Tuesday, 5 November 2019

November 5th





Almost as quickly as it took for me to turn the page in my diary it has turned very November-ish. The once crisp, freshly fallen leaves are gradually turning to mulch and the days have become grey, misty and damp. The air smells earthy and gentle wisps of smoke rise from distant chimneys. I am trying my best to embrace the dark evenings by hunkering down with a good book and lighting candles. 
At this time of year I often feel like I'm just biding my time. The fun of Hallowe'en is over once again and yet it's still a little too early (for me anyway) to get excited about Christmas.




Last Saturday evening we went to a nearby village to watch a firework display. It was  a cold damp night and the sky was clear, perfect for fireworks. Although it was a little short lived as, because we were stood so close to the action, it was much too loud for Lily. It didn't stop us enjoying my homemade bonfire toffee, however and we will be lighting some sparklers in the garden this evening and drinking some delicious hot chocolate with marshmallows. There might even be some sticky ginger cake left over from when I baked at the weekend.





I've been getting out for a run several times a week and my route takes me past a crate of help yourself apples. Not one to miss an opportunity, I returned later in the day* and transformed them into a delicious apple and cinnamon crumble.
*running is challenging enough for me in itself, without trying to carry apples at the same time πŸ˜€




If you're heading out this evening, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable time. And if you'd like to try some delicious bonfire toffee, here is the recipe:

In a large pan melt together 75g golden syrup, 75g black treacle, 150g soft brown sugar, 75g butter and ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter. Gradually increase the heat until the mixture reaches a rolling boil, stirring all the time. When the mixture reaches 145° pour into a lined tin and allow to cool. This was approximately seven minutes for me, although this can also be tested by dropping a small amount of the mixture into cold water. Once cool the toffee should break easily using rolling pin. Store in an airtight container.
Be careful! It's very moreish.


J. X

52 comments:

  1. Home made treacle toffee was just about the only thing I ever liked about bonfire night, my mum used to make the best. I'll be staying in tonight and periodically checking on Sophie who absolutely hates the noise of fireworks and will probably hide in a corner - I might even do the same :)

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    1. Sadly, it's not such a fun time for our furry friends. I hope your's have been OK. Fortunately, most of the fireworks here seem to have been limited to the weekend and Bonfire Night itself. Not so many years ago they would have been going on for weeks. X

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  2. There's just something about the smell of fireworks on a cold damp evening. I love it.
    I used to make bonfire toffee for mine when they were little but I haven't made it for years now. I know Andy would love some.
    Enjoy your sparklers and hot chocolate tonight.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. That particular smell seems to linger in the air doesn't it.
      The toffee is delicious. Not eating too much of it is proving quite difficult. X

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  3. Treacle toffee my favourite. Free apples hoe great is that. I know quite a few people advertised free apples on Facebook last year as there was an abundance but nothing this year.

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    1. It is very generous of people to give away their excess of apples, at least it saves them from going to waste. X

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  4. We had the firework display at the cricket club right across the road, so we didn't need to actually go, we just stood outside the front door and had a wonderful view. There was also a fun fair. It's always very popular. We love apple crumble and have it often with Ambrosia custard. We are still enjoying our walks on the beach and in the sand dunes. Best, Jane x

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    1. How lucky to get your very own display! And from the comfort of home, although I do quite enjoy getting wrapped up nice and warm and heading out into the dark night.
      In my opinion apple crumble should always be served with custard, never ice cream, and definitely not cream! :) X

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  5. I'd love the toffee, but I won't eat anything like that anymore. I fear for my fillings and my teeth, so I shall enjoy seeing it on your blog instead!

    Perfect description of November days.

    am totally craving apple crumble now! xx

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    1. I must admit, I've been very careful when eating the toffee. It's hard to resist, however. X

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  6. The toffee looks so good - but I have not had any for years - my fillings would all need redoing! But the crumble is a different thing -I will definitely make that. Free apples always taste so good. I gave loads away last year at the cottage. We missed the best of the harvest this year, but I still have a freezer full to go at. x

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    1. Apple crumble is delicious, especially at this time of year. It must be nice to know you have plenty stored in the freezer. X

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  7. November and February are my worst two months of the year, November because the evenings are suddenly dark so early after the clocks going back and February because we seem to get the worst of the weather then, it seems like a very long month. You couldn't miss the opportunity of free apples, crumbles are one of my favourite desserts, yum.

