Blustery smokery & Will’s first smokes!

Good Morning, from what feels like the middle of a serious tempest here in Somerset.  The hatches are very much “battened down” on top the hill here where the smokery sits.  One can’t help but feel a little sorry for Will who having decided to stay on with us long term started his training with Tim on how to become a ‘Master Smoker’ yesterday.  This morning he is tackling the extremely tricky business of roasting our Goose and Plum sausages over the open fire of the hot smoker.  Now this is a tricky cook at the best of times due to the glorious goose fat that is obviously a significant ingredient of a goose sausage.  As you’d expect when they get going and start dripping some of that lovely fat onto the fire it can get quite excitable and not watched properly a decent inferno can develop very quickly!  When it does 80 glorious sausages become 80 burnt matchsticks in the winking of an eye!!  Add to that, that this morning we have 40 mile an hour winds and our flue is 15 foot proud of the roof the efficiency with which the fire is drawing is almost scary. No pressure for the poor boy but I have made it clear that every destroyed sausage comes out of his wage packet (honestly it’s the only way he will learn)!  Just to add a little more to his apprehension Tim is taking plenty of photos which I have attached.

 

We are so grateful to be as busy as ever and continue to send all sorts of parcels and gifts of food all over the place to hopefully give people a lift with messages of good days to come from loved ones they are temporarily cut off from.  The Jolly January Box and indeed all our hampers are proving hugely popular as are our pates and steaks as gastronomic treats seem to be one of the few things people can have to look forward to and cheer them up of an evening after what can feel like to many, long dreary days.  So order away at our websitewww.brownandforrest.co.uk or call Amber in the office on 01458 250875.

 

As for me Mrs P has messaged to say that tonight we are having toad in the hole with our pork and cider sausages it is one of my absolute favourites and she mixes thinly sliced leeks and red onion into the batter which is simply glorious.  My mood has already lifted as a result and I will now have to wipe down my keyboard as I appear to have drooled onto it!

 

I must away as there appears to be rather too strong a smell of roasting sausages coming up the stairs and Amber is looking rather nervously towards the amount of smoke that is wafting towards us and Tim’s voice is now significantly louder than it was and appears to only be using words of one syllable.  Is this the end of the shortest apprenticeship in history …?

 

Keep warm, safe and dry today if you can.

 

My very, very best regards,

 

Jess

Return of the Pattisson school of academic excellence & smokery barn cricket

Good Morning, from the most glorious cold and frosty morning here in Somerset. I am sat at our kitchen table with a delicious coffee, Olive’s (the dog) head on my leg and shamefully still in my pyjamas. We have just fed the loons with a huge Sunday morning breakfast in the vain hope that they will not require feeding again before this evening but knowing in all reality that unless there is a full roast delivered by 1.30pm at the latest there is likely to be a revolution accompanied by threats of calls to social services.

We have had a strange first week of the New Year here with the return of the ‘Pattisson School of Academic Excellence’ the headmistress informs me that it’s been a mixed week of calm and serene learning and having to lock the boys in the garden with “almost screams” of “I don’t care how cold it is I am not letting you back in until you’ve done 50 laps!”. Meanwhile, at The Smokery we have been wonderfully busy sending Jolly January Boxes, sides of salmon and lots and lots of all sorts of other goodies to folk with mainly messages of a “keep your chin up” nature. We have also received so many lovely messages from people saying how much they have enjoyed their Christmas feastings and how well received all that were sent as presents have been. I have also been somewhat amazed and incredibly humbled (in a non-Uriah Heep way) by how many missives I have received saying how much you have enjoyed these rambles of mine, and how they raise the odd smile in times of glumness. So thank you very much you have made a chap, hitherto considered only slightly above the illiterate bracket, jolly chuffed and a tiny bit proud.

We are nearly back up to full steam regarding the amount of our products available for you to order and have indeed added some notable new ones in the form of wine. So many folk ask if we can add a bottle of something to orders they are placing or gifts they are sending that I have put together an offering of four options with my friend Paddy who supplies us with all our wines and I can assure you that they are all delicious and I sacrificed hours of time tasting away late into the night to ensure you enjoy them. The sacrifices one makes for ones business are sometimes almost too much to bear!

So you can now order anything from a Jolly January Box, a Hamper, a pot of trout pate, pork belly or some sausages and simply add a bottle of wine from Rose, Malbec, Sauvignon blanc and Prosecco to any order you choose. We have half bottles in all but the Rose too. So we are here to carry on sending boxes of morale boosting food and treats fortified with a little liquid libation if so required. Everything can be ordered on the website www.brownandforrest.co.uk or call the office and speak to Amber on 01458 250875.

