Monday, August 17, 2009

Hot stuff!

The day starts with another little meander Yurt-wards. MC has declared that he couldn’t possibly have a full English breakfast ‘every’ day but after D and I order the haddock with tomatoes and the entirely tomato-free sausage sandwich respectively he relents. He figures that we might have other plans for tomorrow so he better get another full English in!
I wash my sausage sandwich down with the tastiest apple juice I’ve ever had – no acidity, metallic taste or gassiness of some others just – you won’t believe this – lots of apples! And Cox’s Orange Pippin to be exact; a damn fine juice and incredibly moreish!
Due to two (what turns out to be entirely mistaken) beliefs that a) there is a dearth of Lloyd’s banks around this here parts and a sudden urgent need for one and b) the weather will be a bit iffy we sally forth for Norwich. We locate the bank, no thanks to my google maps which bizarrely believes I’m currently strolling around Bury St Edmunds and persists in trying to direct me there and as it’s about 40 miles away and it thinks I’ll make the journey on foot it recommend a handy 13 hour itinerary. Maybe the satellites were busy that morning!
Whilst in Norwich it seems appropriate to seek out one of their famous exports (Delia Smith being the other) and go in search of the mustard shop. Colman’s have been producing their hot golden elixir since 1814 and the factory is just outside Norwich. The mustard shop is, as one would expect, dedicated to all things mustard, there are powders and ready made mustard, some with even more added kick, mustard pots and spoons and a whole host of mustard-abilia in cabinets. It didn’t seem to be like the mustard shop in Dijon where you could take along your favourite mustard receptacle and pump (in the style of a beer tap) your mustard of choice directly into it, but it certainly the condiment available in every form possible. Coincidentally I surprised ‘new’ S with a little hamper full of mustards and a little chilli for his birthday which he would have spotted on his chair today on his return from New York (jealous, moi?) and couldn’t resist the urge to add another one squeezy bottle of Colman’s English to the collection. Well he always said he liked mustard!
After a little explore around Norwich’s lanes we stop for a cup of tea and a bit of refreshment, I go for the rather random garlic mushroom and Parmesan quiche, MC a pork pie, D a ham sandwich not realising that these were served up which a large and some would say extremely eclectic salad. A single sliver of radish okay, a single shaving of kiwi fruit – a little odder! The quiche was tasty though, quite unusual by not having the mushrooms distributed throughout the custardy mixture but just buried in the middle like some dark fungal treasure. MC was defeated by his pork pie, though at least he had plenty of mustard to accompany it with.
On the journey back the sky is still gloriously blue and I find I am curiously drawn to the fields and especially the round hay bales. Bearing in mind I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever considered a hay bale of any shape previously I believe I haven’t come across one of these before. They are rather striking and I do spend quite a lot of the journey trying to capture a field of a few in all their majesty. Not really being in a position where I can easily get right in there with the bales I am struggling to find a suitable vantage point in all this flatness but it’s fun, and dare I say, slightly perilous trying. Those cars can whiz along the pavement-less winding lanes. I guess being such a city girl the countryside is holding a certain new allure. The more mundane cuboid bales seem very pedestrian now I only want round ones!
I was also rather taken with a windmill which is also rather glorious!
At we get back to our little stretch of the North Norfolk coast we’ve read about the pizzas at the Jolly Sailors in Bradcaster and think it will be worth a try. They have one of those wood burning ovens and everything smells very promising. Unusually I find something on a pizza menu that I can order unadulterated and so without really thinking I ask for a Letzer’s Fish Calzone – garlic base, smoked salmon, smoked haddock, prawns, peas and mozzarella. It turns out to be a bit like a fish pie encapsulated in a pasty and as promising as it started off it just became all a little stodgy. The pizza base seems pleasingly thin but the whole calzone thing was mistake, just too much dough I think. If I could have started from the beginning and just forget the whole pizza pasty malarkey I think I would had continued with the garlic base, then perhaps a simple ham and cheese. D and MC loved their pizzas mine was sadly a bit cloying and defeated me quite early on. But I will conclude that it was my poor ordering and not the fault of the calzone per se – I just now realise that I don’t like calzones. Well at least I know for next time!

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