Sunday, 28 March 2010

J. & D. Papworth Farms

This week, the clocks went forward, but it didn’t deter the pie munchers from jumping out of their beds an hour early to munch pies. Walsingham was the chosen location to sample pies from J. & D. Papworth Farms, last sampled on the 16th November, 2008. We parked in the large car park of the Chapel of Reconciliation, next to Slipper chapel at Walsingham, where mass was being celebrated outside – it being Palm Sunday. As we walked along the road, we spotted a drove of hares; about a dozen in number, not boxing but leaping about full of March madness. We then headed east, passing the enlarged water treatment works. Lunch was taken at the church of St. Mary the virgin, Great Snoring. No scratch dials were found, so we set off on the two-mile hike to the pub, mostly by road, the grass banks being adorned with white violets. At the end of Water Lane, the stream under the bridge provided the facilities for a game of Pooh sticks. The Pie Master won the challenge by a large margin - as Josie's stick had sunk! A short walk past East Barsham Hall brought us to the White Horse for pints of Adnams in good condition. Passing “Toad Hall”, we made our way up the hill to the parish church of East Barsham of All Saints, a much-mutilated church with a north entrance and no scratch dial. It’s font however reminded the Pie Master of a traditional water tower, with service shaft and supporting legs. On to the church of North Barsham, All Saints with black chickens in the grounds. Returning to the cars for Tortillas with sour cream and chive dip and Moroccan style houmous. A selection of small and large pies from J. & D. Papworth Farms’ North Walsham shop, were supplied by Josie – Josie hadn’t realised it was early closing on Wednesday, when she was working there and these were all that were left. The good looking pies released a little “roast pork” aroma and revealed a nicely textured dark pink filling, with no jelly. These pies were very tasty, the pastry too. However, many thought the crust was too thick. The pies scored a 7.68182 with a standard deviation of 0.56003. Ricky’s Shortbread was then consumed. So a normalised score of 7.5 for J. & D. Papworth Farms.

Sunday, 21 March 2010


On the third Sunday of March, Josie having been poorly, decided a 6-mile walk would not contribute to her convalescence, so elected to stay close to home. Josie and the Pie Master undertook a short walk to the Cottage to sample their carvery & a couple of pints. Meanwhile the remaining Pie Munchers hossed off to Bungay for a walk without scratch dials, Canapés or Pork Pies!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

R. J. Bray

Mothering Sunday brought further new pies for the munchers: from R. J. Bray, Earlham, after being brought to the Pie Master’s attention by the Walk Master. We headed into deepest Norfolk to sample these pies, out along the Fakenham road to the church of St. Mary, East Bilney. Finding no scratch dial, we headed off on our figure of eight, pre-pie yomp. Our destination was the church of St. Mary Magdalene, Beetly. Our route took us on some picturesque paths and over fields with masses of flint on the surface. With Stanfield water tower as our reference, north east of us, and the new East Dereham water tower in the distance, south east. Loads of snowdrops were in bloom as we walked the 3¾ miles to the lunch stop, seeing rabbits, a skylark and two deer on our way. Arriving at the church, whose porch boasted a scratch dial either side, we stopped for lunch. The church was locked but the porch was open, though without seats, for some of us to shelter from the shower that had just started. It was a short walk back to the cars, spotting a barn owl on route and finding a footbridge by the ford, over Black Water, as we followed Folly Lane back to the church. King Prawns with a Marie Rose sauce preceded the pies. These good looking, hand-raised pies revealed a dark pink filling with a little jelly and little in the way of aroma when sliced. The pies had a good crisp crust and the filling was pleasantly seasoned, resulting in an average score of 7.57143 with a high standard deviation of 1.39728 (one of the munchers only gave it a 5). Following the pies we were joined by Ben - an elderly Red Setter who had no problem in detecting the pie aroma! Shortbreads were consumed with the last of the tea, before we headed to the Brisley Bell for pints of Flanker's Tackle from Green King. So a normalised score of 7.5 for R. J. Bray’s pies.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

J. S. Coxford

The Walk master led this weeks 6 miler, in glorious sunshine, before we tucked into pies from J. S. Coxford, of Aylsham - a first tasting for the munchers. Starting at Brooke village hall, we headed north, past Laurel Farm, with its thatched garage, and pony. After walking along the footpaths and across a muddy field, we came to Alpington Hall, with its noisy guard-dog. Into another muddy field, we passed a “mawkin”. Paul and José retrieved some of its reflective adornments, which had obviously blown off in the wind. Lunch-stop was at St. Mary's church in Yelverton. Inside the porch were two lovely stained glass windows - one representing water, the other one, fire. The church had no scratch dial. On leaving the church, we bumped into the son of an old Bystander, with his dog Ruby. She was very friendly and playful, and seemed to enjoy being photographed! At the 4 mile point, we reached “The Dove” public house. Adnams, Broadside and Woodfordes Wherry were all found to be in good condition - and the roast lunches being served looked very good too! Along the next footpath across to the next field, we passed a fish farm and a set of pig shelters. Not the normal corrugated iron huts you normally see - these were much larger and had fabric sides. We then came to the second church of the day - St. Mary the virgin, Howe - a lovely round-tower church with Saxon windows. Don procured a log of laurel wood, from a gentleman cutting the trees back in the churchyard. Back at the village hall in Brooke, tea was served by Josie: stand-in tea lady and pie mistress! Feta-stuffed peppers to start, supplied by King Canape, followed by the pies. These pies had a very crisp, crunchy pastry and a well-seasoned, very flavoursome filling. Top marks to J.S. Coxford butchers, scoring 8.2777, with a standard deviation of only 0.44096. We then had shortcake to finish. . So a normalised score of 8.5. (filed by Josie)