Indoor test matches, jigsaw, scrabble & flood driving

Good morning from a jolly flooded Somerset!

As I clambered into my truck this morning to come here there was a definite smell of very wet dog and on closer inspection it appeared that all but my own seat were a tad damp. The reason for this is that having thrown the three youngest loons into the truck to go and collect Nancy from her Saturday shift in the Smokery shop it became apparent that the amount of standing water on every lane around us was significant. Having collected Nancy and locked up at the Smokery we decided that some “flood driving” was necessary all under the guise of a home-schooling geography field trip. Two things happened in the space of about three minutes firstly a new sport was born and secondly all four loons regressed to four year olds who screamed a lot and were lost to hysterical excitement and laughter in equal measure! They insisted on having all the windows down (it was 40mph winds at the time) and I simply could not resist driving rather too quickly through huge puddles and semi flooded lanes. The new sport? Which loon could get the wettest as the water flew through the aforementioned open windows of the truck! The end result was that when we arrived home 20 minutes later Mrs P was somewhat surprised as the loons poured through the door and sprinted upstairs declaring they had to get changed whilst simultaneously filling the dirty clothes basket that had apparently reached that very rare state of emptiness not five minutes before! The height to which Mrs Ps eyebrows can rise has never ceased to amaze me BUT yesterday they broke all records! Just for the record Nancy won the wettest Loon competition.

It is somehow the last week of February which means that it is the last week of one of our most popular ever boxes The February Box being available and also the last week of our sides of salmon being on offer at their special prices of £35 delivered for a whole side of sliced smoked salmon or £32 delivered for our unsliced side of smoked salmon. You can order any of these things for any date you like in the future but in order to ensure you get these special offer prices you must order them by close of play next Sunday. So if you would like sides of salmon for Easter or a February box for the August bank holiday weekend you can have them at these prices but only if you order them this week. All our other goodies are available too on the website www.brownandforrest.co.uk or just call Amber and I in the office Monday to Saturday 9am till 4pm on 01458 250875

Finally, as it was half term at Pattisson Towers this week I managed to very naughtily steal Thursday and Friday off. The weather meant that other than long dog walks with Olive the lurcher entertainment had to be sought inside. As Mrs P and I are such luddites we get a tad grumpy about the dreaded television being used as the foremost source of what we consider on the whole to be mindless entertainment. We tend to prove this to ourselves by marching into the living room standing in front of the said television and demanding of each loon what they are watching. The amount of times they literally cannot answer is extraordinary and has been known to lead to a reasonable amount of ranting and on more than one occasion a good bit of foaming at the mouth! To that end it has been an excellent few days of jigsaws, drawing competitions, gin rummy and scrabble. There are two other games that have been very popular. The first being indoor sponge ball cricket. I have convinced Charlie that it is excellent for everyone’s batting technique and she has convinced me that if anything gets broken she will kill me! We have had a number of extremely close fought test matches with Stan and Bert emerging victorious against Edie and I far too often. The final game I sadly have to report has had to be put away and hidden as it appeared to bring the very worst out of people and in some cases, naming no names, Nancy and Edith developed into what can only be described as a street gang culture thugs! I would never have thought that the small investment I made in such a genteel game as ‘carpet bowls’ could produce aggressive behaviour, cheating and gamesmanship as it has in this household? I have checked the packaging and there are no health warnings at all and all I can say is that in my experience there jolly ought to be!!

I must away as a joint of beef requires my attention with regard to preparation and the West Indies have just arrived to play England in a three test series. Have good rest of day and remember if anyone ever invites you round for a game of carpet bowls, take shin pads, a gum shield and a measuring tape!

My very, very best regards,

Jess

Questionable Valentine’s gifts, subzero cricket & cinema night!

Good Morning and a Happy romance day to you!

I can’t pretend that either I, or indeed Mrs P, go in terribly whole heartedly for huge public displays of affection.  That is not necessarily to do with a complete lack of romantic bones in our bodies but might well be that at the tender age of 20 it was completely bashed out of us where at the wonderful Agricultural College that was Seale-Hayne to be caught so much as holding hands was a crime punishable with the downing of at least two pints in quick succession!  A ‘PDA’ (Public Display of Affection) as it was known was a major sin!  It would appear that not a lot has changed as if either Charlie or I so much as give one another a quick kiss on the cheek it is followed by screams and very convincing retching noises from our eldest daughter Nancy(14) who takes the view that having to witness such a thing is tantamount to mental abuse?!

