Thursday, 31 December 2009

Pork Pie Year 2009 Review

2009 was another great pie year, though petering out in the final month, however we sampled 45 different pork pies (counting the two Christmas “novelty” pies)! Trailing the 49 of last year, though of the 43 bona fide pork pies, an incredible 29 were sampled for the very first time. Now we have all the scores in, I can announce our top 5 pies of 2009:
  1. Clarkes Quality Meats, huge pork pie sampled on 26th July
  2. Bray's Cottage, "Naked Pie", sampled on 11th October
  3. “Butlers Choice” R.A. Cawdron & Son, Stalham, sampled on 5th April
  4. Pickerings large pies, sampled on 1st February
  5. G. Morris & Sons - Mega pie, sampled on 26th April
Our all time top 5 pies are:
  1. Mrs. King’s Melton Mowbray pie sampled on 26th November 2006
  2. M & M Rutland sampled on 29th April 2007
  3. Gloucester Old Spot from Picnic Fare Deli sampled on 11th May 2008
  4. Clarkes Quality Meats, huge pork pie sampled on 26th July
  5. Graves of Briston, sampled on 9th March 2008
That’s it for 2009, an excellent pie year, with lots of good pie munching. All it leaves me to do, is wish you a good pie munching New Year. Don’t forget your new year’s resolution to regularly visit the Pork Pie News - we have welcomed 3,758 visitors from 58 nations!

Pie Master

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Mince Pies 'n' Port

The third outing of the month was looking in doubt and Mince Pies and Port were purchased in worsening weather conditions. In the event, with a lack of available munchers and a lot of snow, we decided to have a warm day at home. Readers can guess the fate of the pies ‘n’ port... Hic!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Pie and Paella

Our second pie this month was a Festive Pork Pie with Cranberries, from Wm Morrison. However, the main attraction was to be Paella cooked by José Luis. Since we were to return to the Führer’s for the grazing, it was decided to head out to Tacolneston without pies or tea, as the weather was a bit dodgy. Parking at the village playing field and ignoring the sign that said “car park would be locked following the final game”, as it had been OK the previous time we used it. We made our way south, via footpaths, to Forncett End and then east towards Forncett St. Peter. A short stroll up Aslacton Road brought us to the church of Forncett St. Mary. The grounds had recently been cleared and there were plans to restore this church. We had our sandwiches here, and despite the church having a north-facing porch, we found a scratch dial – upside down and facing west! We headed back west, first along Chenney’s Lane and then by footpaths to return to Tacolneston. We thought we’d give the Pelican a miss in favour of the welcoming Woolands Club. After checking they were open, we retrieved our cars from the, still unlocked, car park and drove back to the club. Some of our number then returned to Norwich in search of paella rice, while the rest of us savoured pints of Polly's Folly from Buffy’s brewery - served by gravity. Suitably refreshed we returned to the Führer’s, where José Luis, aided by Manola & Juan Luis, were cooking the paella. While the paella cooked, we sampled the Festive Pork Pie with Cranberries. This again was a pleasant pork pie with a very good crust. The smooth, bright pink filling had little aroma but was tasty, with the cranberries providing a good accompaniment. Again this “fun pie” will not go on the year’s score card but it was scored in the usual way with a score of 7.625 with a low standard deviation of 0.44320 – so a normalised score of 7.5 for Morrison’s Festive Pie.Manola then took on the role of “Queen Canapé” producing Spicy red pepper Houmous and Orkney crab and prawn layered pâté to be consumed with oatcakes. Margaret & Co. had laid on a fine spread: We had a nicely laid table for the wonderful paella containing seafood, duck and venison with bread and additional mussels. Then for dessert, there were profiteroles with a hot chocolate dipping sauce and Margaret had cooked us a Delia Almond dessert, all followed by Mince pies!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Fredrick's Fine Foods

For the first of festive pie munching in December, José Luis had sourced a Cheshire Belle Old Spot Pork, Apple & Stilton pie for us to sample, from Frederick’s Fine Foods of Diss. King Canape and the Walk Master were not present, but we welcomed the Führer back into our ranks, who led us on this week’s 6 mile march around Haveringland. To enable us to take in the pub at a suitable distance, we parked by the side of Swiffer’s Lane, at the east end. From here we set off north, up Mill Lane, before heading west along footpaths towards Swannington. Here we found beautiful, well cared for pie filling and sheep in fields. As we arrived at the farm buildings, we were greeted by two vocal, but friendly, Border Collies. Then turning south, we passed Swannington “Farm to Fork” Farm Butchery, which looked as if it would be a source of quality pork pies. We headed east along a footpath, meeting a local with his exceedingly friendly two-year old Cocker Spaniel. He advised us that the farm shop did not sell pork pies, despite requests. We continued east passing the cars, and then south towards Felthorpe. As there was no church on this walk, lunch was taken “on the hoof” as we passed through woods, before we reached the The Street. We then made for the Mariners Arms and enjoyed Adnams in good condition. We retraced our footsteps along The Street and up Hall Lane, before turning left to walk along pleasant footpaths that were rather wet, so large planks of timber provided a path across the boggy bits. These were rather slippery, as our leader found out – landing in one of the bogs! In an instant, José leapt to the rescue and extricated the Führer from a paparazzi scoop! Washing the mud from her glasses, wringing the water from her hair, and a quick wipe down with a couple of tissues, she was once again in command, leading us further north. José Luis, made an equine friend, before we marched up Shooter’s Hill. Crossing the bridge from Green Lane to School Road, we then headed south back to Haveringland and the stocks by the village sign, and walked along Abbey Lane back to the cars. No canapés today, so straight in to the Pork, Apple & Stilton pie. This huge flat pie had a high gloss lattice crust with a layered filling. This was quite different from any previous pies, the Stilton being quite prominent. A very tasty pie, though it could not be directly compared with our traditional pies. However, we did score this pie and it romped in with a score of 8.35714 with a standard deviation of 1.21499 – so a normalised score of 8.5 for this festive offering from Frederick’s Fine Foods. Oaties accompanied any remaining tea.