Sunday ramble, Pattisson Towers & free delivery

Good Morning, from my kitchen table which is even cleaner than usual due to Edith (11) & Bertie (8) appearing to have regressed to their toddler years and apparently being utterly unable to have a vestibule of liquid anywhere near them without emptying its entire contents absolutely everywhere!  Mrs P and I have come up with a plan to hopefully arrest this behaviour by announcing, when it happened yet again this morning, that the next person to do it will be forced to drink from a Tommee Tippee baby beaker for the following week.  Having thought this was an inspired idea I now fear that there is almost an inevitability of that person being me.   We are all in one piece here having had (from my point of view due to my skiving off work for three days) a lazy but productive week.  I was quite rightly kept a good distance from the home-schooling and was made Catering Manager and chief garden labourer.  To my horror Mrs P let the boys loose with hand saws with which they were allowed to help clear a lot of bramble and dead wood, as well as a significant proportion of a significantly out of control holly tree.  The saws were then discarded as a rather aggressive game of sword fighting pirates developed using the aforementioned holly off cuts.  The end was inevitable but fun to watch while it lasted and as I said to Mrs P we should just be grateful that the idea had not struck them before they had dropped their saws!

 

It has been a wonderfully busy week at the smokery with so many making sure that they got their Jolly January Boxes ordered before they disappear tomorrow.  It has also been lovely to see so many folk making the most of the FREE DELIVERY offer which has been available all week for not just orders to arrive this week but also for Easter and beyond.  FREE DELIVERY is only available until Midnight tonight so whatever you would like to send, be it gifts for folk bored out of their minds in their lockdown cells or sides of salmon for feasting days on the horizon, as long as you order them before the end of today you will receive FREE DELIVERY on all of them.

 

Finally, I thought I should return to my missive of last Sunday where I alluded to the anger and revolution that had engulfed Pattisson Towers due to the total lack of Snow that the loons felt they had been promised.  Mrs P in a moment of madness had promised that I would build an indoor cardboard bob sleigh run on the stairs.  Many of you have responded in the week wanting to know what the outcome was!  I have attached photos of the Cardboard Cresta Run and its utterly mad participants.  No one died or was even significantly injured although there was a moment when we identified a significant need for more bean bags and duvets at the bottom to prevent anyone actually catapulting themselves through the window at the bottom of the run\stairs!  Edith in particular took it incredibly seriously and is now considering a career as an Olympic Skeleton Bob rider!  She is on occasion a tad competitive and a win is very much a win whatever the scenario.  A good example of this was her determination to enter a school competition this week which was who could pull the funniest face.  When I returned on Friday night I was greeted by a triumphant Edie with high fives and a good deal of fist punching.  It crossed my mind that this was possibly a tiny bit of an overreaction of such a low key and gentle competition – this thought was magnified a good deal when her mother pointed out to me that Edith had been the only entrant!

 

I must away as Olive the dog needs walking and I have promised Edie that I will totally destroy her at UNO before lunch.  I simply do not know where she gets her competitiveness from?!

 

Have a lovely Sunday.

 

My very, very best regards,

 

Jess

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