Sunday, 2 July 2017

Pig unit news, awards hopefuls and Jill’s helpful recipe … an intriguing week in Ambridge

Stakes are high for Food Awards hopefuls

Three local businesses are celebrating after being shortlisted in this year’s prestigious Borsetshire Food & Drink Awards, sponsored by Damara Capital.
The Bridge Farm Tea Room has been nominated in two categories: Best Use of Local Produce and Best Café.
‘Fallon and I are thrilled to bits,’ said Emma Grundy. ‘Sometimes, late at night in the chicken factory, I dream of winning the award so Ed and I will stand a chance of getting one of them affordable homes that Justin Elliott’s building. If he’s sponsoring the award that’s bound to help, isn’t it?’
Up against Bridge Farm Tea Room for the Best Use of Local Produce award is The Bull in Ambridge, which has also been shortlisted for Dining Pub of the Year.
‘Winning this award would mean a lot to us,’ said landlord Kenton Archer. ‘If we’re packed out every day, my brother David won’t be able to swan in for a free meal whenever he pleases. I’ll be happy if I never have to see him stuffing sourdough into his smirking chops ever again.’
Artisan Cheesemaker of the Year, Helen Archer of Bridge Farm, is shortlisted again and said she is looking forward to defending her title. ‘It will make a change from defending myself against attempted murder charges, as I was this time last year,’ she said. ‘And if my brother Tom thinks he’s going to muscle in on my stall with a display of his stinky sauerkraut he’s got another think coming.’
Justin Elliott, chairman of Damara Capital, said he was ‘delighted’ to be sponsoring the awards again. ‘Of course, as a sponsor I am strictly hands-off and have to be scrupulously impartial,’ he said. ‘Any suggestion that Bridge Farm might win because I want my future in-laws to stop hating me will be referred to my lawyers.’

Pig unit gets the nod

Justin Elliott’s plans to build an intensive pig unit at Berrow Farm took a step nearer fruition this week as Ambridge Parish Council made no objection to the application. ‘A number of Councillors, including myself, abstained as they have personal or professional connections with Mr Elliott,’ said Council chairman Neil Carter. ‘And Derek Fletcher had actually nodded off, but when we nudged him he snored so we recorded that as a vote in favour.’
Mr Elliott said he was ‘pleased, but not complacent’ with the verdict. ‘We still have to clear all kinds of environmental and regulatory hurdles, but I am quietly confident,’ he said. ‘We have some strong arguments to put to the District Council. For example, we will be using a lot of leftovers to feed the pigs, so there will be no need for restaurants and supermarkets to send their unsold food to unhygienic little ventures like the Happy Friends Café in Felpersham, which everyone knows would be a much better investment as an estate agent’s.’  

Sports news exclusive: Grundy in ‘secret Paxley talks’

Ambridge stalwart Will Grundy has discussed defecting to rivals Paxley over the issue of women cricketers, the Ambridge Observer can reveal.  Our source Rex Fairbrother, who prefers to remain anonymous, said: ‘I had that vice-captain of Paxley in the back of my cab last week, and he said he and Will had talked about it over a beer. But he thought Will wouldn’t fit in too well with the Paxley team. They’re all fully in touch with their feminine sides and some of them are vegans.’
Mr Grundy told our reporter he had no comment to make on the story. ‘I never   said anything about women cricketers,’ he said. ‘All I said was, cricketers who aren’t men should never be allowed to play for Ambridge. That’s quite different.’

Recipe of the week: Honey flapjacks

Thank you to Jill Archer and Kirsty Miller for sending us this recipe, which is proving very popular with volunteers and customers at the Happy Friends pop-up café in Felpersham. ‘It’s food for everyone, so you just pay what you can afford,’ said Ms Miller. ‘We got an average of 0.5p each for these, which was great. But the café is under threat from evil developers (probably Justin Elliott) who want to turn it into an estate agent’s or a phone shop or something really evil. Anyway, if your readers wanted to make these and have a bake-sale to raise funds to save the café, that would be wonderful.  Jonah, who runs it and is so good with the homeless, would really appreciate it.’ 

1 kg of stale breadcrumbs
instead of oats; it makes them soggy but it’s wicked to waste bread when so many people are starving
100g fresh honey 
did you know that if we don’t do more to save honey bees, the entire planet will self-destruct?
250g sultanas
Christine Barford donated these; she was going to put them in scones so they would have been thrown away anyway
250g butter
 a product of the evil agro-industrial axis that is ruining habitats worldwide, but OK if past its sell-by date
250g tinned pineapple
not ideal, but when you’re relying on donations you have to improvise

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and keep stirring with a big wooden spoon until you’ve got a thick, stodgy mixture. Pour into a tin, cook until half-baked, and ladle on some syrup.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Madam,

I just wanted to say that despite what you might have read in the Borchester Echo, me and Eddie are not running ‘the premier staycation destination in Borsetshire’ at Grange Farm.  We don’t offer Eggs Benedict three ways or a real alternative to old-fashioned B & B places or anything like that.  We do sometimes  have people to stay (but not in the summer holidays because of upsetting George and little Keira) but we don’t have a constant stream of paying guests and Eddie never meant to say we did. It was that reporter Min got him all confused. Anyway, the thing is, if Oliver and Caroline find out we’re running their home as a guest house they might not like it, so could you put the record straight please?

Yours sincerely,

Clarrie Grundy.

PS Has anyone got a recipe for Eggs Benedict three ways?

With pleasure Mrs Grundy! Always happy to expose the shoddy reporting of our second-rate Borchester rival. Ed.


  1. " ‘Fallon and I are thrilled to bits,’ said Emma Grundy."

    Priceless column, as always but um when did Emma learn to talk proper like wot I do.

    Made me larf.

    This gripe aside do please keep your on-the-spot team of reporters going.

    Hope I got me spellin right.

    1. Dear Dougie, you're quite right - our reporter has been rapped over the knuckles with a printer's rule for inaccurate note-taking.

  2. I assume she is using the Jamie Oliver recipe - you must know it?

    1. Yes indeed - Jamie's 'three ways' are smoked salmon, crab and ham; Clarrie's are sliced ham, chopped ham and wafer thin ham (for vegetarians*). *With apologies to The Royle Family.

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