble in the middle still. Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin – it will sink as it cools. Transfer to the fridge and refrigerate overnight.

While the cheesecake is baking, make the spiced mandarins. Drain the juice from both cans into a saucepan. Add the brown sugar and whole spices and put over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then let the juice come to a brisk simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced and syrupy. Take off the heat, add the mandarin segments and stir gently. Leave to cool then refrigerate.

When you’re ready to serve, carefully remove the paper and transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Serve in slices, with a generous spoonful of the mandarins and their syrup.
If anyone else has any Halloween or Bonfire Night favourite recipes, please do not hesitate to share!
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Mo
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Re: Halloween & Bonfire Night

Post by Mo »

I wasn't something that we had food traditions about growing up in London.
But when we were first married my Yorkshire born husband liked to buy treacle toffee in tin trays. I still use some of them, a good size for making flapjack.
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Spreckly
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Re: Halloween & Bonfire Night

Post by Spreckly »

Thank you for the recipes, LL.

I have never celebrated Halloween, but we did do Bonfire Night. There were four farms surrounding us when my sons were young, and always a huge village bonfire in one of the fields. The whole village participated, taking toffee, spuds, and I made a huge container of curry. It was huge fun, but very muddy indeed.

Nowadays my concern is for my little dog.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Halloween & Bonfire Night

Post by lancashire lass »

Mo wrote: 01 Nov 2023, 12:53 my Yorkshire born husband liked to buy treacle toffee
I'd forgotten about treacle toffee, and also Parkin (apparently another Yorkshire thing) which we had as well
Spreckly wrote: 02 Nov 2023, 12:38 There were four farms surrounding us when my sons were young, and always a huge village bonfire in one of the fields.
Before we went to South Africa, I have memories of a bonfire in the cobbled back street (terraced houses) where everyone came out to put wood on the fire, children had sparklers and there were some little fireworks (such as rockets and Cathrine wheels were set off) In South Africa, obviously there was no national bonfire night BUT it coincided with Diwali (we lived in an Indian township) and fireworks were on sale at the same time. As most people on the estate where we lived were from the UK (actually, most were also from Lancashire), we had the biggest bonfire ever on the beach ... some of the older children used to put lots of bangers in the Guy Fawkes that was put in the fire. 3 years later, more than half of those families returned to the UK and we didn't bother with fireworks thereafter but kept to the traditional meat & potato pie and so on.
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Mo
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Re: Halloween & Bonfire Night

Post by Mo »

lancashire lass wrote: 04 Nov 2023, 20:34 some of the older children used to put lots of bangers in the Guy Fawkes that was put in the fire.
Not much 'health and safety' back then. Though some of the bangers sold in boxes now are quite powerful. But I remember jumping jacks being thrown around.
As a 'blitz baby' I've never liked bangers.
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lancashire lass
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Re: Halloween & Bonfire Night

Post by lancashire lass »

Mo wrote: 05 Nov 2023, 10:16 Not much 'health and safety' back then. Though some of the bangers sold in boxes now are quite powerful.
I had a similar conversation about the fireworks that are sold today are not like they used to be and far more dangerous. No wonder so many pet owners say their animals (including horses) are frightened. Having saying that, there weren't anywhere near the number of fireworks set off this weekend (Saturday night was damp but last night it was dry) - not so long ago, so many would be set off that it was like "white noise" that you couldn't distinguish one firework from the others.

Back to the original topic, last night I decided to have sausage (Lincolnshire), swede & potato mash (with lots of butter and pepper) with mushrooms and peas in a creamy pepper sauce. Unfortunately I grabbed the wrong bag out of the freezer and about 5 Brussel sprouts dropped in before I realised they weren't the peas ... too late to put them back in the bag, I ended up having them as well (was still a lovely dinner)
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Mo
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Re: Halloween & Bonfire Night

Post by Mo »

lancashire lass wrote: 06 Nov 2023, 12:34
Mo wrote: 05 Nov 2023, 10:16 Not much 'health and safety' back then. Though some of the bangers sold in boxes now are quite powerful.
Unfortunately I grabbed the wrong bag out of the freezer and about 5 Brussel sprouts dropped in before I realised they weren't the peas ... too late to put them back in the bag, I ended up having them as well (was still a lovely dinner)
Reminds me of the 'plum crumble kit' I took to a party (defrosted fruit + crumble crumbs). It turned out to be cherry crumble. There were an awful lot of stones!
Glad you enjoyed your dinner.
Dance caller. http://mo-dance-caller.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-i-do.html
Sunny Clucker enjoyed Folk music and song in mid-Cheshire
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