So, I am writing this post with a pretty heavy heart. Today is November 5th, November 5th is my favorite day. This post and this day in 2016 marks the end of a lifetime tradition for me. The reason November 5th is my favorite day is that it has always been a happy day filled with happy people and happy memories. It is a day that I look forward to each year and it is a day that NEVER lets you down, never ever ever. It is impossible for it to do so and this is because of the people who surround you during it. I began going to this event as a 3 month old baby and this year is the first year that I have to begin a new tradition of my own. I completely know that things change and life goes on, but it sure sucks when a tradition this good ends!
One of the other reasons this day is my favorite is that it is Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes Night) a tradition that all British people enjoy , the HUGE fires burning around the country and the AMAZING fireworks displays that you can see for miles are just one of the many reasons! Other reasons include (but are definitely not limited to) the wonderful home cooked traditions and the mulled wine burning on everyones stove.
For us, going to Margaret & Wayne’s Bonfire was a TREAT. It was somewhere that felt like home year after year, it was somewhere we could go early and make the Guy Fawkes out of Wayne’s old clothes, old tesco carrier bags and his pair of wellies – (that each year would need replacing because of the amount he wore them!). It was a place that we could skid around in our socks and when it all got a bit too much it was perfectly acceptable to take a nap in the living room in front of the fire. It was also a place of endless love and plenty of cuddles from everyone who attended. The amazing thing about it was that it was the same people every single year and we couldn’t imagine going anywhere else or being with any other people on November 5th (I still can’t really! and would hop on a plane in a heartbeat if they called to say they had built a bonfire!!)
I am not sure I could ever write enough to do Bonfire Night justice or make it clear why it is so special. It is just this magical feeling – it is the warm and fuzzies – it’s love – it’s family and it was all mine. I am going to miss it more than I can say BUT as always, you have to look to the future and fill it with positivity. So that is what I am going to do and I cannot wait to educate my own future family on the essence of Bonfire Night and hopefully pass onto them the feelings that I get when I think of all the wonderful and priceless memories I have from our annual event.
HOWEVER ONTO THE MULLED WINE RECIPE (That you probably all came here to read!!)
Mulled Wine was a large part of Bonfire Night each year – In some (most) of the photos that you will see below, almost everyone has a glass in their hand – Margaret and Wayne had a secret recipe that they have finally shared with me that was just so wonderful, even as children (shh, don’t tell anyone) we always enjoyed a sip here and there and as we grew up we enjoyed glasses ourselves. It is the most wonderful, warming and delicious mulled wine, it is perfect accompanied with some of Margaret & Wayne’s famous tomato soup or the best sausage buns you can imagine topped with sautéed onions and heaps of tomato sauce! So good, I am getting hungry & thirsty thinking about all of this! But if you don’t have those things to hand it is also good on its own sitting by the fire or outside wrapped in a blanket enjoying the night air.
My First Ever Bonfire Night – Age 3 months ^
My dad helping to cover my ears for the BIG fireworks! ^ (ps. stripy leggings were IN)
Looking at homemade plates with the main man Wayne.
Looking terrified of sparklers with my beautiful sisters
I am surprised Marion can still lift me at this age! (A little bigger than i was at 3 months!)
Mummy thought this was a great place to rest her pumpkin…I don’t think I was in agreement!!
Sparklers! (Stripy coats were also IN)
Making Guy Fawkes with my Sisters!
Not sure what happened to the camera between age 8 – 18 but there we go!
Sisters on Fire!
Lighting the sparklers was always fun!
Sisters on Fire Again…
Mulled Wine on the stove
Cassie – My bonfire date.
Couldn’t love these two more!
Mummy on Fire!
Same people – every year – couldn’t imagine better ones!
Perfect Bonfire Night
Wayne lighting the Bonfire in his Famous Overalls!
Sparkly Chloe & Andy
Mulled Wine, Mulled Cider, Onions & Tomato Soup!
The boot room – I can’t explain why this photo makes me so happy – but it does…
Most of the crew. 2015
A Painting my sister (& the super talented artist behind Salted Edge Designs ) did for me last year, as I hopped on a plane to come home for the weekend!
This was my Ode to Bonfire, I must, with a heavy heart say goodbye to my favorite day and make room for a new one.
Onto the Mulled Wine Photos & Recipe:
- 2 oranges
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 200g caster sugar
- 6 cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2 star anise
- 1.5 bottles of good red wine (you can use two if it is a little sweet for you!)
- Peel large sections of rind from fruits
- put sugar into a pan, add peel & juice of both oranges
- Add cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and approximately 12 gratings of nutmeg.
- Add vanilla pod and just enough wine to cover sugar.
- Stir and let simmer until sugar dissolves and bring to boil.
- Let boil for 5 minutes to create a syrup
- When syrup is ready, turn heat to low add star anise and the rest of the wine.
- Keep on low for as long as you wish or as long as the party lasts!
- Serve throughout!