It took me a while to come around to Guy Fawkes night as a child. I found the whole Guy business both slightly mad and macabre. Firstly because they always looked like a giant pair of tights stuffed with old clothes tied with baler twine and sporting a huge hat over the grinning face. Rarely worth a penny I thought. Macabre because I didn’t really like the idea of burning anyone although I did realise it was purely symbolic. Childish anxieties I guess.
What would cheer me up however was the promise of something good to eat whilst standing around an enormous bonfire. I can see it now on our village green, almost two storeys high, a huge beast of a fire shooting sparks into the night sky and belting out heat. There was usually the promise of a toffee apple, good for nibbling the toffee off only to be left with a rather sticky green apple on a wobbly stick. Or cinder toffee, crunchy, splintering and sticking your teeth together. Always on offer were hot dogs, proper sausages rather than frankfurters with a good squirt of ketchup which inevitably found its way onto your woolly gloves.
Sadly our fireworks were rained off this week but if they hadn’t been this is what we would have been eating as a relish with our hot dogs. Sweet, tangy and with a good kick of chilli it is delicious in a bun with a good banger on top. It would be just as at home served on the side with some sausages or perhaps with roast pork or maybe a ham. Ideas, ideas….
Firecracker Red Cabbage
As I was making this I cast an eye over a jar of chilli jelly which you could very easily use in place of the redcurrant jelly and chilli flakes – the reason I didn’t was because they vary so much in their heat so difficult to suggest how much to use. You could give it a try and taste as you go. This amount of chilli means my children are happy with it, add more if you want.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red cabbage, quite finely chopped
Good pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and stir. Add the red cabbage and give it a good stir and then add the remaining ingredients. Cook gently for half an hour with a lid on and half an hour with the lid off to allow the liquid to bubble down to a syrup which will coat the cabbage. Taste, it might need a little more salt or a spritz of balsamic. Serve with sausages in buns or on plates, enough for 4.