Friday, 31 December 2010

Pork Pie Year 2010 Review

2010 started with more new pies to sample and it looked as though we were going to beat the bumper year of 2008. However, events and very bad weather towards the end of the year, resulted in a rather poor score of only 29 different pies being sampled, but of this number, 17 were sampled for the very first time. Now we have all the scores in, I can announce our top 5 pies of 2010:
  1. Jarold's Deli, sampled on 5th September
  2. Waitrose Large Melton Mowbray, sampled on 2nd May
  3. Pickerings Medium pies, sampled on 24th October
  4. “Butlers Choice” R.A. Cawdron & Son, Stalham, sampled on 1st August
  5. Laurels Farm Butchers, Eye, sampled on 4th July
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 2009
  5. Jarold's Deli, sampled on 5th September
R.A. Cawdron and Pickering swapping places from last year and Jarolds Deli pie makes it onto our all time top 5, displacing Graves of Briston, sampled on 9th March 2008. That concludes 2010's pie munching.

Pie Master

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Pat Gorman

This week we returned to Horsey to see the seals and to sample a new pie: A Pat Gorman “Unique award winning hand made pork pie” purchased from Aldi. It was our intention to repeat the walk we did earlier in the year, on the 24th January, however on reaching Horsey Corner, we found that the footpath from Brograve drainage mill to Horsey Mere was closed, so we retraced our path a little and then headed south to All Saints church. We had a look inside and a good look around the exterior, finding no scratch dials to add to our collection. We set off south east along a track, and then by a road passing the pub we turned south into a field. We did this part of the walk in the opposite direction last time, at the field corner we then turned left onto a boggy field towards Horsey drainage mill. Here we had our sandwiches, with an olive entrĂ©e, kindly provided by Manola. Now it was full steam ahead to the “Nelson’s Head” by road and permissive path. After being shepparded by the landlady, we enjoyed pints of Woodforde’s Wherry and Nelson’s Revenge in excellent condition. Refreshed, we headed for the coast to see the seals with their pups. There were no Seal Wardens about when we arrived, and the 355 seal pups had taken liberties in the absence of authority - plonking themselves well over the blue polypropylene rope boundary!
We returned to the cars parked at Horsey Gap to sample this weeks delicacies: Manola did us proud with Scottish Lochmuir™ Smoked Salmon mini terrine slices, that were very yummy and M&S Spicy Red Houmous and Olive crackers. To refresh the pallet a cheese course: lightly smoked Polish cheese made from mountain ewes’ milk with Scottish oatcakes. Now the pie: The good-looking glossy pie was low on aroma when cut, but revealed a promising dark pink filling, nicely jellied. The munching revealed the crust to be good and the filling to be flavoursome. This pie tasted far better without the addition of any mustard. The pie munchers were impressed and it came in with a spot on score of 8 despite some one giving it a 6, hence a rather high standard deviation of 1.18322. Just in case we had not replaced the calories burnt off on our 5 mile walk, the Walk Master produced Highland Shortbreads!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Pork Pie Virgin Cured!

We sampled pies this week, but only just! The weather was poor – cold and more snow forecast. The munchers were joined this week by pork pie enthusiast, Manola, for a rather shorter than usual, 4½ mile, local walk. The Walk Master had incorporated a pub lunch, which he booked for 1:00 pm, rather than eat sandwiches in the snow. We parked at Eaton Park and headed west to the University of East Anglia and walked around the north edge of the lake. Here we debated the aesthetic of the accommodation, I personally like it. We continued past the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and crossed the River Yare. We then continued south, walking along by the river on our left, and then crossing it again by the start of the UEA lake. On our journey we met many lovely dogs, including a young, mad black Labrador who had broken his lead and enthusiastically greeted us, as we approached a wooded area. Much of the footpath was on boarded walkways now as we headed further south, following the river. Our path took us under the A11 and passing the old mill house on the opposite bank, I noticed a dinosaur skeleton in the garden! Then onto the old road bridge with a plaque showing the flood level on the 28th August 1912, 5 or 6 feet above today's level. We now turned north and walked down the road to arrive at the Cellar House, spot on one O'clock. Josie ordered Cod and hand cut chips, while the rest of us had the roast. The food was tasty, with the vegetables nicely cooked. Unfortunately we only had one plate of vegetables to share amongst five of us, and service was somewhat lacking.After the meal we were joined by a dapper Don, who had walked from the city centre in his new chinos, to join us in the pub. We walked back to the cars first along Bluebell Road and then on footpaths to Eaton Park. We walked through the park, passing by the model boat lake with a little dog walking on the 2” thick ice. On reaching the cars, the Walk Master invited us back to his, for a cup of drink. Here we were joined by Jeff - a self-confessed pork pie virgin, that we cured of his affliction! We were not originally going to have pies, as we'd only just had a meal a short while ago and we had cakes. But Manola said: "a walk is not a walk without a pork pie". We had pies: an 8oz and two 4oz pies from G. Morris & Sons that had been purchased earlier in the week, to be consumed after the NIAS AGM, but never made it there. The pies were not scored, but the consensus was that the 8oz pie was superior to the 4oz. Josie then presented cakes that she had brought to celebrate her birthday last month. So definitely more calories consumed than burnt off this week!