New June box & ramble!

I hope this finds you well and that this wonderful sunshine is keeping your spirits up in the good zone. I’m afraid I don’t know what number that is on the latest Government scale which I believe the country hinges on but on the basis that the lower the number the better I’m aiming at the floor for you!

It’s been a very, very warm week here at The Smokery with Amber and Steph demanding electric fans to keep their humour somewhere near bearable and poor old Tim looking like he has been wrung out by the end of every day having been stood by a roaring open fire for most of them. Tyna has caused a little bit of a stir with the shortness of her shorts, this is a competition you will be relieved to hear I have decided not to enter, as if I did, I think a possible arrest for exposure may follow! They are all in great order and judging by the merciless leg lifting at Friday’s cold beer team meeting nearly all at my expense, they are in excellent spirits too.
I am delighted this morning to introduce the new JUNE BOX
We have tried to come up with something that hopefully helps with alfresco dining, picnic subliming and cold cut divining!! (apologies for that I think the heat might be getting to me!)

It contains: –
140 g of Pastrami made with glorious British beef brisket
200g of Somerset traditional cheddar
4 pork and parsnip sausages (these have been roasted over an open fire so can be eaten as a cold cut or reheated)
200g cold smoked salmon
1 hot smoked chicken breast
150g Long Clawson Stilton
All delivered to your door for £35

Something that becomes a permanent in our house at this time of year is one of our whole Hams. It doesn’t stay whole very long due to the ridiculous number of gannets (otherwise known as loons) that we appear to have but it is a brilliant fridge filler and lasts for ages. So, I thought I would offer you a 1.5kg whole ham delivered to any door of your choosing throughout the whole of June for £35 which is a saving of over £13.

One of the things that sets the weekend apart from the other days of the week when one is lucky enough to be so busy is the tea and hot chocolates we have on our bed with the loons in the morning. These are always a great 20 minutes or so before one leaps from one’s bed. The conversation can be extremely varied is always lively and with Stanley and Edith’s input often bordering on the edge of totally insane. Nancy sits there quietly simmering about the fact that her brothers have for the 366th day in a row have woken her prematurely, Edith with her Unicorn eye mask pushed up onto her forehead (yes, she really does sleep with this on every night) so that the Horn looks as if it has grown out of the top of her head whilst she slept, explains which clothes she intends to wear and in what order. She usually has at least five changes throughout the day dropping the discarded outfits wherever the idea to change strikes her?! Whilst Bertie this morning decided it was time to write to David Walliams and ask why he had not written a book about a small boy who loved cricket and could he please do so immediately. Throughout this Stanley simply sang a song about Roman Numerals over and over again until a pillow had to be removed from his mother’s grasp as by the look in her eyes, she had every intention of reducing us back down to three children from four! Other subjects that are usually discussed are what roast we will have on Sunday, again this tends to end in at least two out of four looking as if they have had a limb removed as they wanted beef not the decided upon pork. But through all of this nothing is more divisive and dangerous than the discussion of what film will be selected for the family film night that we have on a Saturday evening. Last week it was Stanley’s choice and with great excitement he selected something titled “Trolls 2” it clearly felt and sounded as if it would be right up there with walking on Lego barefoot as an enjoyable experience but to everyone’s great surprise it was almost bearable and the majority were so entranced that I was able to have a crafty kip without being spotted! This week however was Bertie’s choice and once we had established that “The School of Rock” was an actual film and not somewhere he would simply like to go to it became clear to me that I may well not make it home as by some cruel stroke of luck one of the cold rooms would stop working and I would have to spend the early part of the evening waiting for the engineer to arrive. It appears that my chiller saved me from a terrible fate!!

Just as a little aside, one of the saddest things about leaving this house will be for Charlie to say goodbye to her garden especially her Ox-eye Daisies. So, I thought I would send you a quick picture as this year they are truly magnificent.

I hope you all have a lovely Sunday and enjoy the Ham and the June box which are now available on the website.

And remember if you ever meet someone who once wrote a song about Roman Numerals please remind them never to set foot in Somerset. They are not welcome!

My very best regards to you,


Sunday’s ramble & JP’s hair update!

I write to you this morning from my own kitchen table which is quite a rare treat. It may also turn out to be a challenge as these two lines have so far taken me half an hour due to one request to separate two bits of Lego, two requests from Olive, the dog, to be let out and back in again, and one application of stern words to Edith that should she resort to physical violence again on either of her brothers over what hideous piece of music ‘Alexa’ plays next, she will have a long and lonely day in her room!

I hope you are well and that you are enjoying what seems to be a rising tide of optimism regarding the loosening of these shackles we have all been wearing to greater or lesser degrees over the last couple of months. It is amazing what a bit of hope does to lift the mood a little and remind us that this bizarre time we are living through is of course only temporary and not forever. I do appreciate that this is clearly not the case for everyone and that poor old Mr Cummings may well now be wishing that he had not insisted on the full company car package as his private mileage declarations for April are proving a tiny bit tricky to advise away!!

