We sample new pork pies this week: pies from A & G Butchers of Attleborough. To get ourselves ready to judge these porky delights we headed to Acle to repeat a walk we did four and a bit years ago. That walk was the first outing of Keith’s new puppy, Coffee, who had to be carried for the last half. Parking in the lay-by, by the bridge over the River Bure, we headed east down Stokesby New Road to Muck Fleet, to then head north. The Walk Master took us along the footpath on the east bank that became increasingly overgrown with brambles. After about a quarter of a mile we decided to turn back and then head north via the footpath on the west bank. We followed this until a footbridge allowed us to cross the water and then follow the south bank of New Muck Fleet a little way. Then we headed south by footpaths, reaching Stokesby. Here we headed up the hill in the biting wind to reach St. Andrew’s church. Here we sheltered in the porch to eat lunch. No scratch dials were found on this church, and the church itself was locked, so we made our way down to the river and along it to the Ferry Inn for pints of Adnams and welcome warmth. The route back to the cars followed the footpath along the north bank of the River Bure – we ignored the footpath closure notice, which had been imposed for health & safety while vegetation was being cut back – there was no work being carried out today. We returned to the cars by the busy road, and then drove to the War Memorial Recreation Ground to sample the pies. When cut the pie released little aroma and there was no jelly. The piecrust was soft, despite being stored in a paper bag, but the meat filling was tasty, with or without mustard. This pie was rated very diversely, resulting in a very high standard deviation of 1.33631. It did come through with a respectable score of 7.07143. We then had canapés: this week pickled quails eggs – very tasty. We finished with M&S Stem Ginger cookies. So a normalized score of 7 for A & G Butchers pies, from whose web site we see are supplied by Brookstreet Foods in Needham Market.
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Sunday, 6 February 2011
To sample today’s pies, nine pie munchers, including Liz with her new boots, Paul with his newly repaired boots and new muncher Kevin, set off for a very bracing pre pie yomp. We parked at Salhouse church and headed east along a footpath, spotting the first snowdrops of the year. Then heading north, we passed beautiful white cattle before joining Salhouse Road. We then took a footpath to Wroxham and visited St. Mary's church, finding no scratch dials. We could not explore it internally as a service was taking place. Retracing our footsteps we headed for the recreation ground to eat our sandwiches. The seating provided a fantastic view of the River Bure but exposed us to the gale force winds. After lunch we walked along Skinners Lane, following the route of the river, passing Wroxham castle and then Wroxham football club ground. Following tracks south west into the strong wind, we came to Dobb’s Lane that we followed a short distance east. We then took refreshment from the good selection of real ales at the Green Man. While the shelter from the wind and warmth was initially welcomed, we were not disappointed to leave this far too hot pub. We crossed the A1151 Wroxham Road to walk along Stonehouse Road before taking the footpath back to Salhouse church. As the wind was so strong, we had our tea etc. in the porch of All Saints church. To accompany the tea we had canapés from Paul: Duck liver, Sauternes & truffle parfait on oatcakes and French Saucisson sec with herbs! On to Sainsbury’s pies, these were traditional Melton Mowbray pies but when cut were low on aroma and revealed no jelly! The crisp, though lardy, crust pleased but the filling rather bland and need the help of mustard, despite this the pie was judged to have a score of 7.1 with a standard deviation of 0.56765. Josie provided Royal Edinburgh luxury shortbread – this was very good indeed and eagerly consumed.
Friday, 4 February 2011
Saturday, 29 January 2011
We ended the month with a proper pork pie – one sampled before on the November 15th 2009, from Select Meats of Loddon. Ashwellthorpe was the chosen munching location, parking at All Saints church with its single scratch dial. We headed off north, leaving the picturesque rear of the church with its large “E” shaped pond in the grounds. A one and a half mile loop round on footpaths, returned us to The Street, that we crossed and then headed south for St. Nicolas church in Fundenhall. Here we ate our sandwiches followed by After Eight mints! brought along by Joan. Having previously recorded the single scratch dial and feeling rather cold for stopping, we headed briskly south west to Fundenhall Street. The going was very muddy and frequently punctuated by styles to negotiate. We passed dairy cows, as we made our way north back to Ashwellthorpe, and on to the warmth of the White Horse. Here we enjoyed warm welcome and sampled very reasonably priced pints of Ruddles County and Swallowtail from the Humpty Dumpy brewery. It was then a short walk along The Street to the cars and straight into the large pie. It looked good and smelt good too, though not a great deal of aroma. A little jelly was present and added to the very good taste of this pie with a good crust, not surprisingly finding favour with the munchers giving it a good score of 8.9357 with a standard deviation of 0.49552. So a normalised score of 9 for Select Meats this time, beating their previous score of 7.