The final reason I try to avoid showering my wife with gifts in the middle of February is that I invariably get it spectacularly wrong.  Sadly, I have yet again proved this theory to be correct this year.  Mrs P has been in search of a certain type of jean/trouser for a while and I thought I would find them and indeed after much searching I did.  They appeared to be on the other side of the Atlantic but I gritted my teeth and ordered them.  My excitement when they arrived on Thursday was a tiny bit pathetic, but never the less I presented them to Mrs P and waited in smug expectation for the out pouring of gratitude, love and indeed affection that would surely follow.  I realised all was not well when Edith uttered the words “really?”. This was followed by Nancy mumbling the words “maternity trousers” and finally Charlie saying “how fat do you think I am?”  I took immediately umbrage at this and said that I had checked her current trousers and that was what I ordered size wise.  She then put them on and I realised all was lost.  It turns out I had effectively bought my wife a size 20 which as you may have guessed by now was a couple of fathoms too big.  I have now totally retired from clothes shopping for my wife ever again and can only hope that some form of forgiveness will follow soon.

 

We have had a wonderfully busy week at The Smokery with the February Box and indeed theSupper for 2 Box proving themselves to be much more popular and successful gifts than huge black velvet trousers from America!  I am delighted that they are all going down so well and the feedback we have already had for our new Supper Box has been really lovely.  It also clearly lends itself to this arctic like weather as any meal that has piping hot Golden Syrup Bread and Butter pudding as its curtain call would do!  The box is as follows: –

 

SUPPER BOX FOR 2

150g smoked salmon

Loaf of Rye bread

2 x 8oz Rump steaks

150g of stilton (with which to create Ambers amazing stilton sauce )

2 small bottles of wine 1 x Malbec and 1 x sauvignon Blanc

2 x Syrup bread and butter puddings

 

All delivered to any door of your choosing for just £50. The February box is delivered for £35 and our whole sides of sliced and unsliced salmon are also both still on offer this month too.

 

These and everything else can be ordered through our website at www.brownandforrest.co.uk or just call Amber and myself in the office from 9am tomorrow on 01458 250875

 

Finally, I will leave you with a bit of news of the lockdown goings on at Pattisson Towers.  One of the constants has been sub zero cricket come hail or snow.  Bertie in particular has become totally obsessed and he managed to drag us all out for a game yesterday afternoon I even managed to get Nancy caught behind on the basis that the noise heard was bat on ball when in fact it was my teeth chattering!  This weekend also marks the start of half term here and to mark the occasion ‘The Loons’ decided to have a full cinema night.  Tickets were made and menus were created, there was popcorn and even pick and mix sweets which could be purchased in the foyer!  Slightly to my shame the price of these confections were even more grossly overpriced than the real thing. During the intermission of ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’  there were even ice cream tubs.  These were sold by a very drunk old lady who went by the name of Mavis and appeared from nowhere and disappeared into the freezing cold night once her duties were done mumbling something about needing another dozen gin and orange!  I sadly missed her completely as I was with the dog in the garden whilst she powdered her nose?  The boys have been waiting to see this film for a long time as the rule is that you can’t see the film until you have read the book and we finished reading that to them on Thursday.  I have to admit to not knowing if I was proud or slightly depressed when Stan (6) said the so often muttered words afterwards that “it was good, but it was nothing like the book!”

I must away the girls are downstairs picking all the products for tomorrows orders so I had better offer just a tiny bit of supervision otherwise Tyna and Seb will have my guts for garters in the morning!

 

I hope you have a lovely rest of day and remember its not just the food portions that the Americans ‘Supersize’ they appear to do it to women’s trousers too!

 

My very, very best regards,

Jess

Olive’s birthday, new February & Supper boxes and a four tin gin!

Good Morning, I hope this finds you in fine fettle and hopefully in the midst of a restful Sunday.

