Sunday, 25 May 2008

Abbotsford Pork Pie

The final pie of the month was yet another new pie to us – an Abbotsford Pork Pie. This was sourced from Netto on the site of the former water tower at Swaffham. Only four braved the rain for this weeks pie tasting, Margaret was visiting Berchtesgaden and Charles was in New York, we did have Giada & Mickey though. We parked at Roughton church then headed south, then west to cross the A140 where we walked to Metton church for lunch and to be serenaded by Mickey. We returned via the New Inn at Roughton, which now sold real ale, where we watched Lewis Hamilton drive the last few laps at Monaco, to win the Grand Prix. Then on to Roughton church where we sampled this weeks pie: The pie was large but lacked the usual gloss finish, inside there was a little air and a small amount of Jelly around the pink meat filling. The pie tasted good, though the pastry was a little soft, rather than soggy, scoring 7.5 and a standard deviation of 0.40825. So, a very respectable score of 7.5 for Abbotsford, especially considering the pie only cost 99p and was purchased on Tuesday (use by date was the 26th). The Walk Master & Weather Wizard spared us from any extreme activities this week and also managed to dodge most of the rain, we had some very light rain where as Norwich had heavy rain most of the day.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Sainsbury’s medium pork pies

Our fifth new pie in a row was the object of the appetite creating walk on Sunday 18th. Giada brought her boyfriend, Mickey, along – a trail hound with a voice & a half! The nine of us and two dogs set off from Mileham, and soon we were walking through fields of chest high oilseed rape. We initially thought this was yet another one of Ricky’s commando training exercises – advancing on heavy artillery, after last week’s encounter with small arms. The artillery turned out only to be bird scarers! The church at Tittleshall provided the lunch stop and two scratch dials for the collection.
Giada & Mickey rest in the cool porch of Tittleshall church
We now only had two miles to walk to this week’s pies. The Sainsbury’s medium pork pies "with cured seasoned pork filling" had a low profile, slicing easily. This revealed a smooth pink filling with no jelly and no taste! The pastry was crisp though to rescue this pie, scoring 5.777 with a very high standard deviation of 1.20185. So a normalised 6 for Sainsbury’s medium pies. We washed the poor pie from our palate with a beer at the Brisley Bell on the way home.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Picnic Fayre Deli, Gloucester Old Spot

Yet another new pie to sample on our second week of May! We headed to Salthouse to enjoy some sea breeze in the exceptionally hot weather. Then we discovered that we were on one of Ricky’s extreme walks, as we climbed Great Hulver Hill in the baking sun under fire! We were beside a clay pigeon shoot and the shot was raining down around us... It then occurred to me that Ricky may be putting us through his series of extreme walks on the orders of Colonel O' Shaunessey-Patel, to form a crack commando unit of the Bombay Irish Regiment? We took shelter and refreshments in the cool (18.8ºC) porch of St Mary, Kelling, before returning to Salthouse to sample local pies from just along the coast. These were Gloucester Old Spot from the Picnic Fayre Deli in Cley next the Sea. They looked fantastic with a high gloss finish and I was sure these would be cooked – unlike the Gloucester Old Spot pies from the Champion public house on the 8th July, last year. Manola had purchased a standard pork pie from here and it scored a healthy 8.5 on the 26th November 2006. Cutting into the pork pies revealed a crispy pastry and a dark pink mottled filling, but no jelly. The proof of a pie is in the munching and boy did these taste great, but not what you really expect from a pork pie. This and the lack of jelly ensured they didn’t displace Mrs. King from the leader board but came in with a high score 9.071429 with a quite high standard deviation of 0.7868, so a normalised 9 for Cley’s Deli Gloucester Old Spots.
Gloucester Old Spots. Photograph ©2008 Juan Luis

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Clarkes Quality Meats & Country Kitchen

We headed south in three cars to Scole on the May Day weekend to sample another new pork pie... These were small pork pies from Clarkes Quality Meats & Country Kitchen, Low Lane, Hevingham – found on the Internet! To work up our appetite for this weeks offering, we had a very warm walk on both sides of the A140 enjoying the shade of the church in Scole for our lunch stop. Giada especially, after chasing after a Muntjac deer at break-neck speed over a considerable distance - she didn’t catch her new friend. We then took a refreshing pint of Young’s at the Horseshoes at Billingford before returning to the cars. After tea and canapés (spicy prawns, this week) had been served, the pork pies were carved into thirds. They had the external appearance of a traditional mince pie, not made of hot water pastry. The pastry had gone a little soft at the bottom, probably a result of keeping them in the fridge for two days. The pastry for some scored highly and for others it was a disappointment, reflected in the high standard deviation of the scores. The meat filling was pink and very tasty – no one electing to add mustard. These pies came in with a very respectable 8.15 with standard deviation of 0.94428, so a normalised 8 for Clarkes.