Sunday, 28 September 2008

Metfield Bakery

The last pork pies to be tasted in September were small pies from Metfield Bakery, purchased by Paul, from the deli next to Adlards in Upper St. Giles. To get our ourselves in prime pie munching condition, we set off from Long Stratton Leisure Centre heading north-west, passing the Jacobean, Tharston Hall and on to the St. Mary's Church. Following an unsuccessful hunt for scratch dials and a protracted egg buying session from a house near by, we headed east, to Forncett St. Mary where a truculent farmer and his cows blocked our path. Reluctantly we diverted south along Tas Valley Way to the church at Forncett St. Peter, for our lunch break. No dials here, but lots of crickets, we headed back to Long Stratton for the pie tasting. The starter course came from Waitrose, courtesy of Charles: Oatcakes with cracked pepper to dunk in Roasted red pepper and a Butter bean & roasted garlic Houmous. Paul’s pies released a fantastic aroma when cut revealing a coarse meaty filling with no jelly. The pastry was crisp and very good, the filling tasty but not of the intensity suggested by the aroma. These pies did deliver, receiving a score of 8.38888 and a standard deviation of 0.99303. We then partook of Shortbread to complete the grazing experience. So a normalised 8.5 for Metfield Bakery.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Morrison in store bakery

We ventured into Suffolk for our pie tasting this week, parking at White House Farm, Wild Life Centre in Carlton Colville – this having the luxury of seats & tables at which to sample our pies. First, we headed east to Oulton Broad where Giada had a swim in the broad, before we headed west along the south side of the broad, where we watched a kestrel being harassed by a crow and a flock of eight swans in flight. Our lunch stop was at Share drainage mill where a family of swans were also dining. We crossed Share Marsh to visit the Crown at Carlton Colville, on the Lowestoft Road, but this had no real ale! We gave it a miss and continued back to cars, finding parasol mushrooms that Charles added to his fungus collection. Today’s delicacies were Edamame bean, artichoke & lemon pesto Tortilla and Chilli & coriander King Prawns. Next, our pies from Wm Morrison in store bakery, these were small pies baked in foil cups. They had a good appearance and slicing revealed there was no jelly and a rather suspect pink filling. The pastry tasted good but there was no taste or any real texture to the filling, resulting in a poor score of 5.09091 with a standard deviation of 1.64040. Finally, we had Shortbread to accompany any remaining tea. So a normalised 5.0 for Morrison in store bakery. Following a “Yellow Stainer” demonstration, we headed for home calling in at the George & Dragon at Thurton for a pint of “Mad Bob” – a very pleasant pint at 3.8% from the Nethergate Brewery.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Sans Pies

The pies that naver made it to the munching...
We were warned of an extreme walk and told to bring towels - as we’d be getting wet! Was this what caused the Pie Master to forget the pies he had sourced on Friday? We assembled at the F├╝hrer’s bunker and headed for Blakeney, all cars taking a wrong turning at various points of the route – Ricky had obviously struck fear into our hearts! Arriving at Blakeney village hall, we caught the coast hopper to Stiffkey where we visited the church of St. John the Baptist and searched for scratch dials. The church had been heavily renovated in 1848 and no dials were found. Adjacent was Stiffkey Hall with its two remaining towers, built about 1600. We headed North onto the salt marshes and Eastwards along the “Meals” (dunes). We then had to navigate the mud and cross Freshes Creek...
We continued along the Meals to Morston for a lunch stop and then a pint of Winters Golden at the Anchor pub. Following the Norfolk Coastal Path, we returned to Blakeney. Broccoli quiche was served with the tea followed by Shortbread, but no porky delights!!! The Pie Master had left them at home in the fridge.
Munchers at Morston

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Chambers Meat Services

Off to Barnham Broom with pies from Chambers Meat Services of Beccles for the first pie tasting of September. The Weather Wizard could find no dry location for the pie tasting warm up. We set off from the church of St. Peter & St. Paul, in light rain on a four church walk. The rain soon eased and by the second All Saints church, it had completely stopped. Lunch was taken in the forth and final church of St. Michael, Coston, yielding our only scratch dial. Even though the weather was cool, Giada made good use of the puddles! From the church we returned to the cars via the Bell in Barnham Broom – the Green King IPA had just gone off, so we made do with a half of frothy John Smiths Smooth. Thankfully, King Canape had provided Panamanian King Prawns with a Marie Rose sauce to get the taste buds back into shape, before we sampled what were claimed to be “The best pork pies in Beccles”. The pies had a good appearance, with a dark meat filling and a little jelly. The pastry was rather bland and the filling very meaty, some questioned if it was 100% pork. The flavour was OK and enhanced with a little mustard. Not a bad pie, coming in with a score of 6.875, but leaves you wondering if this was really the best Beccles can do. The standard deviation was quite high at 0.99103. So a normalized sore of 7 for Chambers Meat Services. On the way home we stopped to have a half of a decent beer, Elgoods Cambridge and Adnams Bitter, at the Marlingford Bell.