This was our guy just having his last drink before he went on the fire...

Yesterday was our annual firework do - there was 21 of us in total, including children, although as it stems from friends I have made through Owen iykwim - they are all getting much older - as he is 12 now.

Paul and Owen made the bonfire and the guy in the morning while I sorted out the kitchen and got the bread, and baked a tray of brownies.
Owen then decided he wanted some Smarties cookies - so he got those done, then we (mainly owen) coated the chicken thighs and drumsticks in breadcrumbs. After asking some questions on the cooks journal we mixed the breadcrumbs with herbs and pepper, and then sprinkled some Paprika on top. We dipped each of them into egg and the crumbs, I cooked them on racks and they were perfect.

We used our Bedfordshire carrots (delivered to the door) for the dips - peeled and shopped by Owen too!

We also had loads of sausages - but I didn't have the time (or energy) to make anything else. I did do some mulled wine - using a packet of spices that were just for the purpose and now I can't get anymore as Tesco have discontinued them. I was so easy you just added the spice mix to some water and sugar, then added red wine. I also added some orange slices and cinammon for good measure. I kept it warm in the slow cooker all evening which was perfect.

The bonfire soon burnt and we should have had more stuff to put on it, I really should have done some pruning - but time didn't allow.

For some reason this year we had loads of fireworks, but we soon got through them, I was given the night off this year from lighting and Ian, Simon and Wendy were doing we often had the excitement of 2 or 3 fireworks at once!

And you can see the garden this morning after the 'crowds' and the rockets! the garden certainly is a little worse for wear - but have much better than in some years where is has been a lot wetter. the weather was perfect.

This weekend is the big Challenge on the forum - there is still plenty of time to join in as you will have all week to finish.

It has got off to a good start - thanks to Sue for all her really hard work and to those that made some fab stuff for her to use as examples (Clare and Sue's Mum).

The weekly challenges have been suspended until the BIG challenge is over, so you can always just join in with one or two.

Don't forget the new Cooking website The Cooks Journal - if you like cooking, growing or just eating food I would love to see you there.