Sunday, 27 April 2008

E.E. Pratt and Co.

I had a good feeling about the final pie of the month from E.E. Pratt & Co., Quality Family butchers of 4, High Road Drayton. The pies looked good, the staff enthused over them and they were fresh – still hot out of the oven. To get ourselves chomping at the bit, ten of us plus Giada set off on a walk to Thurton and back taking in four churches, the first two having no dials & the third, two. To get our taste buds limbered up we popped into the beer festival at the George & Dragon (where the previous owners of the Wig & Pen, & Murphy had moved to). Our final church @ Thurton yielded our third scratch dial before the final leg of the walk to the pies. After consuming Charles’ canapés, the pies were carved into 72º portions. The pies were baked in round foil cups and had a dark flat top. Inside a firm bright pink meaty filling with a small amount of jelly hit the spot on the aesthetic front and the aroma sent Giada wild! Tasting proved to be good, coming in with a score of 8.8 and a standard deviation of 0.63246. So, a normalised score of 9 for E.E. Pratt & Co.. After an unexciting start, the month ends on a high.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Co-op Deli cocktail pies

In the hope of raising the standard of pork pies this month, I hoped to acquire a Craske’s pork pie. Bob had tipped me off that the Co-op by their dairy in Earlham did Craske’s sausages. Unfortunately, there was no sign of Craske’s presence, but they did have some cocktail pies and since we haven’t sampled Co-op pies, I bought these. Ricky thought we should all test out my new car, so six of us and Giada all set off for Thompson to sample the Co-op’s delights. Walking near to the battle area around Tottington, we came upon a group of five Red Deer does crossing our path and later standing in a clearing where they stood still for a few minutes, some 200 yards away. Following the pingo trail, we eventually arrived at the pre pie pub. Ricky had come up trumps this week, taking us to the delightful Chequers Inn. Here we met former Bystanders Frances & Bob then leaving... After sampling the delights of Hancocks HB, a short walk to the car would reveal what the Co-op could do on the pork pie front. The cocktail pies had an anemic external appearance and a pale pink filling lacking in flavour. They managed to beat last months lame duck, Wm Morrison Vale of Mowbray, scoring 5.333 with a standard deviation of 0.60553. So a normalised 5.5 for Co-Op cocktail pies.

The Pie Master's new car

Sunday, 13 April 2008

G. Morris and Sons

The start of Songkran started off with warm sunshine – T-shirt weather and appropriately with the forecast of rain showers later. Vidor the batterer, just back from fighting the Pjork Scratchings @ the battle of Rackheath Village Hall, led us North to Tunstead... Visiting St. Swithin's church in Ashmanhaugh, revealed a smart scratch dial with Arabic numerals. The pre pie pub had now become “The Olive Branch” restaurant bar and sold no real ales! We made do with various offerings and toasted Ricky’s choices of pub “Up yours!” consuming our beverages in the warm sunshine. We headed back to the cars to sample pies from G. Morris & Sons, an old staple, not having time to source an interesting pie. Previously they had scored 7.5 and 8, today they were bland, lacking seasoning and scored a disappointing 6.14286 with a reasonably high standard deviation of 0.69, so a normalised 6 for G. Morris & Sons. Thor was not happy with the pie offering either – the sky turned black and he pelted us with 1/4” hailstones!!!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Dickinson & Morris Melton Mowbray Pie

The first Sunday of April threatened snow again, so unsure of how many would turn out for pie tasting, I stuck with a known decent pie – a Dickinson & Morris Melton Mowbray Pie. Ricky kept us near to home for our pre pie walk, starting at Dunston. It then became apparent why he wasn’t wearing his bright yellow AA man’s overalls – as the walk began with a trespass across the grounds of Dunston Hall! We made our way to Swainsthorpe, passing close to the old workhouse at Henstead and affording a good view of the former water tower, now converted to a dwelling. Returning to Dunston we sampled the Dickinson & Morris offering, scoring a very respectable 8.64286 with standard deviation of 0.47559, so Dickinson & Morris scores a normalised 8.5. Previously it had scored a normalised 7.5 at Swanton Abbott on the 29th July last year and 9 at Wood Norton near Guist on 9th March 2006.
Converted water tower at Henstead workhouse