< Kitchen
< Al Fresco

Pappa Al Pomodoro
Dough Balls
Bonfire Toffee
Food by Firelight

Food by Firelight

The simplest foods are best on a bonfire. First ask everyone to whittle themselves a toasting fork: each find a long stick, and whittle it down to one sharp end with a penknife. (When whittling, always teach kids to cut safely away from themselves, and to hold the stick to one side rather than between their legs.)

Thick slices of bread spread with butter, sugar and cinnamon: put the stick through the crust at top and bottom of the bread, then turn over to toast on both sides.

Dough balls: to cook, place dough balls (you can make them or buy them) the size of a large marble on the ends of the toasting sticks. Hold just above the heat of the fire until done. Dip in garlic butter before eating.

Bacon: peg some bacon on to a strip of wood at the edge of the fire. Turn over to get each side crispy.

Cheese: in Switzerland they use a rich and nutty-flavoured melting cheese called Raclette. 'Racler' means to scrape, and the name comes from the way the farmers toast their half-wheels of cheese by the open fire, scrape the melted bubbly cheese with a knife then lavish it over meats or potatoes. If you can't get hold of Raclette, try Gruyère or Morbier. Place a big hunk of cheese on a home-made hotplate - a flat-ended log at the edge of the fire - and melt for a few minutes. Scrape the soft top layer off and drop it on hunks of bread.

Potatoes: bake potatoes (you can wrap them in silver foil if you prefer) near the heart of the red embers for three-quarters of an hour - they pick up the flavour of the wood and are delicious with butter and salt.

Marshmallows: on sticks - the best, the only ending to food by firelight.