Roll mouse over picture to see uncut pie
Sunday, 23 January 2011
King Canape was not walking this week, and King Can was not feeling too well. Fearing that we would not have a quorum to judge a pork pie, the Pie Master provided the canapés and mince pies. The Walk Master had devised a walk slightly less than usual six miles starting from Neatherd Moor, East Dereham. From here we took a footpath north, emerging to a great view of the 1964 Water Tower. Continuing our way north to Northall Green, we then headed west. During this leg of the walk we took a couple of wrong turns and had to walk back, so we ended up doing our six miles. After walking through Humbletoft, the walk became very undulating before we emerged on to Rush Meadow, where we followed the river Wensum south, passing the sewage works. We made our way east towards East Dereham, emerging from a footpath by “Ted Ellis Walk”. Lunch was taken on the west facing seats in the churchyard, as St. Nicolas church porch was locked. Checking that the church did not have a scratch dial, we headed into town, pausing to admire the pargeting on Bishop Bonner's Cottage. On our search for liquid refreshments we came upon the old Hollywood cinema, now the “Plough & Furrow” and boasting a “vast selection of bottled & draft beers” - we found it to have no real ale. Another pub too failed to provide this elusive commodity. Finally we came upon the King’s Head Hotelwhere we sampled Black Panther from the new Panther brewery that has risen from the ashes of the former Reepham Brewery. Refreshed, we headed east out of town passing the Victorian railway station complete with its water tower and water engine. On reaching Neatherd High School, we took the footpath north to Neatherd Moor. We headed west back to the cars, passing the duck pond. The Canapés were J Sainsbury’s Spicy red lentil dip and their Onion and garlic dip with Oatcakes. The “Holly Lane” mince pies were the second course – a bargain from Aldi at 29p for a pack of six! The Führer provided the Shortbreads, but these were not to the high standards of the Walk Master.
Saturday, 15 January 2011
No pies for the Munchers this week: Friday evening, the Walk Master and Weather Wizard called a walk on Saturday, in order to miss the forecast bad weather on the Sunday. We headed to Trunch, parking at the Village Hall, with its fine chimney. From here we walked west passing St. Botolph’s church on our right. After passing through the village we headed north by footpath before heading further west, passing Howard’s Close. We then made our way north to Gimingham, passing sheep being rounded up, before getting on the Paston Way. On reaching Heath Lane we then followed it east to central Gimingham, and turned south to eat our sandwiches in the porch of All Saints church with its single scratch dial, previously recorded. Post lunch, we continued south a little way before heading west to Hall Farm, to complete the first loop of the figure of 8 walk. Now it was a zigzag route in a southeasterly direction to Trunch church. Having visited several times before, and recording its scratch dial, we just walked through the grounds to the Crown. Here we enjoyed pints of Batemans G.H.A. – a very good brew. We left the warmth of the pub to walk the short distance to the cars for a cup of tea. We had only a few spots of light rain, but it had been very bracing! The Pie Master did not have time to get a pie and we didn’t pass any butchers, so we had to make do with Fig rolls. We ended with the customary Shortbread.
Sunday, 9 January 2011
The second Sunday of January was the Bystanders post Christmas Lunch that had been organised by King Canape. But disaster struck on the day – Charles was too unwell to attend and had to be rushed to Accident and Emergency. The Pie Master had to take on the role of Master of Ceremonies in his absence. Thankfully things had been organised well and it all ran like clockwork! Costessey Park Golf Club did an exceptional job of catering for over 70 of us. Following the meal various entertainment was provided by some of the theatrical Bystanders attending the Meal. Charles was kept in hospital and fitted with a pacemaker, being discharged on Thursday the 13th. His ordeal was made worse by Kilverstone ward having the norovirus bug, so he could not have visitors. I am pleased to report that Charles is recovering well and has now paid for our meal!
All photographs from Jilly Hudson