Britain’s Finest Fodder

March 5, 2017 2:29pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 30 Comments

Gonalston Farm Shop

Off Piste Posting on A Sunday Of All Days

I hate March.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I haven’t had an alcoholic drink for FIVE WHOLE DAYS.  No.  Although the days seem so much longer with no toxins.  Bored already.

Spring is starting to poke her lovely head round the corner but with about as much courage as a sheep in a wolf pen.  COME ON LADY! Put your bewwwts on, your best lippy and kick this dreariness into oblivion!  NB:  I was talking to Spring there and not myself.  I happen to do that daily.  And yesterday, in a fit of despair, I went to the farm shop.

You can always tell a farmer – but not much….

There’s nothing like getting yourself out into the beautiful English countryside and finding something to eat.  Besides, it’s important to support our local farmers now that we’re Brexiting.  And, I find that farmers fodder is much more interesting than the usual stuff at Asda.


Virginia Woolf quote - Jules Smith Writing

So, allow me to take you shopping. Just look at this colourful array of groceries in this humble, rustic barn!

But wait!  What is this I spy.  A big green egg! I WANT one.  I only want one because it’s £1250 and therefore must be amazing.  That’s more expensive than the oven in my kitchen.  Maybe all I need is a big green egg and a shed.

Life without cheese is meaningless.  If you don’t eat cheese we can’t be friends.

Look at this cheese counter!  Zut Alors, France! We don’t need your Camembert!  OK, maybe we do.  I kinda love it.  BUT know this: Cheddar is KING.

Sex, drugs and sausage rolls.  A British staple. Bought a few of those, I did.

Don’t want our bangers?  YOUR loss.  Just sayin’.  If there’s one thing this country does well, it’s sausages.

And yes, we too can do hot sauce.

Rather fancied this cooking sauce until I saw the rather scary face on the packaging.  Maybe that’s what you turn into after eating it… Somebody fire the marketing guy – I don’t get it.

Now Having spent lots of time in America and Texas, I understand a good cut of beef at fantastic prices.  Ours is a tad more expensive, but then we have butchers dressed in hats and aprons wielding big knives.

“Why you taking pictures of my meat, bird?”

£20 for a kg of T bone.

Maybe it’s cheaper if it’s older…?

Moving swiftly on to ….oh no…I’m distracted by temptation…


*Clenches teeth* Works out maths in head.  Five days from forty equals….Oh good, ONLY 35 days to go before this avenue of pleasure is allowed.  Unless I cheat.  Which is likely.  I’m only human.

God didn’t put apples on trees for nothing…



Anyway, after spending a months wages at the farm shop, I wandered lonely as a cloud outside.


A sign of Spring.  TOTAL LIE.

I finished my day in a lovely little tea shop where they serve tea PROPERLY.

And where they make proper puddings.  Another thing the Brits do best in the world.

Sticky date pudding and hot custard. Nice.  All’s well in the ‘Jules’world.


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Love This!
I would be so at home there!
I’m feeling the need. The Need for Mead!

Thanks, TC. It is a great place to cheer yourself up! Food always works.

Oh yes, me too! I quite fancy making my own. 😛 x

Cakes I want sticky date pudding, it does sound rather nice xx

It’s really nice! I can take you to the tea shop one day on a magical mystery tour! 🙂

Bloody hell: a tea cosy!
Can’t remember the last time I saw one of them.

There’s some top-notch grub in that gaff, Jules. I fancy a visit, myself.
Not sure I’d pay twelve hundred quid for a barbecue, though!

I know, Masher! I’ve not seen one of those in donkeys!

It’s a very nice gaff but a bit expensive. The Green Egg must be something else, right? Apparently, you can stick two turkeys in and they come out splendid. No need for Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay recipes. The Green Egg has powers!

Love that shop x

Hence me spending a fortune! We’ll have to go. Just for mead and cider tasting purposes….;) x

That all looked so delicious! As you know, it’s nearly impossible to get proper cheese here in the US, and the pudding is sub-par. I don’t know why that is, but it is.

When I lived there, a guy I knew bought/found/whatever a naval (sea) mine, defused, Cut open and turned into a BBQ. It still had some of the horns on it and had been pulled into his back garden. He was a grill master to be sure, but that darned mine was a perfect smoker. You can’t argue smoked meat with a guy that uses a mine to smoke it. You can try, but you won’t get anywhere.

