Thursday 20 September 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Pasties and Panchymagogues

You’d have thought the top bods in the NHS should be worrying about the cancer waiting times and the huge amount of cash they are haemorrhaging, but no, the latest load of public purse money wasting come from Jill Venables, managing director of Cornwall Food and head of facilities and contracts at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust. (the worlds largest business card one would think)

Jill you see, wants to change the 500 year old protected recipe which was the all-in-one meal for Cornish tin miner with something apparently healthier.

So the beef, potato and swede, surrounded by a thick layer of pastry crimped at the edges, could potentially be encrusted in filo pastry, yes filo pastry. 

Obviously not a baker then, because the ingredients go in raw and are cooked for an hour or so, that equals, one burnt pasty.

I dread to think the countless hours spent in meetings discussing that one !!!!

It was the advent of Cornish mining in the 19th century that really brought the pasty into its own and made it an important part of the life of so many Cornish families. 

Pasties were taken down the mines by the adults and children who worked there; the shape and size made them ideal for carrying, and they became the staple for the daily ‘crib’ or ‘croust’, Cornish dialect for a bite to eat, usually taken mid-morning.

It is thought that the miners gave the pasty its distinctive D shape too, the crust became a handle, which was discarded to prevent contaminating the food with grubby, possibly arsenic-ridden hands. 

Others will dispute this, arguing that miners ate their pasties wrapped in muslin or paper bags so that they could enjoy every last bit, as we do today.

They’d have been laughed at if they turned up with a thin filo pastry and a likely soggy bottom !!!!

One of the key elements of the protected recipe is of course the fresh, natural ingredients that make up the filling which surely is far healthier surely than other additive-laden heavily processed foods that is rife in the hospital wards. A genuine Cornish pasty is also baked slowly to produce the succulent, distinctive flavour that has become so well loved it’s highly unlikely that an alternative pastry would produce such a satisfactory result.

The last thing I’d worry about whilst lying in a hospital bed or corridor on deaths door or feeling rubbish would be the food that would be entering my gob. If I want a proper Cornish pasty to make me feel better, leave that decision up to me thank you very much.

Ever heard of the term ‘Low-hanging fruit’ Jill ? clearly not !!!!

The obesity crisis ain’t helping I’m sure, so ditch those onsite junk food outlets you have on site by all means for starters, and don’t penalise me and other because of the gluttonous and don’t try and change history. I expect the pork pie to be hit next to appease the overstaying masses in Walsgrave hospital in Coventry.

Talking of food it's back to the hot brekky and lunches, there is that lovely nip in the air that spells my senses need a little more than a cold salad. Porridge topped with fruit, spicy dals with roti's. It's the start of the fishing season I love, this an beyond, well in to winter, is more me, especially when levels will start to settle and waters become less clear.

So this session I need a little peace, a little solitude, and I could think of no other stretch on the Warwickshire Avon I fish that would give me that. I can fish in to dark and beyond If need be and that was the plan for this session. With the rods still in the car from the last session and the fact I’d run out of deadbaits it was out with the boilie with paste set-up I’d used last time.

There are some good chub here to be had, but not only that, Barbel have been caught here in the past so I was hoping to tempt one come dusk. I usually only fish here after work come winter time as it gives me a fishing option because of the rules being a little less restrictive here on the most part.

I'd rocked up a half an hour before dusk and settled down in one swim and got the rods out. The boilie and paste wrap near some cover which sadly featured a dead sheep, the other rod in a crease just off the main flow. I bought some of this Hinder River Rami paste sometime ago and it is so oily and smells so strong that should surely bring in a fish for a butchers.

The river seemed out of sorts though, lifeless in-fact. I'd never really fished this stretch this time of year though, usually it's in winter where it gives me an option for fishing in to dark for the good Chub that reside here. The flow, just a trickle, the distance to the staging massive.

An initial pluck and small pull after 10 minutes I was hopeful, apart from the paste the small PVA bag of pellets are also quite pungent as well but sadly that didn't bring the fish in to feed. Well past dusk now with the glowsticks about all I could see I had some interest. Despite staying a little longer than I anticipated no fish were forthcoming so it was back in the car with the tail between my legs. I'm sure with a bit more water on it would be a different story, I'll be back.


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