 

Here at Pattisson Towers we are in celebratory mood for not one but two reasons!  The first is what one might call a traditional reason and that is that Olive (the lurcher with too much Labrador in her) is celebrating her 3rd birthday.

Apparently, according to dog years, that makes her 21?  She has been presented with her present which to my delight is bright green and appears to squeak every time she touches it.  As a dog who has never really gone in for chews and toys I was quite surprised when in the last two hours it has not left her jaws.  Having commented on this to Mrs P there followed a slightly awkward silence and then as she beat what can only be described a jolly hasty retreat mentioned in the most ridiculously matter of fact tone I have ever heard that the said bright green toy may have been laced with a significant amount of peanut butter!  Now, you may sit there thinking that that is a lovely thing to have done but without going into too much detail Olive has a huge charge sheet of foodstuffs that she has eaten which have later done their best to turn her inside out.  The inevitable deep clean will I know be left to me and the ultimate insult is the passion with which I hate the smell of peanut butter.  To say I am sitting here on tender hooks would be a significant understatement!  The other reason for celebration is I’m afraid a good bit more shameful and I will share it with you later.

 

It has been the most wonderful week at The Smokery with I hope most of you receiving a postcard from us introducing you to our new February Box.  The response so far has been marvellous with so many of you taking the trouble to order them but also let us know how delighted the recipients have been.  In the postcard I also mentioned that we would be offering a SUPPER FOR TWO BOX and so many have rung asking what is in it and when will it be available to order.   As of now it is available to order on the website www.brownandforrest.co.uk in the hamper and gifts section at the bottom of the page, alternatively you can of course call Amber and I in the office tomorrow from 9am on 01458 250875.

 

SUPPER FOR TWO BOX

STARTER

150g of cutlet cut smoked salmon – a delicious thick cut slice of smoked salmon which gives the whole depth of the fish and its flavour.

500g  Loaf of Organic Rye bread.  This is dense and delicious with a tiny hint of black treacle sweetness to it.

MAIN COURSE

2 8oz Rump steaks.   From our amazing butcher Clinton Bonner.

150g of long Clawson stilton.  This of course can be used as a pudding but we have included Amber’s Stilton sauce recipe that she makes to accompany her steaks and it is delicious.

2 small bottles of wine – 1 Malbec and 1 Sauvignon Blanc or a mix of your choosing.

PUDDING

2 portions of our very own Syrup Bread and Butter pudding.  When we still had our lovely restaurant this was  what we were almost famous for.

 

Hopefully you like the idea of this offering.  It will all be delivered to any door of your choosing for £50 (that includes delivery).  This week we will only have 50 available so if you would like one it might be wise to order early.

 

Finally, I must return to the second reason of celebration in this house very early this morning . Put simply it was the utter relief I felt when it became apparent that Mrs P was indeed still breathing and in the land of the living.  I shall explain.

After what had felt like a jolly long week and indeed day yesterday as is customary I offered Charlie a liquid libation of her choice.  After much deliberation she decided on a Gin & Tonic.  I set to work crushing ice,  slicing and squeezing lemon and fetching the a new bottle of Gin that we had been given for Christmas.  I did my usual mixes and five minutes later handed the drink to my wife with the usual words of “tell me if it’s a bit too Pattisson” (this simply refers to my fathers reputation of making very strong Gins).  It looked delicious, and she took a good healthy slug.  What happened next I simply hope won’t scar my two eldest children for life.  There was a sort of moan, a splutter, an unlady like curse and a scream of “try that!”. I did as I was bid and thankfully after 30 seconds my sight returned.  I had done my usual mix but thought I had clearly made a mistake.  I added another tin of tonic and I’m sad to say the reaction was exactly the same. Three tins of tonic later and with the contents tipped into a pint glass it was deemed drinkable.  On closer inspection it appeared the  volume of the gifted Gin was somewhere in the region of 70%!  Mrs P has I think at last agreed it was an innocent mistake and that I was not after her life assurance and we have a new Pattisson drink in our repertoire which will now forever be know as ‘The Four Tin Gin’!

 

I hope the rest of your day is a good one. I must away as Olive is already beginning took distinctly green around the gills!?

 

My very, very best regards,

 

Jess