Sunday, 31 January 2010

No Pies!

An executive decision was taken on Saturday, by King Canape and the Pie Master, not to get pies this week as we were unsure if we were walking in such slippery conditions, and no idea of numbers if so. It was probably a wise decision, for although the conditions improved and we did walk, the pies would probably not have made it to the munching... The Walk Master had devised a 6-mile route for us around Reepham, but was unable to walk himself. He kindly delivered the map of the walk to the Führer, picking up King Canape on the way. The Pie Master had overslept and arrived rather late, without his vest of pockets. José had forgotten his walking boots and had to return home to get them. At last we set off, King Canape then realised he was without his lunch and Canapés – they were still in the Walk Master’s car! José then followed a green Toyota Landcruiser, believing it to be that of the Pie Master’s, but it wasn’t! Eventually we found each other in Reepham, parked and headed off. The Führer, leading the walk, then deemed that the prescribed route, down a heavily iced road, was too slippery and substituted a 3½ mile walk of her own. Passing through much very photogenic snow covered woods, no pictures were taken as the Pie Master’s camera was at home in his vest and José Luis had left his in his car. We took our sandwiches in the church of St. Mary, with it’s upside down, east facing scratch dial. We then retired to the comfort of the lounge in the Old Brewery House for pints of London Pride. The Pie Master had not brought the kitty, it too being in the vest. A new kitty was started but the Pie Master could not contribute as he had forgotten his wallet too! We made our way back to the cars where we had our tea, Shortbread and loads of other tasty offerings from José Luis, of which we only sampled the crisps.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Castle Grove

Off to Horsey to see the seals this week, armed with Castle Grove pies. The butchers in North Walsham had shut up shop early, so venturing into Lidl; we found pies we hadn’t sampled before. First we had a 5½-mile walk to complete. Parking at the car park at Horsey Gap, we headed inland via Horsey Corner and onto Brograve drainage mill, on the far bank of the Waxham New Cut, built in 1771 by Sir Berney Brograve. We followed the east bank of the cut, spotting three large unfamiliar birds in flight, thought to be cranes, and then along by Horsey Mere to Horsey drainage mill. Here we had our sandwiches on the seating provided. Heading east, over boggy fields we then headed north to the Nelson’s Head. After assuring the landlady that the 8 of us would fit into her pub and that we could all sit round a long table, we enjoyed pints of Woodforde’s Wherry and Nelson’s Revenge. Now we headed for the coast to see the seals with their pups. We were provided with lots of interesting facts about the seals from a friendly Seal Warden, including the fact that they can reach 30mph on land over a short distance. A walk along the dunes reunited us with the cars where we consumed small peppers stuffed with soft cheese, before sampling the pies. The small pies were cut in two, revealing a pink filling with no jelly and low aroma. The pies had a crisp pastry crust, although the filling lacked flavour, helped a little with a dab of mustard. Not a good pie, but better than last week’s, in my opinion, but the munchers differed; awarding it a score of 6.66666 with a standard deviation of 0.51640. Finally shortbread completed the outing. So a respectable normalised score of 6.5 for Lidl’s Castle Grove pies.
We were then joined by Emma, a retriever cross, who had missed the feast, but could still smell food.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Wm. Morrison Lattice

Pie munching finally got started in 2010 with a trip to Attleborough with a Wm. Morrison Large Lattice pie, a new pie for us. A Dozen munchers set off from the centre of town northwards. We soon decided this must have been the most can-polluted town in the county... Crossing the busy A11, already with a full carrier bag full of cans, we continued north, meeting another group of walkers and mardling about can collecting, before heading west where we passed a pair of abandoned skies! We headed North to Great Ellingham and the north porched church of St. James. After finding no scratch dial, we had a look inside the church and had sandwiches in the porch, along with a sample of Elena’s home made guacamole. We headed off, initially east, along a footpath that then became a bridleway describing an arc. We passed under the A11 along Ellingham road and followed it into town. The Bear free house dispensed pints of London Pride and provided comfortable accommodation in which to consume them, however we did have to suffer “EastEnders” on the telly. A short trip down the high street reunited us with our cars. We had collected two large carrier bags of cans – 6lb 3oz in total, 3lb 12oz of these were aluminium. Today we started off with char grilled Puglian artichoke hearts. The Large Lattice pork pie was sliced and released no aroma and revealed a bright pink smooth filling and a hint of jelly. The pie was rather lardy and lacked flavour but found favour with the munchers, having been pieless for so long. The pie was judged to score 7.25, with a high standard deviation of 1.23040, a significant improvement to the previous score of 6.0. We ended with the customary Shortcake, So Wm. Morrison scored a normalised 7.5 for their large lattice pork pie.
Roll mouse over picture to see uncut pie

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Liquid Pies

With much snow still around, no pies had been acquired for the first munching of the New Year. The Pie Master had done much walking the past week - it not being feasible to travel by bicycle. Come Sunday, he could not be bothered with de-icing the car and the subsequent need to wash the salt off the car. Three merry munchers could not stay at home - the Walk Master writes: "Three of us decided we needed some exercise, so the Führer, José and myself did a shorter walk (4.5 miles) from my place, battling through heavy wet snow, through Lakenham to Trowse. In fact you could almost call it a pub crawl, as we stopped at The White Horse in Trowse and The Rose at the top of City Road, before tea and shortbread back at my place."

Sunday, 3 January 2010


Sunday 3rd, January was the Bystanders Late Christmas Lunch and 50th Anniversary Celebration – the Society was created in February 1959. January 2010 is the last Month of its Half Century Celebrations... The meal was held at the Costessey Park Golf Club where 73 people attended. After a very enjoyable meal – the Pie Master sampling the very tasty Pheasant and Venison Game Pie, the history of the club was celebrated with a shortened Mahmoud service. A campaign to save the Green Mahmoud, a cast iron gentlemen’s pissoir erected in the 1860’s, near to Market Avenue, was one of the Bystanders first campaigns. Unfortunately unsuccessful, the loss of the Mahmoud cast by Walter MacFarlane & Co., Glasgow is mourned on the anniversary of its destruction. After the service and distribution of “the water”, a film recording the day of shame was then shown. The Bystanders 1963 classic film “West Of The Wensum” then followed.