So yesterday I took a trip with Rlindz and the wife to Birmingham to visit the BBC Good Food Show at the National Exhibition Centre.
Bloody good it was too. Loads of food to see, beers to try and local produce to sample. Added to that gardens to peruse, posh garden kitchens (kitchens – for your garden) to see, playhouses to spoil over privileged children with and celebrity chefs it made out to be a fantastic day. Even if my legs did ache from all the walking.
The bonus ball was that we had got tickets to watch the Hairy Bikers cook up a storm with the added bonus of seeing James Martin(!!!!!!) make a sugar strand “crash helmet”. The warm up compère pointed me out “hilariously” as a “Hairy biker in Training” (the twat) but I was expecting something like that.
I tried some of the hottest chutneys I’ve ever tasted, some delicious drinks and I paid £3.50 for a bacon sandwich (they saw me coming). But we also bumped into Emma-formerly-Emma-in-Brighton and her partner which was jolly damn nice too.
Probably the best part of the day was getting home to discover that the programme we had been given for free (and as many copies as we needed) had a little price in the corner of £10. Believe me, if I’d paid £10 for one of those programmes I’d have been seriously pissed off. How is it that places feel that they can charge a premium for programmes when they contain bugger all?
I’d wax lyrical about the whole event but sadly I am uninspired and I have a headache today. Never the less, I’m bloody sure jimrock would have loved it and I know that a few other readers would have enjoyed it too.
It was the switching on of the christmas lights in Barnsley last night. I didn’t go, I wasn’t told about it until about an hour before hand. I also didn’t go because it wasn’t me that was asked to switch on the lights, which of course, I am deeply bitter about. Still. Who wants fame eh? Frightfully awful people with bad cocaine habits and questionable taste in sexual activities probably.
The £7 ($14) per person to get in was just right. On entering we had to walk through the trade stands.
The first couple of stalls were just boring old countrywear stuff (like hats and coats) and a photographer and some people selling costume jewelry. But it wasnt long until we were busy trying out the chutneys at the Crusty Pie Company stall. I tried the Flaming hot Chutney which was surprisingly mild with a little tickle of chilli that sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Nothing like the Gringley Gringo stuff but never the less a fantastic chutney. (It actually went rather well with the Pork and Apple stuffing Pie we bought from the same stall).
Further exploration took us towards the Root Organics stall who deliver to parts of west and south Yorkshire. They had demonstrative boxes showing the differences between their boxes. I entered their competition (I wont win) and I am going to try and convince Mrs Gnomepants that we need to get their large mixed box. During the discussion we wandered into the Fair Trade tent and saw how they do good work for the producers in far off places who get paid next to nothing by the evil mega-corporations. Slavery eh? You think it was abolished? Hahahahaha. Anyway. Drink this water.
Next off we had a wander round to the other stalls. Cheese Cheese Cheese, who believe it or not sell socks cheese had a vast selection of different cheeses (we bought the Lancashire with apple cinnamon and raisin and some creamy ordinary lancashire).
We walked past the Venison stand and headed out past the vintage cars and over to the animal tents. Saw prize pigs, prize cows, prize goats, prize sheeps, alpacas, dogs, rabbits and loads of other animals.
After a brief lesson by the chef at Mustard and Punch (seriously go to the website, their dishes are really yummy) in how to cook turbot with oysters and braised lettuce, a look at the Oakwell Hall stand and some bee keepers we adjourned for lunch. I had a hot pork sandwich with stuffing and apple. Y-U-M!!
More animals and a look round the posh “we live in the countryside” cars before heading home. Like I said yesterday, I was absolutely knackered but I really enjoyed it. Anyway, some pictures for you to oggle:-
So we got to Wakefield on Friday, stayed the night and played with little Merrie May (or Bonnie as she is known o_0 dont ask) Then Saturday morning we set off up the A1 to the lovely village (or really tiny town) of Masham.
Masham has not one, but two brewerys (Blacksheep & Theakstons) , a lovely river running through it (the River Ure), a church, a cricket pitch and several music festivals a year. This weekend was billed as the Blacksheep Music Festival which was mainly folk based but also had Morris men and rappers (didnt see any sword dancers).
Once we had arrived, greeted Becky, Jim, Becky’s dad, Rachael, Beckys sister and brother Sarah and Ricky and a few new faces, navigated the minefield of cow pats and erected our “stand up inside” tent, we sat down for a brief lunch and beer before setting off to the Bruce Arms to watch a troupe of rappers with their sticks dance merrily to contemporary music while supping fine ale. We then made our way to the town/village hall where the band Waking the Witch did their bit then on to the White Bear where the heat forced us to sit in the cool interior and listen to the Hall Brothers through the window.
We then tootled back to camp in the searing heat, had a crazy barbeque and a few tinnies then set back into town for an evening in the Blacksheep Brewery and the god awful racket that was Stanley Accrington (if anyone says hes good, theyre telling big huge Everest size porkies) and the lovely Flossie Malavialle. More beer was imbibed then we undertook a futile quest for chips resulting in us returning to the camp for bacon sandwiches.
Then the real fun began. Jim and Beckys dad got out their guitar and we started a good old sing along to be joined by a fair few other campers with their instruments. angelhands and I snook off to bed at about 1am but the campside fun went on until the early hours of the morning. As we said often, “In preparation for the annual Anglesey sojourn in 5 weeks time”
Sunday was just too hot. We broke camp and returned to Wakefield for lunch but the heat and lack of sleep got the better of me so I ended up having a “siesta”. Back on the road at 3pm and just as we got to the highest point on the M62, the heavens decided to open and we ended up floating down the other side of the Pennines. At home I tucked into a good old chippy dinner in front of the last episode of Dr Who, a well deserved shower followed. Then a bowl of popcorn and Sarah Michelle Gellar inThe Grudge which was an interesting slant on the original Japanese version Ju-On. Good none the less.