We don’t know how it happened either. The clocks went back, it’s officially baltic outside, and Bonfire Night is around the corner. We know it’s not going to be the same this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it anyway! This is our guide to an alternative Bonfire Night.
What to do: re-watch your favourite firework displays online
It’s not quite the same as standing in a muddy field watching them for yourself, but if you really want to recreate that buzz you get hearing the loud whizzes and bangs of fireworks, you can always find your favourite displays online. In a crowd of thousands, you’re guaranteed to have somebody film the whole thing and put it on the internet, and thank god they did! My personal favourite is Victoria Park’s 2018 display based on the Mary Shelley novel, Frankenstein. An odd theme you might think, but a cracking display nevertheless! Not only that but with the Google Chrome extension YouTube Party, you can invite your family and friends to watch along with you.
What to eat: the Bonfire picnic
At least at home you can avoid over-priced burgers and questionable hot dogs, have your own tasty snacks instead. Make some sarnies, bake a batch of cheesy cornbread and throw in a few quality sausage rolls, along with some tasty nibbles. Try these crispy chickpeas packed with heady spices (they are totally addictive), make up a batch of golden butter popcorn and chuck in some spiced ginger biscuits for good measure.
What to drink: something mulled (in a flask)
Is there anything more festive than a cup of something mulled? We don’t think so. This mulled wine recipe will leave you all warm and fuzzy inside, not need to turn the heating on. If you’re off the alcohol (or under the age of 16) Shrbdrink’s Apple Cinnamon Soda tastes so much like mulled cider that you probably won’t know the difference. A delicious combo of freshly pressed apples, ground cinnamon and nutmeg, lavender and a splash of apple cider vinegar.
What to cook: go slow and low
When you want to feel autumnal, slow-cooking a joint of meat could be the answer – it’s the best way to get food on the table with minimal effort. Slow-braised beef brisket with (everybody’s favourite) Yorkshire puds is perfect fare for this time of year. Alternatively try these pulled pork and slaw buns. Or for something a little different, this Middle-Eastern goat shawarma recipe is one of our all-time favourites. It’s packed with warming flavours and is so tender, it falls off the bone. Serve it up with warm flatbread, garlic yoghurt, herbs, pickles and pomegranate seeds and let everyone make up their own.
For pudding? Dish up heartily filled bowls of plum and hazelnut crumble (nearly as banging as the fireworks). Or go classic with a good, old fashioned, toffee apple. Make them yourself with some seasonal local apples – perfect for slathering with caramel and biting into.
What to drink: winter-warming cocktails
Shake up a few warming winter cocktails, like this Hot Buttered Cider. Melt 60g honey, 200g butter, the juice from 2 lemons and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a pan. Pour in 1.5 litres of quality cider and warm through. Perfect for those cold nights.