When I was young, Hallowe'en hardly registered with us. We might have indulged in bobbing for apples if anyone had been out scrumping for wild crab apples, but taught from an early age that apples were food and on no account to be wasted, this was not considered a done thing. What we had instead was November 4th - Mischief Night or Plot Night - this was the night in 1603 when Guido (Guy) Fawkes and his co-conspirators smuggled gunpowder into the Houses of Parliament in order to blow up the King, James I. The night before Bonfire Night, the most mishief we got up to was setting off crackers or rip-raps in the street, or knocking on doors and running away into the foggy night. There were four treats greatly looked forward to at this time. The simplest was to beg or borrow a good sized spud to bury under the bonfire, to be retrieved when the bonfire was burning low, and eaten charred and piping hot in the hand. Kindly aunties (neighbours) would dish out bowls of mushy peas: dried peas soaked overnight with bicarbonate of soda tablets to soften them, and then boiled for as long as it took them to dissolve into a green mess to which a dash of salt and vinegar would be added. Next on the scale of delights was Plot Toffee - 1 pound of sugar, 4 ounces each of Black Treacle and Margarine, a good spoon of water, a pinch of salt - all boiled until a drop of the mixture went hard when dribbled in a saucer of cold water. If Golden Syrup instead of Black Treacle was used, then a dash of vinegar was called for to sour it up. But the best treat of all was our own Yorkshire Parkin : 8 ounces of Porridge Oats; 4 ounces each of flour, margarine (or butter), brown sugar, Black Treacle; 2 teaspoons of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon mixed spice and 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda. Just mix together all the dry ingredients, melt margarine and treacle and mix them into the dry ingredients with a knife, roll out on a tray to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch, mark into squares and bake at 170 C for 20 mins. Take the tray out and pass it around the bonfire for people to break off a bit.