Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Fat Lady Has Sung...

...So that'll be The Show over then?!
I received a lovely letter this week from Storming Norman, who triumphed with trophies once again at the 2011 Produce Show.  He thanked me for a well-organised Show, which was very touching actually, and as  I had a Suggestion Box in The Hall on the day, he'd like to share his with me now:

Very good suggestion to open The Hall earlier 'on the morning' rather than for two hours the previous evening to enable plenty of time to stage exhibits.  Because, instead of me sat there Billy No Mates, hand-writing the name of each class, beautifully I might add, with my Calligraphy Pen on all 100 First, 100 Second, and 100 Third Prize Certificates, next year I can be sat relaxing at home in our beautiful garden with my man, my cat and a cool pitcher of Pinot Grigio instead!

Just a point of information (and he did inform Pat of this a few years ago);  it is a 'Strig' of Currants, not a 'String' evidently.  That suggestion may be ignored, me thinks, on it wrongly being read as a typographical error by The Punters?

Whilst reading his epistle, it became quite clear that my carefully thought-out, new & innovative Show Schedule seemed to disappoint him on quite a number of levels.  And although he didn't enter anything in this category personally, the Cookery & Preserves section was particularly faulty, which he covered in detail for me so that I was left in little doubt.
It's a shame really, because I'd spent months on that bit; shuffling things around, tempting more creativity, researching delicious new recipes to tickle your tastebuds this year, to be interesting for the judges to judge, and visually appealing for visitors to view. All in all, I'd put a tremendous amount of thought into it, and it was the section I was most proud of?

Still, the very lovely Olga Brandt-Bull, Lord of Itton, 90 something, who joined us for my first Itton Produce Show, took my hand and congratulated me so sincerely on my creative and well-put together schedule and show, that I knew I should be proud of what I'd done in taking up the reigns and keeping Itton's Village Produce Show alive for another, and hopefully many years to come.  I shall particularly treasure her hand-written note to me with the respect that it truly deserves.

Not wanting to please all the people all the time, even with one Show under my belt, I've learned an incredible amount about what does, and doesn't work well here, and next year, with The Jubilee, The Olympics, fewer low-flying teddies, and the help of my 2012 Show Possy, I'm excited about it already, so God Save The Queen....

Trousers managed to mow the grass before the wet stuff arrived during the week, but The Funny Farm garden has largely just been admired from the Conservatory windows or from under the garden gazebo-johnny by ourselves and our friends...  I'll paint the picture for you:  Borage, Poppies, Pot Marigolds, Dahlias, Roses, Cerinthe, Nasturtiums, Violas, Flowering Herbs, Sunflowers, Lavender, Candytuft.....  

... and all the fruit and vegetable plants that we're harvesting from are equally as beautiful, in differing shades, shapes and form to add to the visually edible tapestry I aspire to weave for us every season:  We've had the occasional handful of Autumn Bliss Raspberries, the last of this years' magnificent Strawberries, 'Strigs' of Blackcurrants (!), cute little yellow & green Courgettes, the first proper crop of ripe tommies, and half a dozen perfectly-formed Cauliflowers.  The last of the Bored Beans have been anorakly shelled, blanched, peeled and frozen for out-of-season use in Wellie's Winter Kitchen Wonderland.  We've had more Mangetout than we could shake a stick at, with Summer Sprouting Broccoli, second-sittings of Calabrese sideshoots, Carrots, Noo Potatoes...  Oh, and best of all, 500g of Stella Cherries, our first ever harvest!  Last year we had two cherries, one of which fell off before it ripened, and the other went into the tummy of a blackbird I think.
Anyways, all 500g are pricked, pitted and shaken daily in sugar and brandy now.  No, I can see you are children, given that you're the colour of Kermit The Frog?

One of the biggest jobs done has been to relieve my chest freezer of the responsibility of looking after the remainder of last years' Funny Farm fruit for an extortionate electrickery fee, and like my friend Gloria, I've made a Fruit Compote, sterilising the fruit in their preserving jars.  The 'ping' of the lids just now was a sure sign of a vacuum, an excellent seal, and music to my ears.  And the ooodles of scrummy syrup that's left over from that medley is tucked up into Lolly moulds with a generous lick of Vodka.  On a Summers' afternoon, as my friend Lyn and I giggle the hours away on the sun-loungers, Our Beloveds metal-detecting over the fields to their hearts' content, we'll be A Lush Couple of Lollies, and no mistake!

Welcome to The Funny Farm to those of you daft enough to register as identifiable blog-followers lately... More's The Merrier, so if you've been thinking about doing it, go on, spoil yourself!X

Until next time, Love You'n'Leave You.

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