Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas is coming . . . .

The Intrepid Pie Tasters!

Well, my first ever expedition into the world of competition judging is over, and I have to confess I thoroughly enjoyed it. First off I was called upon to judge stand pies in the Great Yorkshire Pork Pie, Sausage and Products competition in Bradford. Now that was a daunting task, with 45 stand pies to taste and no sign of my former Breakfast Show sidekick and celebrated pie gourmet Julian Hotchkiss. The whole thing took over three hours, and I was absolutely pie'd out by the time we'd finished. I learnt a lot though, about pie construction, pastry making, gravy and meat fill and texture. My final task was to join with Ilkley butcher David Lishman - current president of the Confederation of. Yorkshire Butchers Councils - and a colleague, to judge the Supreme Champion Yorkshire Sausage and Pork Pie. In the end it was an easy decision on both counts, particularly with the sausage, made by a butcher from Kippax. It was quite extraordinary - utterly delicious!
Hard at work!
All my training was put to good use the following weekend, when I was invited yet again, this time to the Great Northern Pie Fest. This was a much more relaxed, low key affair, held at Skipton Auction Mart. I described it in a subsequent news bulletin as something of a re-enactment of the Wars of the Roses, with pies from both the White Rose and Red Rose counties entered. We didn't know which pies were whose, and by the end of the day Yorkshire beat Lancashire. But it was a close run thing, with pies from a butcher in Barnoldswick taking one of the top awards. I've been invited back again next year - you can guess what my response was!! (dribble, drool!)

Christmas is drawing ever nearer, and the Solid Gold Sunday crew are out this week for our Christmas meal. We're off to a favourite restaurant on Wednesday evening for a full Christmas Dinner, which we're all very much looking forward to. We never seem to be able to go to events with the rest of the Fresh team, as they're invariably arranged on a Friday night when we're working - I wonder if someone is trying to tell us something?? The old Breakfast Show crew did get out last week though, for an excellent meal at the Tempest Arms in Elslack. I managed to bag one of just two tables that had been available. Lovely meal, great atmosphere, can thoroughly recommend it!


  1. I remember you two munching pies on the Breakfast Show at every available opportunity! We all still miss you here in Sedbergh!
    Judy, Frank, George and Sophie

  2. I prefer not to get anonymous comments, but thanks very much all the same! I think I may have met Frank in the cafe in Sedbergh when I did the Gala there a couple of years ago? And if I remember correctly he brought me a bacon sandwich out into the street?

  3. Sorry about the "Anonymous" post. It seems to want me to have a Googlemail account, so the only other option I understood was the Anonymous one. And Frank says it was quite a while ago when you did the Gala. You had a little blue Fresh AM car! Judy