|An empty fairground, just before the show opened.|
|Veg as far as the eye would care to see|
|There's been a leek|
This one, that's which. Just look at that girthy big bastard with its perfect blanching and its emerald leaves in splendid formation. Well, hellooo there, you sexy little bitch of a leek! Twit-twoo! Etc. Actually there was none of that type of chat at the event, just lots of people looking at it and nodding to themselves, as if they knew they were in the presence of greatness. I kept my thoughts to myself so as not to appear weird or get arrested, like normal.
Away from the leeks, I particularly enjoyed the "Arrangement" category. This one came third, but I liked it best for its naturalistically arranged riot of colour and variety of produce.
Here's Kasia with a pic of our crop a couple of weeks before harvest. We just grew these suckers without trying to get really big ones. What could we achieve if we actually put our minds to it? Next year we'll find out. I want to get on that goddamn podium!
As well as all the fruit and veg to admire there was another tent with all manner of food, nature and outdoors-related stalls. I made a bee-line for a couple of food stalls I've been meaning to hit up for a while at this type of thing but always missed.
Steve Peart runs Northumbrian Smokehouse and everything that I tried was flat-out delicious. Steve admitted to having ruined an awful lot perfectly good food in trying to figure out recipes for all his products. The mushroom pâté was wonderful,as were his smoked cheeses and the smoked black pud. In each case the smoke added something to the flavour of the thing in question, rather than batter it into submission. You can go and check him out at the Jesmond Food Market on Armstrong Bridge, this Saturday (17th Dec) for some last minute gifts.
|Pete's Proper Pease Pudding|
I'd always been a bit dube about the idea of a gourmet pease pudding product, but I was bang wrong, as Pete's stuff is great. Both the cheesey one and the Marmite one use a tangy extra flavour to add something to the calm steadiness of the main ingredient. Highly recommended.
As, indeed, is the whole Allotment Show. We had a fine morning. If you're interested at all in growing stuff you will too, so watch out for it next year. Even if you're not, just come and gawp at the stuff, it'll do you good to get out of the house. One final note of happiness and optimism- Benwell Allotments (Bo! Shout out!) won most improved site, which filled me with all manner of pride.
Lovely thing to do rating: I'm going for an 8. If we win the pumpkin thing next year I'll change that to a 10. Is that a bribe? Damn straight.