Sunday, 26 October 2008

Large Vale of Mowbray pie

The final pie to be sampled this month was a large Vale of Mowbray pie – after a confused start! Eventually, about half the pie munchers set off for Flordon with no tea ladies or tea! To get ourselves in prime pie munching condition, we set off on our designated route, once we eventually established exactly where on the route we were! From Flordon, we headed south down the Upper Tas Valley Walk to Hapton and the church of St. Margaret. This was locked and we didn’t spot the scratch dial we photographed when we visited in June of last year. We then headed west towards Fundenhall where we all got involved in harvesting the abundant supply of fungi for Charles. St. Nicholas church was closed so not investigated. Heading north to Ashwellthorpe, we made a little diversion into the village to have lunch in the porch of All Saints church. This not only provided a lunch location but a new scratch dial for the collection. This church too was locked. We then headed east where our attention switched from collecting fungi to collecting cans for Don. We made a short diversion down the B1113 for a rather poor pint of Wherry at the Kings Head. Resuming our can collecting, we continued our walk back to the car at Flordon. We ended our walk with a carrier bag full of cans and a good haul of fungi plus a new scratch dial. We then commenced the tea-less tasting, first nairn’s mini oatcakes with Waitrose supreme houmous and their supreme red pepper & feta dip. Don then produced a large Vale of Mowbray pie sourced from the Co-op, we had sampled small Vale of Mowbray pies in North Walsham back in March where they did not fare well. This pie when cut revealed a pleasing pink filling with a little jelly. The piecrust was OK, the filling odourless but having an OK flavour, slightly salt and enhanced by the application of mustard. The average score of 7.25 gets ‘normalised’ to 7.5, the standard deviation was of 0.28868 and completes this months pie tasting.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Fynn Vally Foods

The F├╝hrer took us to Suffield to sample Fynn Valley Food’s 5.5oz pies, in the Walk Master’s absence. Parking near to the village sign at St. Margaret’s church, where we had photographed the scratch dial 32 months earlier, we headed off on our six-mile appetiser. We stopped at the church of St. Giles, Colby for lunch where we perched on narrow “posture improving” seats in the porch. There was no pub on this walk, so we soberly made our way back to Suffield the long way, walking past a Menagerie that the girls, had they been with us, would have gone crazy over! At the cars we were joined for our cups of tea, by a friendly nine year old Jack Russell/Terrier cross. With our cups of tea we sampled Waitrose Smoked salmon rounds prior to sampling Fynn Valley Food’s pies - “a taste of the country, made with East Anglian meat & wheat”. Well, they looked as if they’d been baked on the huh! Cutting the pies reviled a smooth pink filling, with a little jelly. The pastry was no more than OK and the odourless filling, tasty with a surprising coarse texture in the mouth, was spoilt by over salting. These pies were judged to have a spot on score of 7.0 with a high standard deviation of 1.25831. So, 7.0 for Fynn Valley Food’s pies.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Bakers & Larners

Balloons were out to greet us at our chosen location to sample Bakers & Larners medium hand raised pies at North Creake village hall. We parked here and as we headed westwards on our pie enhancing walk, we noted large flocks of geese heading for the coast. Later we stopped at St. Mary's Abbey (1205-1504), first inspecting the craft centre, where we briefly misplaced Gill, then on to the abbey ruins for our lunch break. Large numbers of Bishy-barney-bees, both red with black spots, and black with large red spots, were sunning themselves on the stonewalls. After lunch we sampled a pint of Wherry at the Jolly Farmers and then had a look round St. Mary's Church, that boasted a splendid font cover and as well as a large table of preserves on sale. The church had no scratch dial, but a large sundial high on the tower and more Bishy-barney-bees in the sun. We returned to the village hall for Smoked Salmon Tsar Slices with Soy & Honey dip and Wasabi, followed by the Bakers & Larners pies. A good glossy exterior revealed a coarse filling. The pies were very tasty and the pastry good. Don’s special mustard, though very nice in itself, did not enhance this pie. This quality pie came in with a healthy sore of 8.35714, with a standard deviation of 0.69007. So a normalized sore of 8.5 for Bakers & Larners, equalling their score when we last sampled them at Baconsthorpe on the 4th February 2007. We finished off with Shortbread to conclude proceedings.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Fungus Foray 2008

For our first Sunday of the month, our attention turned from munching pies to munching mushrooms. Our annual fungus foray was to concentrate on the edible species this year, so that in Charles' words “Master Mycophogage and Chef David Atkinson could transform our haul into cloyless dishes”! Sunday was an extremely wet day and only ten intrepid fungus foragers turned up. As we set out, the weather improved, but the going was very muddy, as large plant had been at work, decimating the heath, apparently for the benefit of butterflies! Fungi were few and far between, especially edible examples. We rendezvoused later at the Trafford Arms with our haul and a few mushrooms from Tesco, where David worked his magic and produced some fabulous fungi omelettes.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Melton Mowbray Pork Pies

Today, the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association has won their campagin to gain "Protected Geographical Indication" (PGI) status within the EU for thier Melton Mowbray pork pies. Now, only pork pies made in specific areas of the East Midlands can use the term Melton Mowbray in their branding. You can read the BBC report on this historic day and links to stories leading up to it by clicking here. The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association was formed in 1998, to gain PGI for their pies.