Team Rector: Rev. Margaret Sherwin
Kingstone WI - February Meeting 2020 Telling Porkies
The speaker at Kingstone WI’s February meeting was butcher, Simon Wilson, who started his talk well - by appearing from the kitchen bearing plates of delicious looking sausages, sausage rolls, pork pies, game pies and scotch eggs! These were soon being passed round the tables. As Simon proceeded to tell his audience many new and interesting facts about the making of pork products, he was accompanied by the quiet background sounds of appreciation coming from the ‘samplers’!
Beginning at the beginning of the process for making sausages, Simon mixed minced pork with breadcrumbs, salt and various peppers, nutmeg and mace. The salt is essential as it helps to bind the meat by working on the protien to form strands. Appropriately, with Brexit in the news, he explained the difference between European sausages and British ones. It is the addition of breadcrumbs to the meat which gives the British sausage its texture. European sausage is drier and firmer because of its higher meat content.
Next the meat was to be put in its skin. Simon uses natural gut; lamb for thin sausage and pork for thicker ones.The skins are stored in salt and then rinsed in fresh water to make them pliable and hydrated. The links are made by twisting the long sausage at intervals in alternate directions and, by a fascinating dextrous twisting and looping motion, bunched into threes.
Hand-raised pork pies, made with equal quantities of meat and hot water crust pastry, were next on the menu. The three quarters of the pastry was shaped using a floured ‘dolly’ , then transferred to a mould, filled with meat and its lid, made from the rest of the pastry, hand crimped on. The pie needed a hole in the lid to let the steam escape and was then ready for the oven. The jelly, pork stock, is poured in when the pie has cooled.
As well as virtually giving a cookery demonstration, Simon was very knowledgeable about the history of pies in general. It was interesting to hear how, originally, hard baked pastry was used as a protective layer or early sandwich box for a workman’s lunch.The pastry was refined over time and the jelly added as a shock-absorber, to help when the pie was shaken about in a pocket or saddlebag.
After such an excellent advertisment for his products many members will, no doubt, be making their way to High Ash Farm, on Goose Lane, Abbotts Bromley , where Simon has his ‘Pie Shak’ on Thursdays to Saturdays.
The business items, covered by Team President, Ann Gallimore, included an update on the WI’s determined efforts to have the Loxley Crossroads made safer (after repeated fatalities). Information collected over the years has been sent to Staffordshire Police Commissioner, Matthew Ellis, the Coroner and Staffordshire County Council as well as local councils, in the hope of them arranging a meeting with villagers.
There was some discussion on the following – the Birthday Party in May; the Group Meeting, to be hosted by Kingstone, in June; the proposed ‘litter-pick’ on the weekend of 28th-29th March; and future outings to the Heritage Centre and Amazon , Rugeley – before refreshments were enjoyed.
The March meeting will be on Monday 9th March at 7.30 pm. Kate Copeland will be talking on
The Globe Foundation. Visitors are always welcome. Do come and spend an evening with Kingstone WI.