Sunday, 13 October 2013

Alas Poor Rabbit We Cooked Him Well

If someone had suggested last year that we'd be spending an autumn Saturday sampling sausages at twelve different venues in a small Suffolk town whilst being transported between those venues in a pink stretch limo and that one of those tastings would be at In Da Cottage, a shop selling the unlikely combination of "Antiques And Sourdough Bread",  I'd have said they were having a laugh. But that's what came to pass yesterday as we encountered our first annual sausage festival in our new home town.

The event's fame had spread to Wapping and was listed in The Times' "great days out this weekend" which must have boosted numbers. The £4 fee bought a book of perforated voting slips entitling the holder to sample and vote on sausages at each venue and, in addition, along with the ballot slips were a couple of stretch limo vouchers to reach the sites at the extremities of the town. 

After a very fine coffee at the Lemon Tree, where we managed to finish The Times Jumbo2 crossword without using the iPhone to cheat for the first time in a while, we bought our weekend's provisions at Leo's Deli, Hall Farm Butchers and the greengrocers before heading off on the trail. And what a delicious trail it was too! Fortunately the sausage samples were not too large and artery threatening and we assessed the samples seriously and marked them honestly on three categories. The big problem for me was the question "How likely are you to buy regularly?". However delicious a sausage might be I am hardly likely to drive to Norfolk to buy a packet so our own Co-op and Hall Farm butchers had to score highest here.

After the event I tweeted this and was delighted to hear later that our local butcher had used their home advantage and won. I don't know how my other selections finished.

Although we've lived here for almost nine months now we've not actually been at home for more than a few weeks at a time so it's taking some time to get into a routine but there's certainly plenty going on. In addition to the Sausage Fest yesterday the excellent Crown was holding a small sale of jewellery and accessories in one of their function rooms. Marion bought this lovely and inexpensive pair of gloves (the photo colour is wrong - they're grey) and another present which I won't mention here as the recipient may well read this. We also saw the excellent Roadii outdoor fire cooking system outside The Crown and we will be getting one for next spring.

We ended the day with a rabbit dish. I finally persuaded Marion to give it a try so the butcher jointed one for me and I used The Hairy Bikers' recipe off the BBC website. Slow cooked with prunes, brandy, wine, shallots and finished with double cream it may not have been the healthiest of Saturday night meals but it was very tasty and once Marion had got over the association with Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit I think she enjoyed it.

A very pleasant day ended with watching The X Factor and my annual ritual of betting on it on Betfair whilst reading everyone's comments on Twitter. Someone tweeted "It's S**t" but I can't disagree more. Manipulative perhaps but always entertaining and, at the moment my bets are going in the right direction (all winnings being offset however by Marion's phone bill as she votes for Rough Copy)