Saturday, 29 January 2011

Select Meats large pie

We ended the month with a proper pork pie – one sampled before on the November 15th 2009, from Select Meats of Loddon. Ashwellthorpe was the chosen munching location, parking at All Saints church with its single scratch dial. We headed off north, leaving the picturesque rear of the church with its large “E” shaped pond in the grounds. A one and a half mile loop round on footpaths, returned us to The Street, that we crossed and then headed south for St. Nicolas church in Fundenhall. Here we ate our sandwiches followed by After Eight mints! brought along by Joan. Having previously recorded the single scratch dial and feeling rather cold for stopping, we headed briskly south west to Fundenhall Street. The going was very muddy and frequently punctuated by styles to negotiate. We passed dairy cows, as we made our way north back to Ashwellthorpe, and on to the warmth of the White Horse. Here we enjoyed warm welcome and sampled very reasonably priced pints of Ruddles County and Swallowtail from the Humpty Dumpy brewery. It was then a short walk along The Street to the cars and straight into the large pie. It looked good and smelt good too, though not a great deal of aroma. A little jelly was present and added to the very good taste of this pie with a good crust, not surprisingly finding favour with the munchers giving it a good score of 8.9357 with a standard deviation of 0.49552. So a normalised score of 9 for Select Meats this time, beating their previous score of 7.
Roll mouse over picture to see uncut pie

The second course was kindly baked by Liz: a wonderfully moist and tasty fruitcake. No shortbread was needed after this.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

"Holly Lane" mince pies

King Canape was not walking this week, and King Can was not feeling too well. Fearing that we would not have a quorum to judge a pork pie, the Pie Master provided the canapés and mince pies. The Walk Master had devised a walk slightly less than usual six miles starting from Neatherd Moor, East Dereham. From here we took a footpath north, emerging to a great view of the 1964 Water Tower. Continuing our way north to Northall Green, we then headed west. During this leg of the walk we took a couple of wrong turns and had to walk back, so we ended up doing our six miles. After walking through Humbletoft, the walk became very undulating before we emerged on to Rush Meadow, where we followed the river Wensum south, passing the sewage works. We made our way east towards East Dereham, emerging from a footpath by “Ted Ellis Walk”. Lunch was taken on the west facing seats in the churchyard, as St. Nicolas church porch was locked. Checking that the church did not have a scratch dial, we headed into town, pausing to admire the pargeting on Bishop Bonner's Cottage. On our search for liquid refreshments we came upon the old Hollywood cinema, now the “Plough & Furrow” and boasting a “vast selection of bottled & draft beers” - we found it to have no real ale. Another pub too failed to provide this elusive commodity. Finally we came upon the King’s Head Hotelwhere we sampled Black Panther from the new Panther brewery that has risen from the ashes of the former Reepham Brewery. Refreshed, we headed east out of town passing the Victorian railway station complete with its water tower and water engine. On reaching Neatherd High School, we took the footpath north to Neatherd Moor. We headed west back to the cars, passing the duck pond. The Canapés were J Sainsbury’s Spicy red lentil dip and their Onion and garlic dip with Oatcakes. The “Holly Lane” mince pies were the second course – a bargain from Aldi at 29p for a pack of six! The Führer provided the Shortbreads, but these were not to the high standards of the Walk Master.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Fig Rolls at Trunch

No pies for the Munchers this week: Friday evening, the Walk Master and Weather Wizard called a walk on Saturday, in order to miss the forecast bad weather on the Sunday. We headed to Trunch, parking at the Village Hall, with its fine chimney. From here we walked west passing St. Botolph’s church on our right. After passing through the village we headed north by footpath before heading further west, passing Howard’s Close. We then made our way north to Gimingham, passing sheep being rounded up, before getting on the Paston Way. On reaching Heath Lane we then followed it east to central Gimingham, and turned south to eat our sandwiches in the porch of All Saints church with its single scratch dial, previously recorded. Post lunch, we continued south a little way before heading west to Hall Farm, to complete the first loop of the figure of 8 walk. Now it was a zigzag route in a southeasterly direction to Trunch church. Having visited several times before, and recording its scratch dial, we just walked through the grounds to the Crown. Here we enjoyed pints of Batemans G.H.A. – a very good brew. We left the warmth of the pub to walk the short distance to the cars for a cup of tea. We had only a few spots of light rain, but it had been very bracing! The Pie Master did not have time to get a pie and we didn’t pass any butchers, so we had to make do with Fig rolls. We ended with the customary Shortbread.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Bystanders post Christmas Lunch

The second Sunday of January was the Bystanders post Christmas Lunch that had been organised by King Canape. But disaster struck on the day – Charles was too unwell to attend and had to be rushed to Accident and Emergency. The Pie Master had to take on the role of Master of Ceremonies in his absence. Thankfully things had been organised well and it all ran like clockwork! Costessey Park Golf Club did an exceptional job of catering for over 70 of us. Following the meal various entertainment was provided by some of the theatrical Bystanders attending the Meal. Charles was kept in hospital and fitted with a pacemaker, being discharged on Thursday the 13th. His ordeal was made worse by Kilverstone ward having the norovirus bug, so he could not have visitors. I am pleased to report that Charles is recovering well and has now paid for our meal!

All photographs from Jilly Hudson

Pork Pie is a luxury artisan foodstuff

The Independent newspaper, today reports that the once humble pork pie is now reborn – as a luxury artisan foodstuff. Click here to read the article.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Arthur Binley of Barnsley

The Pie Munchers were keen to make an early start to the new year - not waiting until the traditional Sunday chomp, we set off for Cromer to sample a Arthur Binley’s pork pie from Barnsley, kindly supplied by Staci, on Saturday the 1st. We started a little later than usual, as the plan was to take in the fireworks on Cromer pier at 17:00. Parking on Howard’s Hill, we headed west over Roundabout Hill before heading south, down Green’s Lane. We passed through Cromer Cemetery, seeing some tacky gravestones before entering into Felbrigg Great Wood. Here the Walk Master magically navigated, unaided, through this woodland to bring us to Felbrigg Hall, where we had our lunch on the picnic tables by the walled garden. Following lunch, we then picked up Weaver’s Way, heading north, back to Cromer, passing Cromer Zoo and Cromer Hall. No Canapés this week, so straight into the pie: It had a rather uninspiring external appearance. The pie was sliced into six, as there were only five of us, and released little in the way of aroma, but hinting of Pork Cheese. The bright pink filling with little jelly was tasty but nothing special. The pie had been purchased some time ago, so we discounted the fact that the bland crust was not as crisp as it might have been. Our first pie of the year was judged to have a score of 6.4 and the standard deviation was 1.18322. The pie master had also brought “Holly Lane” deep filled mice pies from Aldi. These found favour with the munchers – some having a second pie.
Roll mouse over picture to see uncut pie

We then made our way to the sea front to enjoy a very good firework display on the pier, and from rafts on the sea. Perhaps not as large as the London fireworks, but very good and at a far more civilised hour!

Hand held exposures using the pie camera