We are all set for a busy week ahead with it being the last week that our Asparagus and May boxes are available. The English Asparagus season is drawing to a close which does nothing to improve my mood as I simply adore it. And of course our May Box will finish as the month does next Sunday. So if you would like one or two more hits of asparagus, smoked salmon, duck breast , trout and streaky bacon you only have until close of play on Wednesday to ensure you get one. The same applies to our whole sides of sliced smoked salmon. All three of these can be delivered to a door of your choosing for just £35 but once we get to next weekend they will be gone. I will of course have other lovely offers and ideas for you but more of those next week.

Finally, news from the homestead which is on the whole observational this week and yet no less concerning because of it! There are two meals in our house that are pretty much set in stone and are both pillars of the reputed day of rest Sunday. The first of these is Breakfast. Mrs P gets to have that holy grail of luxuries an uninterrupted bath with her book. I prepare the five different dishes requested?! The one common denominator being hot croissants. There is one commodity that appears on this table that is absent any other day of the week, this is the dreaded Nutella! The problem arises when the said Nutella jar is nearly empty and all four of the loons become and start to behave as jumpily as a box of frogs. All four sets of eyes never leave the jar following its every move and with ever increasing looks of horror as they watch a sibling potentially have the last scrapings. Deep sighs ring out, and if you are sat in the wrong place you can feel nothing short of a huge desire to run and hide! This pack behaviour is repeated a few hours later with the Nutella replaced by the volume of gravy that is on the table. I love to underfill the gravy jug leaving plenty in the roasting tin just for the pleasure of pouring nearly all of it onto my plate and passing Nancy the dregs in the bottom and innocently apologising and saying I thought she “had already had some” . This can lead to a whole rest of day silence and sulk if I let it with her siblings laughing heartily before realising how appalling it would have been had it been them without enough gravy! Apparently world domination, wealth and status has the same effects on ‘grown ups’ and I rather like the fact that mere Nutella and gravy are sufficient at Pattisson HQ.

A month or so ago I mentioned my concern over the length of my strawberry blond locks. The girls have insisted this morning on showing how serious the situation has become. (pic attached I’m afraid)

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and keep smiling rumour has it that some sort of end may be in sight?!

I’m off to make vats of gravy and check my monthly mileage has no skeletons hiding from Mrs P in it.

My very, very best regards,


Ramble & a limerick this week!

Good morning from deepest Somerset where the silage has been cut everywhere we look and the smell is simply glorious.

I won’t pretend that everything is glorious mainly due to my two daughters Nancy and Edith who insisted that the best way for me to “chillax” when I got home from The Smokery yesterday evening was to give me a glass of something delicious and chilled and usher me into my favourite chair. They of course were absolutely right and for five minutes it was a total joy. However, they then announced that their chosen viewing was the Eurovision Song Contest! I confess I spilt a little of my wine at the speed I sat up but then took great pleasure and relief in telling them that it was cancelled this year. The smugness of their smiles and the evil in their eyes should have told me that all was lost. The replacement programme that the mad, mad makers of Eurovision created instead of the real thing was possibly two hours of the most appalling and arduous viewing I have ever seen. I am told it is a music programme and I can honestly say that of all the thousands of notes that were sung, wailed and screamed at me not a single one was anything but flat!! My mood is a tiny bit improved but not much!!

I’m not convinced it is likely to improve much today either as I have been ordered to be home by 2.30pm at the latest, as the Pattisson side of the family – my folks, sisters, nephews and nieces are to hold a poetry competition! One we were all given three weeks to write a masterpiece for and today is performance and judgement day with a little help from the dreaded ZOOM communication system! I have to admit to having reverted to the tried and tested methodology that I applied throughout my academic career, namely leave it until the day before it has to be handed in!! For inspiration I reached out not to Tennyson or Byron but instead to greatest of them all Spike Milligan and his favoured form of prose the Limerick!! After about 10 mins thought whilst making vats of salmon pate (delicious by the way) this is what I came up with and is my entry

The Virus called Covid descended.
The world was entirely up-ended,
No Pubs, no sport and nobody taught.
Even Boris succumbed,
but he mended.

I like to think Spike would be proud and if it doesn’t win it’s a travesty!!
We have been hugely busy again this week and the May and Asparagus boxes are proving so popular with many of you saying such lovely things about how you and your friends have been enjoying them.
They are both available until the end of May along with all our products which you can order online at or call Amber in the office from 9am tomorrow morning on 01458 250875.

Finally, a little news from the homestead where Bertie has been immersing himself in all things Boudicca and her neighbourly dispute with the Romans a while back. Stan has latched onto this and as in all things felt the strong and brotherly need to take the part of the leading Celt protagonist?! He is an actor of the method variety and when he takes a part on has to apply it to all parts of his life be it dog walking or indeed table manners, to watch him eating a chicken leg at the Sunday roast with not a knife or fork in sight is a truly shaming experience as a parent and makes me never more grateful for lockdown! We didn’t really have the heart to tell him that the one major error in his characterisation and historical accuracy was that Celts were unlikely to have carried light sabres! A photo of ‘Stan the Celt’ is attached.

I hope you have a restful Sunday and remember if anyone offers you a petition calling for the immediate banning of Eurovision, please, please sign it!

My very best regards,