Thursday, 10 October 2013

Cheese & Chutney

When I was growing up my mum's repertoire of sandwiches consisted of only two varieties and those were cheese or ham.  Sliced tomatoes would liven them up a bit with the addition of a lettuce leaf, a slice of cucumber and a blob of Heinz Salad Cream elevating them into salad territory. I will never forget the dismay when on school trips, of delving into my duffle bag to find the cling filmed warm soggy white medium Mother's Pride cheese and tomato. These waterlogged offerings would be destined for the bin on the way to the cafe and gift shop at Dudley Castle and Zoo to be replaced  with a welcome plate of chips with tomato ketchup. Things started looking up though when she introduced Cheese and Branston to the menu and sometimes she would sneak in Cheese & Piccalilli (not keen!)  Nowadays though the humble Cheese & Pickle sarnie has been transformed with the advent of gourmet pickles and chutneys turning up at food festivals and farmers' markets with all kinds of combinations of ingredients on offer. I can never resist buying a couple of jars at these events so consequently have a bulging storecupboard of them getting ever nearer  their eat by dates. Needless to say Cheese & Pickle is the regular sandwich filling in my household or I should say Cheese & Caramelised Onion with Garlic Chutney which is one of the ones currently open and taking up space in my fridge along with all the other jars we are told to refrigerate after opening and is that really necessary I often wonder.  I can't be the only one with a fridge so full of jars there is hardly any room left for the food (don't get me started on that little bugbear).  The point of all this is that as a member of Solihull Embroiderers' Guild we were invited to exhibit our work at the Cheese & Pickle Festival at the beautiful National Trust property Coughton Court.


We had two great days there promoting our branch and all things embroidery. Saturday was brilliant as we were outside in the sunshine but the heavens opened on the Sunday and we had to retreat to the house which was no bad thing as we were able to exhibit and stitch rather appropriately in the Blue Drawing Room.
 

Coughton Court has been the home of the Throckmorton family since 1409 so while I was there got the chance of a little explore around the house....




and gardens......


and discovered a sculpture trail of over 250 exhibits.....










and not forgetting the Cheese & Pickle Festival......



and yes I did buy a couple more jars of pickle to add to my chutney stash. Well I couldn't resist!

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