Celebrations were well under way at Felcher's Bottom Manor last night, as local aristocrat, Dame Penelope Farthing swept the board at the 71st annual Dorking Xmas Pickles And Preserves Festival, which this year was held on the top field of the Starling Farm, once home of 20 a day Worthing viagra addict and notorious lothario, Alf Starling.
It was none other than Alf's grandson, aspiring, and much sought after footballing prodigy, Alfie Starling, who presented the cups, shields, and medals to Dame Penelope.
Watched by scouts from Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Stalybridge Celtic. Not to mention Si and Dave, The Hairy Bikers, and a producer from This Morning's (As presented by Pip Schofield and Holly Willoughby) cookery segment.
The first award to be swept up by Dame Penelope came in the 'Fruit Preserve' category, which apparently came as something of a surprise to the esteemed 'chefette.' Her startlingly original strawberry, passion fruit, mango, chilli, banana, tomato and pomegranate preserve won the Gold Cup in a unanimous judge's decision.
"That were reet lush and that," Judge Geordie MacBroon opined. "Ah divvent think ah'll evah unnerstan' lyke, wor the lass geet the recipe from and that, lerralurn worrinspired it. Burrit wor reet lush an desorved the gerld cup an that. Why aye. Gannin yem. Fog on the Tyne an that. Yer knaa, man."*
Yes indeed. The man obviously knew what he was talking about. Even though nobody else did.
*(Translation for the hard of hearing - "That was absolutely delicious, old chap. I do not think that I shall ever comprehend from whence, or indeed how the good lady discovered this unique recipe, nor where the original inspiration came from. I will say that this was sensational, and thoroughly deserved to win the coveted Gold Cup. Oh my, yes indeed. The fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine. If you understand what I'm getting at.)
Dame Penelope quickly topped that much revered accolade with her 'Piccadilly Piccalilli,' - an aromatic mustard and chilli based pickle with baby cauliflower florets, silverskin onions, gherkins, finely diced courgette, and lots of other 'tricky to spell and easily typo-ed' ingredients. Again, the judges were unanimous.
"I'll tell yer worrid is, right," said judge, Micky McWhack. "Dat wuz piccccccccccccccalilli (sic) to die for. Gerra birra dat, on some 'ovis wid a birrer mature cheddar an' yer gorra proper birra scran. Good enough fer a navvy, nairly as good as proper Scouse. Dead nourishin' an dat. Fuckkkkkkkkkk'n sound lar. Lovely wid chickkkkkkken too! Ferry cross der Mersey, calm down an dat, down dere in dat dere Lunnon."*
(*Translation - "In my humble opinion, that piccalilli was to die for. I think it would work exceptionally well spread upon wholemeal bread as an accompaniment to a slab of mature English cheddar. A snack fit for a king, and almost on a par with the traditional stewed leftovers dish, locally known as Scouse. Packed with nourishment. Absolutely fantastic fare, which would also go well with chicken too. Ferry across the Mersey to Birkenhead, in a chilled out manner. Our pals in London should adopt a similar attitude.)
Triumph upon triumph - next up was the sweet pickle category, and again, Dame Penelope emerged victorious, joyful and triumphant.
"Oh this was glorious Bach," said judge, Dyffed Myffanwy Jones. "A proper cross between Branson, Pan-Yan and a smokin' barbecue isn'it. This one tickled my taste buds more than a merino's muff could ever do. Isn'it. Ey Blodwyn! Where's me welly boots an' me coracle isn'it? Bloody marvellous that sweet pickle. Where's me Davey lamp? Bread of heaven and that. Isn'it. Doesn'it. Was'nit. Just. Men of Harlech and that."*
(* No translation available at time of going to press.)
"Bah, humbug!" said Lady Penelope. "It's all bollocks anyway."
Indeed it is.
More bollocks when we get some.