Friday, November 4, 2011

Bonfire Night

When I moved from Scotland to Canada six years ago I started to miss a lot of things. Of course I missed family, friends and British culture and architecture from the beginning, but then there were the other things....things you take for granted (and to those of you living in the UK probably laughable things). Cheese is a top one – not that there isn't cheese in Canada, cause there is and it is great, but there are certain types of cheese that I can't get and really miss, and I miss going to wonderful cheese mongers where I literally want to buy everything and have to limit myself to a few! Plus cheese in Canada (where I live) is insanely expensive – something I will never get used to!

Then there are the funny things....Marks & Spencers, Tesco and generally most UK supermarkets are definitely up there on my miss list!! I don't know what it is – maybe its the familiarity of brands I grew up with and love or perhaps I find the variety better - who knows but within a few days of arrival I am always off to the local supermarket! Marks & Spencers (M&S) is a whole other thing and I find it funny how many people I have met over the last 6 years who have moved from the UK say how much they miss M&S! Unsurprisingly I mostly miss the food and of course trying to explain to people who have never tried something from M&S the idea of “ready made meals” sounds appauling, but this is something you have to trust me on!

Spectific items like Branston Pickle are no longer missed as my local supermarket in Canada has a “British Sale” every 6 months or so so of course I am always first there with my trolley loaded up with Robinson's diluting juice, Coleman's English mustard, Heinz Baked Beans (yes again you can buy these in Canada but they just aren't the same!!!) and good old Branston Pickle (to name a few)!

And then as well as missing certain foods and shops there are events and specific occasions. Admittedly there aren't many but one that I really miss is Guy Fawkes Night or more commonly now known as Bonfire Night. To the majority of people living outside of the UK this is an unheard of celebration but to us Brits its a great excuse to wrap up on a cold night and watch fireworks and of course the biggest bonfire you have seen complete with 'guy' on top, made by some locals who are happy to stuff and burn some old clothes! I still have really happy memories as a little girl piling on the layers of clothes, hat, scarves and gloves and having tantrums about having to wear Wellies, even though everyone was wearing them! We would then all walk down to the field where the Bonfire was assembled, sparklers in hand ready to be lit and find our friends to watch the ceremonial lighting of the bonfire which would turn into an inferno in no time, then of course the fireworks lighting up the sky with beautiful displays of vibrant green, red, silver and blue, banging and popping as they went.

And then of course there was the food as no event is complete without food!! Hot Dogs or at least sausages in rolls was always the choice and I have to say I still can't resist making and eating sausage rolls on November 5th. For a special version, for me the ideal way to enjoy these delicious delights is topped not with ketchup or mustard (although both of which I love), but with my red onion marmalade or with some warmed roasted peppers and chillies. As well as the sausage rolls you always need something hot to warm you up so a piping hot mug of fresh homemade soup is always very welcome, and my Thai Pumpkin Soup is absolutely perfect for that. And for something sweet you can't beat some Chocolate and Caramel Popcorn to munch on while gazing at the fireworks. So there you have it - delicious warming food ideal for enjoying with friends outside on a starry November night with the heat of a bonfire and awe of some beautiful fireworks! I can't wait!
(Photo courtesy of City of Manchester)

If you like this check out my new updated Bonfire Night Menu Ideas.


  1. I can so absolutely relate - I moved the U.S. from Germany, and certain things simply are impossible to get. Breads and cheese, some meats... sigh.
    Gorgeous pictures! :)

  2. Ah well,I guess those of us remaining here in Scotland should learn to appreciate the high quality food we take for granted. Cheese is brilliant, my husband works for a cheese company and we always have a huge block of great cheddar in the fridge - its a given for me. I'd hate to be without it. I'm sure there are lovely things in Canada that you can't get here too - Maple Syrup for one! Enjoy your fireworks.

  3. It's funny how you can miss things that may seem odd to other people but they are so important. Cheese here in Canada is pricey and the variety just stinks. I was surprised by the heinz beans thing. I actually live 15 minutes from the heinz plant where they make all that stuff. My hubs did his engineering apprenticeship there. We had a pass to buy stuff at cost but rarely went in. Not sure why. Great pictures. My kids learned all about Guy Fawkes day so I was drawn to that immediately.

  4. Hello,
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