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    1. It can be a difficult month, Jo. The dark, damp days can easily lend themselves to the November glooms and I'm careful to ensure we make the most of any fine weather days we get and, of course, delicious comfort food always helps lift my mood. X

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  8. oh that toffee recipe sounds perfect for this time of the year, and I have all the ingredients ... excuse me while I go off to the kitchen!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it, Kate. We still have a little left here - for now! :)

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  9. Apple mush with nothing other than sultanas added. Could eat it every day and this time of year we do. No need for crumble topping.

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    1. Apple mush is a perfect description. I love it on porridge. X

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  10. Beautiful pictures, especially of the woods. Very fall-like. We have Thanksgiving to celebrate in November, to fill in the gap between Halloween and Christmas. :)

    My daughter used to be terrified of fireworks when she was little. She never truly enjoyed the 4th of July fireworks displays. Not even when we were a very safe distance away.

    Your toffee looks very delicious, but, I had better avoid it! The apple crumble, on the other hand, would be the perfect dessert! How lovely to have access to free apples!

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    1. Thank you, Bless. November can feel like a long month so I try to take pleasure in the simple things and remind myself to appreciate the calm before the build up to Christmas begins.
      I can understand anyone being fearful of fireworks. I always was myself as a child, and even now I could happily enjoy the sparkle and colour without any of the noise. X

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  11. The pure sugar content of that toffee makes me say 'No' = my heart says 'yes', I am no good at resisting temptation.

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    1. I can't resist either, Pat. There's only a small amount left over now. X

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  12. PRECIOSO OTOΓ‘O Y SUS FRUTOS.
    SALUDITOS

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    1. Gracias, Alicia. Es encantador verte aqui. Xx

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  13. Oh, that toffee sounds delicious! What is treacle? I'll have to google it. I am making a gingerbread cake this afternoon, with fresh eggs from my Silkie. It will be scrumptious with sweetened whipped cream. Don't you just love this time of year? I do. Congratulations on the running. I am hiking, too. It makes such a difference to do some cardio.

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    1. Treacle is a form of molasses. Very sticky! I love to eat gingerbread at this time of year. Any kind of comfort food really :) How great to bake using your own produce. X

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  14. I've not heard of bonfire toffee ... it sounds quite lovely and perhaps addictive! It's too early for me to get excited about Christmas too, it's still only November! I am going to have to get busier in making gifts though; I seem to have good intentions but then put aside whatever I've gathered up before I make a start. Meg:)

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    1. The bonfire toffee is definitely addictive, Meg. I won't be making anymore once it has all gone.
      I'm beginning to think a little about Christmas but I don't like to start my planning this early or I get too excited! :) X

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  15. Oh yes, it is November! But I am glad you are trying to enjoy being cozy at home, with a book and candles, and etc. It really helps, to think of this time, as Cozy Time. -smile-

    Yes, it is an in between time. I agree, it's too early to get into the Yule/Christmas mood. Actually, we have our Thanksgiving at the end of November, so that is a bit of a 'break.' Although it's too late, for my taste. It's too close to Yule/Christmas by then. But, I didn't make the National Holidays! -smile-

    Oh that (I'd call it) candy looks delicious. And it would call to me, if I ever made it. So.... I won't. -smile-

    Enjoy Cozy At Home and do you have twinkle lights or faerie lights? They really set the cozy mood. In fact, I love them so much, I leave them up, all year long!!!!!

    πŸπŸ‚πŸ”₯πŸ‚πŸ

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    1. November can be a difficult month with it's grey, damp days and chilly weather. I try to get outdoors when the weather allows and cosy in at other times.
      I don't have any fairy lights out just yet, but I might dig some out very soon. X

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  16. I can smell autumn right through my laptop!
    Your description is perfect!
    And yes.
    Somehow we are in the beginning of November!