 

Finally, I thought I would share with you a lesson I learned this week. We have been moving a large amount of our cardboard boxes from a barn off site back to HQ, it was a job that fell to Will, Seb and I and on Friday morning I left the chaps to it to clear enough space in our barn to accommodate said packaging. I was only away for a couple of hours and yet when I returned and quietly entered the barn I was somewhat surprised to hear what sounded like cricket commentary punctuated by raucous laughter. As I stealthily climbed the stairs I discovered that a wonderful space had indeed been cleared BUT at one end of it was William brandishing a cricket bat and Seb appeared to be hurling down an imaginary missile from the other end. As you can imagine I was livid and left them in no doubt about how hugely disappointed I was with them. I finished my tirade with how I simply could not understand that if they had had the good sense to identify my old cricket bag and remove a piece of willow from it, why on earth they had not looked properly and found themselves a ball with which to play properly?! I then quickly rectified this situation rolled back the years and proceeded to hit William all over the park!

I am not sure how much real work will get done this week as we have now developed a full league system for indoor, smokery barn cricket!

Apologies for the ridiculous length of this missive and hope you manage a restful day ahead.

My very, very best regards,

Jess

New year Sunday ramble

Merry New Year from a jolly chilly Somerset.

I have to confess to being rather hopeless when it comes to actually physically seeing the New Year in and fear that I have not managed it for 4 or 5 years!  Mrs P has always been of the opinion that its an overrated and an anticlimatical pastime and this coupled with the fact that we are very rarely not in bed by 9pm and asleep by half past was a reasonable body of evidence to suggest this year (last year) would be no different.  How wrong I was!  At breakfast on New years Eve Nancy (14) and Edith (11) were behaving with a somewhat worryingly and slightly out of character sweetness that would have made Mr Willy Wonka himself blush.  This, when aligned with a helpfulness and charm that appeared to be oozing out of every pore of their bodies would have led even the most hopeless of investigators to realise that something was afoot.  Indeed it was!  Having made their mother a delicious cup of tea and presented it alongside a freshly warmed mince pie they struck … “Mummy can we stay up until midnight to jump into the new year?”.  The volume of my guffawing was quite something.  The speed with which it then turned to dramatic choking (on my mince pie) on hearing their clearly, unbeknownst to me, deranged mothers reply was simply pathetic. “Yes of course you can I certainly won’t be but your father will stay up with you”.  I sulked for apparently a good few hours before accepting my fate.  All I can say is that I honestly tried, but by 10pm I was in real trouble and was extremely jealous of the deafening snores of Mrs P reaching us from overhead.  I left them with James Bond doing his best to save the world and realised I should have gone much earlier as I caught them high fiving each other as I bid them a final good night!

 

So here we are into a New Year and no matter how determined the headline writers are to reduce us all to terrified glum and lonely beings I refuse to yield.  To this end we have decided to have a ‘Jolly January’ and hopefully offer you a few things to bring good cheer.  Firstly let me introduce our January Box.  This contains: –

200g cold smoked salmon

4 x goose and plum sausages

2 x hot smoked trout fillets

200g smoked bacon

2 x smoked chicken breasts

All delivered to any well deserving and much needed door of your choice for £35

 

I have also decided to have a rather old fashioned sounding January sale to hopefully lift the spirits a little further and so

our whole sides of sliced smoked salmon will now be just £35 delivered to your door along with our unsliced sides which will be delivered for just £32 a saving of £10 in both cases. Remember they freeze beautifully and so don’t have to be fully consumed in one sitting.

 

I will leave you with a quick memory of this time of year from ‘way back when’.  It was in my opinion undoubtedly the worst part of Christmas and the cause of the most dramatic rows when my sisters and I were young (and I fear adolescent too).  The day our Mum said those dreaded words of “you need to write your thank you letters today”.  It brought upon us a mood as black as a Dickensian workhouse.  So it is with an unpleasantly sadistic joy that Mrs P and I inflict the same on our children and it appears to have exactly the same effect.  You can judge this for yourself from the picture attached.  If anyone suggests they won’t Mrs P reminds them of the rule that we ourselves apply.  If no form of thank you missive is received there is no present sent the next year!  This always gets their pens working again as the thought of no presents next year is clearly too much for them to bear!

 

Don’t let the doom-mongers win, lets crack on with ‘Jolly January’ and remember it could be worse you could have just been informed that toady was the day to write your thank you letters!

 

My very, very best regards,

 

Jess