Sunday, 13 July 2014

Bees, balls, birthdays and bananas

As I turned the corner into the churchyard, on a quick dash to the launderette, I noticed The Heritage Center A board had been moved from the gate to under a tree. Strange I thought, until I read the sign “Bees escaped” with an arrow pointing upwards, as I looked up I realized Humphrey’s bees had left their hive and taken up residence in the tree, WOW what a sight. This is a reasonably regular occurrence, but they normally cling to the church walls, so to see them all hanging in a mass formation was quite a sight. By the time I returned only a few minuets later, quite a crowd had gathered and some gent had already set up his tri-pod and was merrily snapping away. A touch of country life.

 World Cup fever has grabbed the majority of the nation, but obviously not everyone is a fan, so what does a country pub do?  With over 7 years of being in Bampton, we have learnt that the summer and sunshine is not always good for business, with weddings, music festivals and the opportunity to have mates around for a bar-b-que, the pub can sometimes feel a little deserted.

Paul and myself both enjoy football, so we decided to show every game, mainly in our upstairs room, which is normally used for dinning, meetings or private parties of up to 20 and show the England games downstairs in the bar. Oh how the tabloids get the picture so wrong, we had no topless men, big flags or drunken yobs, but a great bunch of male, female, young and old supporting their nation. Some people elected to eat upstairs but the majority elected to eat in the bar and soak up the atmosphere, which was great if sometimes a little loud.

We supplied food at half time on the first England game, well it was late and some were starting to flag. The next game saw us up against Uruguay, Paul tracked this down, Chivito is the name of a sandwich-style national dish in Uruguay, and consists primarily of a thin slice of steak with mozzarella, tomatoes, mayonnaise, black or green olives, and commonly also bacon, fried or hard-boiled eggs and ham. We sold a fare few of them at half time and what a sandwich it was. For the last tea time game we offered fish and chips at £5 we had at least 20 takers and even though the squad was on its way home we had a good crowd in, who says we’re not patriotic?

The Monday saw a “zero” birthday for me and Paul whisked me off to Dublin for 2 nights, the pubs there were packed and lively, well it would have been rude not to have looked. We did invite everyone to a disco the following Sunday to help me celebrate, so thank you all and a big thank you to our understanding neighbours, we did warn them.

With the hot weather arriving, food doesn’t keep so well and this is an old favorite I put together this week to use up those black squishy bananas (honest for this recipe its best that they are like that)

4oz butter
6oz sugar
2 eggs
2 well mashed bananas
1-teaspoon bicarb
2 tablespoons boiling milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
8oz plain flour

Set oven at 350 F  (gas mark 4)
 Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs 1 at a time, add bananas, followed by the bicarb dissolved in the milk. Sift in flour and baking powder. Bake in 2 greased sandwich tins for 20 minutes, or add a touch more baking powder and bake in a deeper tin for about 50 minutes.
The smell is delicious, we served ours with homemade pistachio nut ice cream, and you could serve it with any of your favourites, cream, custard or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy, I promise you won’t be disappointed.


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