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    1. Thank you, Billie Jo. Yes, November arrived suddenly, seeing as we seemed to fly through October this year. X

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  17. I can understand your thoughts to hunker down as the dark days appear. Mind you here in Bangkok we're already into Christmas would you believe? I love Bonfire night and your recipe!
    Wren x

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    1. Christmas is appearing more and more in stores now and just this afternoon I picked up a copy of the supermarket's Christmas food guide, although I'm trying to hold out for a few more weeks before I think about it too much. X

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  18. Lovely. I can taste the toffee and smell the smoke and damp leaves. It’s been so wet here all the bonfire events have been cancelled. Hunkering down with a good book is the perfect way to go. Well done on the running. You put me to shame. B x

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    1. I can definitely taste the toffee, as I've just helped myself to another piece!
      What a shame your local events got cancelled. Although it's been quite wet here lately, we were fortunate to get a dry night for it.
      I'm not running very far at the moment, although perhaps I should, what with all the toffee and ginger cake I've been eating :) X

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  19. Glad to hear that you are well enough to run again. How wonderful to run past a box of free apples, and yes running with apples might be a little difficult! There is nothing that says Autumn quite like an apple crumble is there. I am looking forward to catching up with a friend who always has an abundance of apples and then crumble will be back on the menu here too.

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    1. I haven't had any hip trouble since I stopped wearing those winter boots with the slight heel. I think I'll have to be on the look out for a new pair :)
      I do love an apple crumble. Very autumnal. X

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  20. You've managed to completely capture Autumn with the photos of the apples and treacle toffee. At least walking to get the apples and back home again allows you to indulge in the baking. I do love apple crumble and apple pie.

    It took a while for Thomas to get used to fireworks and especially sparklers but you should see him now :) xx

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    1. With all the baking I've been indulging in, I probably need to walk a lot further :D
      I do love an apple crumble though. A 'proper' pudding served with custard.
      I used to be just like Lily when it comes to fireworks so I can understand how she feels. She seems to prefer it when we go to Blackpool in September, as they are set to music.
      I hope it was a fun evening at your house last night. X

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  21. Ah, that's what Kate was raving about . . . oh, it is so, so tempting to make your toffee.

    Beautiful Autumn photos, as always; the colours seem particularly lovely this year?

    I am so disappointed with myself - with just the two of us we thought of going to the big Carlisle display this year - and somehow I got the dates wrong and it was last weekend, not this weekend coming. D'uh πŸ™„πŸ˜’πŸ™„

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    1. Oh no! It's such a shame you missed the display. Maybe you can get there next year AND make some toffee to take along with you. X

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  22. You are so right about November being a bit of a funny month. Weirdly I do enjoy the dark nights, but the misty dampness in not so keen on! Your bonfire toffee looks delicious. I've never made any, but I think I should next year. Free apples, lucky you! Apple crumbles are a regular pudding here this time of year :)

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    1. These dark, dismal days can easily bring on the November glooms, so I try to make the most of any fine weather we get.
      The apples are a treat. I must remember to pick up a few more later today. X

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  23. Apple and cinnamon, such a perfect taste match :)
    Your crumble looks delicious.

    All the best Jan

    PS I enjoyed all of your photographs.

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    1. I do love apple and cinnamon. To me those flavours are synonymous with this time of year. X

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  24. I love bonfire toffee.

    Dark nights I can cope with - books, blankets and football on the radio, dark days are another matter entirely.

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    1. The dark days can become depressing after a while. I'm looking forward to some festive sparkle. X

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  25. The last bonfire/firework display I went to was in 2010. We had taken my granddaughter, then 5 years old and after about three minutes she said, "Shall we go back home and play with the Playmobil now?" I'd pop round and get some of those apples if I were nearby. I've used up all of ours.

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    1. I think we might just have a little bonfire (fire pit) in the garden another year. Along with some sparklers and bonfire toffee, of course. X

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  26. Thank you for sharing, when you begin Holiday Season decorations.

    Love it, all the different replies, to that question.

    😊πŸ”₯😊

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    1. Yes, I always enjoy discovering how others celebrate the festive season. Some planning may just begin here this week. πŸ˜† X

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