Thank you for the tour and congrats on sobriety.

I thought you’d like that array of fine food, LL. Yeah, it’s hard to get decent cheeses over your end. Although you do have something cheesy that squirts out of a can which I found mist novel. I’m happy to smuggle real cheese over….
I certainly wouldn’t argue with a guy who can smoke his meat in a mine. Maybe you should invent/concoct something mad like that for the WWM! Challenge.

You’re welcome and thank you. I am almost, very nearly, quite angelic. 🙂

You can only claim angelic status once your clown church has been built and people are getting hit in the face with custard pies.

Ha! It’s close, Larry. Oh yes. I nearly bought an old church the other day…

I can’t wait. 🙂

What a gastronome you are, Jules! If I paid that much for a green egg I’d expect a dinosaur chick to hatch out of it. I’ll try your cheeses if you’ll try my fried grasshoppers!

I tell you what, Mr. Gorilla bananas, I’ll buy the green egg and see your grasshoppers inside it. Maybe we can put them on skewers, dip them in camembert and give the Chinese and French a run for their money! 🙂

i gained 5 pounds reading this post. and another 5 pounds from mead-retention. thank you mah dahlin, i’m now at a healthy weight. i am exactly 1 ounce which is heavy for a hummingbird *)

A one ounce humming bird, eh? Just the right size to go inside the big Green Egg and see if it’s really a Tardis….*)

Nice post Jules,
Here in Virginia, Spring has sprung already. We’re having an early one albeit the occasional cold flashes. Mother nature is having menopausal events as of late. We’ll probably be in full leaf by April 1.

Farmer’s markets are always the best. Sure beats the big boxes.

Do you ever find yourself in Virginia? Come visit.

Thank you, Hardnox!

I’ve been to Alexandria, Virginia twice. Once in the winter and it was freezing and once in the summer and it was boiling. I stayed there when visiting DC. It was very pretty and I did vow to enter into the heart of the place but never got round to it. However, since I’m there every few months of late I shall rectify this! And, it’s your round! ;P

Alrighty then… let me know when you will be there next and we’ll get together. Just give me some notice in advance. I have a horse ranch and simply need to schedule to break away. I’m about 70 miles from Alexandria. I lived there a long time ago.

Well that sounds cool!

Ok then, it’s a plan!

It might not be about your sobriety entirely, but that certainly can’t help the cause.

I love “America and Texas.” As if they were two different places.

What the hell is pork crackling? And why is that pig wearing the union, Jack?

Yeah, M, you might be right.

But they ARE two different places. Seriously!

Pork crackling is the crispy skin/ fat on top of a pork joint that for some reason we dry out and turn into strips, put in a bag and eat. Well, I don’t cos I don’t like it but lots of people do. I’m more of a bacon fan myself.

I think the pig is wearing a Union Jack to prove the produce is, indeed British and he wants to look a bit like Churchill. Or, marketing people are stupid. 🙂

Hah! The pork crackling caught my eye as well, and I assume it’s similar to the ‘pork rinds’ that are sold around here. Disgusting things, really, but they’re made out of pig, so I can’t be too critical.

Lovely Sunday photo cascade, Jules! And I love the hot custard on pudding at the end. That greatly relieved my winter blues just by looking at it. Cheers!

Like you, Grunt, I don’t get it but am happy to continue with bacon.

Thank you! And the pudding…well…total joy!

I’m not saying that March is a transdimensional portal but I was shopping at HEB while you were at the farm shop. HEB is a lot bigger but it has a far smaller selection of sausage, unless you want smoked sausage; that’s different, there’s shelves of it.

Sausage rolls are key.

Well how about that, LSP. I remember HEB well and although it doesn’t have the sausage factor it had 3 long aisles of ice cream. So much choice it is like being lost in Wonderland: tantalisingly stressful.

Sausage Rolls are life.

Nice one about the farmers (I know many), but don’t forget “Old fisherman never die, they just smell that way!”

Old fishermen never die,they just smell that way!

Sorry, brain glitch!

I like people with brain glitches, Goatman. It’s a sign of genius, you know. But I already knew that about you.

Ha! I like that. Writing it down! 🙂

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