Overstrand Life - Janet's Diaries

November 1st - 15th 2011

Tuesday 1st November - Fireworks, Food Finds, Getting Ahead and Poppy Appeal

The last few days of October were pleasantly warm; 17°C during the day, about 5°C above average. The forecast looks good for early November, with a possibility of rain Thursday, clearing for Friday. Which reminds me it is the Parish Council Fireworks Display on Friday evening; more details of this family event on the Calendar 2011 page.

Two new food finds and only just down the road in Mundesley. When I was working we always maintained that the best form of marketing is ‘word of mouth’ and this was the case with both our new finds. Firstly, the butchers; their sausages were recommended. Friday, we drove down the coast road, parking in the busy car park adjacent to the shop and bought a piece of loin of pork (chined, scored and tied to perfection), some smoked streaky bacon, minced steak and of course, sausages. We ate the pork on Sunday, absolutely delicious with rich brown juices for the gravy and crunchy crackling. The bacon was grilled for sandwiches and to accompany macaroni cheese, sausages are on the menu for Wednesday and the mince is in the freezer. We were both impressed with the quality of the pork and bacon as well as the display of meats, which included Mutton; along with the delicatessen’s cold meats, pies, cheeses and bread etc. They have certainly gained our favour, well worth the fifteen minute or so drive and worthy of an entry on the Food page, under the Directories tab.

As mentioned in my diary for Tuesday 18th October, we are keen to source some Longshore Herrings. This is where Mundesley came up trumps, The Lobster Pot was recommended by a gentleman sat outside the Crown Pub in Trunch the other week. The Lobster Pot is located in the car park behind the butchers but unfortunately no herrings were available on Friday. We phoned on Tuesday morning and yes supplies, caught in the Caister area, had arrived. Oh, they were delicious. Eaten in the evening, gutted and heads off before simply slashing, flouring and frying until crisp on the outside but still moist on the inside; these have to be our absolute favourite fish. We are really looking forward to more but in the meantime the Lobster Pot has also been added to the Food Page.

I really am getting ahead of myself – I made our Christmas pudding on Saturday. This is early for me but with the mixture prepared I left it overnight for the brandy, eggs, milk and lemon juice to plump up the fruits before boiling it on Sunday afternoon. Once again I have used a recipe from a 1923’s edition of Mrs Beeton’s Household Management, handed down to me by Peter’s Mum. It contains no added sugar, relying on the dried fruits for sweetness and although dark when cooked, is not as heavy or stodging as some pudding recipes. Obviously I am on a ‘roll’ - our Christmas cake followed; with the fruits soaked in brandy Sunday night, I made and cooked the cake on Monday using Delia Smith’s rich fruit cake recipe. It is now wrapped in greaseproof and foil and will be ‘fed’ with brandy on a weekly basis, prior to icing mid-December. Apart from buying a pack of cards the other week this is the extent of my Christmas preparations – no rush, plenty of time.

We were asked if we would like to ‘sell’ Poppies again this year, for the British Legions Annual Poppy Appeal. Most happy to do this, we were allotted three different roads this year. Historically a fishing village before being dubbed the ‘Village of Millionaires’, the style and size of properties are diverse, some approached down long drives and others tucked away with their courtyard gardens. On our ‘round’ I noted a remarkable range of door knocker styles; these were mainly on the older properties. A photo gallery on my site sprang to mind but of course I would need each individual owner’s permissions before doing so.

Saturday 6th November - Overstrand Gardening Club, Parish Council Meeting, Facebook, Fireworks and a Rave

Tuesday afternoon’s meeting of the Overstrand Gardening Club welcomed Richard Hobbs who spoke to the group, with some excellent projected photographs, on the subject ‘Fruits and Seeds – A Feast for the Birds and Eyes’. Mr Hobbs is a former director of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, a bulb enthusiast who also conducts walking and wildlife holidays. His knowledge is diverse on both native and foreign plants. I have a great respect for speakers who use the full Latin names for plants – I have difficulty remembering common names for those in our garden and still struggle with a number of wild flowers we see in fields and along the wayside.

Tuesday 8th November - New Links, Fungi and Grey Days

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