Oct 08 2004

Widdicombe Fair

Auld Uncle Tom Cobly

It’s September, and Widdicombe Fair again on Tuesday, but which Tuesday? “Tuesday in September”, yes but which one? I rang Colin Pearse, moorland farmer and poet, to find out when his book was to be launched. “In the Sheep Heritage Marquee at 12.30.” Yes but which Tuesday? An amazed silence, then “Well, second, of course, always has been, has been since the Fair started back in 1850’s.” Colin has taken four years to write a history of the White Face Dartmoor sheep and, published at last, it is to be presented at the Fair. It’s the perfect setting, a celebration of this rare old moorland breed on it’s own territory.
Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Oct 08 2004

Pasties, Quiche and Victoria Sponge



The pasty question is a vexing one! Should they be crimped along the top or flat like a fat bolster. Is the beef minced or chopped – must it be beef? Does carrot go into the filling or just turnip and onion? Mrs Beeton, 1926, adds baking powder to her pastry and gravy to the filling! “ Farmhouse Fare” 5/- 1956 slices the beef and makes pastry with butter. Even Jane Grigson finishes the pasty with a frill on the top. She does makes the pastry with lard though. A minefield! My Cornish mother-in-law’s son is quite adamant: you cannot get a proper pasty in Devon, not even Widecombe!
Continue Reading »

One response so far