Thursday, November 05, 2009

Remember Remember the Fifth of November

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
the Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent to blow up King and Parliament.

Three score barrels were laid below to prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s mercy he was catch’d with a dark lantern and lighted match.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

We had a blast celebrating Guy Fawkes Day today.  Tad thought it was a bit off-color for an Eastern Orthodox family to celebrate a basically Protestant Reformist holiday but what the hey - all in the name of History so why not.  Each of the kids created an effigy of Guy - mostly out of paper and markers but some got a bit more creative. Miriam, in fact, made a fox - not quiiiite understanding how to pronounce Guy's surname. 

I stuffed my pockets full of candy and pennies so they could bring me their Guy and beg "a penny for a Guy?"  Who needs Halloween when you can celebrate a tradition like that? After a while they got it into their heads to beg from one another as well.  By the end of  the day Betsy was carrying around two mini lunchboxes full of treats - one for the girls and one for the boys - and Miriam had handed out all the chocolate Jo-Jo cookies she'd gotten for her birthday.  As soon as Tad came home I stocked his pockets too.

Adora and Miah baked us a parkin cake and I finally bit the bullet and made Feingold approved caramel apples after fruitlessly scouring candy aisles in 4 different stores for caramels without corn syrup or artificial flavors.  I thought the caramel was fabulous - and stuck to the apples better than other recipes I've tried which just slipped off.  The kids complained about the stickiness and said they tasted too much of honey.  Ah well, it was a lot of work so if they don't ask for them again I guess I won't be too disappointed.  At any rate, I've tacked the recipe onto the end of the post for anyone who wants to try them.  I tripled it for our crew:

The actual celebration began after supper.  We started out by heading out to the driveway with some sparklers to simulate fireworks.  Then we headed inside where the kids started a fire in the fireplace - not quite the bonfire with which the Brits celebrated the day I'm sure.  Then Ben stood up and told the story of Guy Fawkes and his attempt to blow up parliament, three of the kids recited a famous poem about the day and then they all chucked their mini-Guys into the fire while chowing down on caramel apples, parkin and apple cider. After all that excitement the party moved upstairs where there was raucous dancing 'til bedtime.

Caramel Apple Recipe

Please be careful when making caramel apples, you will be working with dangerously hot, sticky, ingredients - I always put on an apron and make sure I have a closed-toed pair of shoes on when making candy. Be extra, extra careful if you have kids around. On the ingredient front, I typically go for a mild clover honey when making caramels.
6 - 8 small apples, unwaxed, cold
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup honey
Special equipment: candy thermometer, and lollipop sticks
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Push a lollipop or popsicle stick deep into each apple - in through the stem.
Fill a large bowl 1/2 full with ice water and set aside.
In a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan heat the cream and salt until tiny bubbles start forming where the milk touches the pan - just before a simmer. Stir in the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil. Now reduce the heat to an active simmer and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 15-20 minutes minutes or until the mixture reaches about 255-260F degrees. To stop the caramel from cooking, very, very carefully set the bottom of the saucepan in the bowl of cold water you prepared earlier - taking special care not to get any of the water in the caramel mixture. Stir until caramel begins to thicken up - you want the caramel to be thin enough that it will easily coat your apples, but not so thin that it will run right off. If the caramel thickens too much simply put the pot back over the burner for 10 seconds or so to heat it up a bit.
I tilt my sauce pan so all the caramel forms a pool on one side, and use my other hand to dunk and twirl each apple until it is thoroughly coated with caramel. Place each apple on the parchment lined baking sheets and allow the caramel to cool and set.
Makes 6 - 8 caramel apples.
101 Cookbooks

Parade of Effigies: 

 This was Andrea's second attempt which she chose not to cut out since her first Mr. Fawkes lost his legs after suffering from severe torsal anemia.

A bit embarrassed by the whole fox incident, Miriam recreated Guy as a wee little human her second time around.

I love the black eye on Ruth's Guy.

Betsy was kind enough to outfit Nate and Miah with their Guys so they could beg for candy and pennies along with the rest of them.

JT doesn't display his artwork to the public so he opted to offer up this pose sans Guy.

Shhh...don't tell anyone but I think John Michael's might be my favorite.  He was the first to create his with match and lantern in hand.

Always the dramatic one, Ben's Guy comes complete with the dramatic pose and cardboard reinforcement for re-enactment stability.

I'm not sure what's going on with David's Guy here but it scored him lots of candy.

Philip cleverly disguised his gunpowder kegs as piles of poo...very creative!

And, last but not least the Betsy pose.  It just doesn't get much cuter than that...

1 comment:

HeavenlyHome said...

Beautiful job...and beautiful chiildren! I can't help but smile at all those cuties!!!