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This is one way our community can say thank you to a Landlord with passion. He loves golf, horse racing, Gaelic football, rugby, soccer, but more than that, he has won Pub Of The Year for his beer for two years running now. What they fail to mention is his hard work and passion to make everyone welcome, young or old. Children are welcome in his garden; his love of his garden and those who visit it indicate to us the depth of his family values.
Nov 17, 2010 9:23 AM CST
|Dear Mr. Neil & The Blythe Hill Tavern,|
What a lovely Pub and Garden it is Sir. I read the article and looked through the wonderful pictures, opening up each one gazing at the beauty of the pub and the garden for what seem like hours. I must have been lost in my own little memory trip of our Little English Pub. Because I had drifted, off to a slumber and slumped over on the couch on my computer. So this is the 2nd time I must write this as I hit the wrong key and deleted my writings and the link to your wonderful pub I was looking at.
While I do not play golf, I do appreciate the fine art, décor, and the ability of others to do so. However, I do enjoy skeet shooting and Fly fishing both things the English folks do quite well and have very fine gear do use while doing it . Lol there is better than an English over & under 12 or 20 gauge for bird / wing shooting or a fine two piece handmade bamboo fly rod for trout fishing.
While my lil pub did not have but a very small garden for the owner and personal guest to see, it was never open to the general public. Your Pub is so Grand My Lil pub seems like a small speck in a sand storm. However, I am still proud of it, as it is all I have and least I was accepted by the owner as well. I understand our Pubs are by no means at a competition. As yours is in England and mine is here in the USA I am just happy that an English Fellow has decided to Share his Heritage and Pub with me as you have. I also love the Kids assault course that is priceless .
In Closing some day I hope to sit beside you Mr. Neil & Ms. Muriel and Have a Pint & a small meal as well as some chat time in the Beautiful Country of England what a Day to Remember that would be .
Keep me a seat at the Bar and a pint Cold My Friend Some Day before I hit that Fiddlers Green I hope to see you at The Blyhe Hill’s Tavern .
Nov 17, 2010 10:40 AM CST
|Dear Sarge, it would be a pleasure and indeed an Honour to meet you. I would love to buy you a pint or two, but the question is would you eat a Steak and ale pie?|
I was taught at the the age of six years old with a .410 shotgun how to shoot Rabbits, as I got older I did not go on to 20 bores, but to 16 bores and then on to 12 bores, side by side of course.
My boxed pair of 16 bores are Cogswell and Harrison, one step down from Purdeys!
I was taught to fly fish in Yorkshire in a place called Masham which is famous for its Brown trout and Sea trout, by my fathers tutor the River keeper. But first I had to learn to tie flies and cast.
He gave me a small Hardy cane rod (best there is), with a silk line, it works like a parachute as it is so delicate in the air and the way it settles on the water, for wild Brown trout are easily spooked.
When I went to University, I worked on two of the most famous trout rivers in the world and indeed was allowed to fish on them, the rivers being the River Test and the River Itchen. These are both chalk streams and are gin clear, normally. Most people could never afford to fish on these rivers as it costs an arm and a leg, if you are lucky enough to be invited.
However Sarge it used to amuse me that these merchant Bankers would come down in their very expensive Range Rovers with Reservoir trout rods and try to catch a trout.
They had no chance at all, for the moment the trout got a massive splash from a huge heavy fly line they shot off. My little 1898 Hardy rod with its reel and Home done flies, would always catch them.
The amount of times I was offered money by these people to sell them a trout so they could at least take one home was amazing, I didn't as they are not fisherman just something to do for their status symbol!
I have shot everywhere and I fully admit to that, but Sarge I shoot what I eat, not for a trophy or for what they call sport, and there is a difference.
Plus Sarge I can out shoot them, out fish them and out survive them. Credit cards and sports cars are not a lot of use in the Brecon Beacons. Neither are Armani suits and handmade shoes.
Nov 17, 2010 1:03 PM CST
|Dear Mr. Neil,|
There is but few things I would NOT EAT kind Sir they are: Brussels sprouts, lima beans, and pickle beets. Other that I am a very humble and simple country man and would try most any meal offered to me my friend. there is no need for a fancy meal as I am not use to that however I would not want to insult anyone either. I do understand many of the English Folks think of the 20 bores as a child’s gun however my size and stature does not allow for me to shoot the 12 & 16 bores for very long as they will black & blue my shoulder even with a shooters jacket on.
I must admit I only shoot what I intend to eat as well my trophy days are over long ago. I have two trophy sets of antlers no head mounts, as I could not afford them. I mounted the antlers myself on a plank that looks like a shield. The other one I made knifes out of.
As to the Fly tying I did some in my day I’ll have to get your address and send you a few dry fly’s that I have tied .if you will tell me what you like or use I have made several hundred or so LOL . My fly rod is nothing to brag about as it is a modern one but the reel is my grandfathers PFlugger and is quite old . I do not fit in with the bankers and business folks when it come to the fancy clothing & shoes as mine are made by Carhartt Co, and Gortex they keep you warm and dry they are plain and simple and do what they were design to do, so one can enjoy the outdoors.
Someday I look forward to my pint and a meal even a simple Sheppard’s Pie would be nice.
This is what I did with one set of antlers .
this is another knife that I made
Nov 17, 2010 9:08 PM CST
|Dear Sarge, my wife has just read your posts and has commented on the fact that you cannot have shepherds or cottage pie without having a proper Roast Sunday dinner with either Lamb or Beef first! You see Sarge whilst the meat is cooking slowly the men go to the pub for a few pints and a chat. As I do the cooking in my house when we come back the vegetables go on and the Roast potatoes and parsnips go in, then the Yorkshire Puddings. Set the table make the mustard and the Horseradish sauce for Beef or mint sauce for Lamb. |
Then as you get everything out of the oven to serve put the Apple pie in. What Heaven.
The reason shepherds pie and cottage pie was made is because Monday was washing day for the women. They did not have washing machines or tumble dryers everything was done by hand and took a day to do. so the meat and the veg that was left from Sunday dinner was used to make a shepherds or cottage pie as it was quick and easy and already cooked. That is the History of it and originally came from the poor north of England.
In Lancashire there were a lot of cotton mills and the mill owners were ruthlessly greedy, so they built these small houses for their workers who worked 12 hour shifts six days a week for a pittance. The children did as well, they had to do 12 hour shifts as well. The houses had no kitchens in at all. So the people developed the Lancashire Hot Pot. This is a layer of sliced potatos at the bottom then Lamb and vegetables, more potatos, then Lamb and vegetables and the final topping of potatos and filled with a nice gravy.
You see the Bakers fired their stone ovens up at 7:00 pm as all the bread had to be ready for 5:30 am as the people had to be in work for 6:00 am til 6:00 pm. As stone ovens take a long time to cool down they used to make a Lancashire hot pot and put it in the bakers oven when they collected their bread, and leave it all day. Then they would pick it up on their way home at 6:00pm and they had a hot meal. it is but a simple and cheap dish as you only use cheap cuts of meat, but it is still very popular even now!
Sorry to bore you with the History of little things like this.
Nov 18, 2010 6:24 PM CST
|Dear Mr. Neil,|
It is not a bore to me at all. I have been looking at the recipes that you have posted knowing I could cook them myself, but wishing I could share them with my new friend that had posted them. As I know, they would be much better. One can never cook or make a recipe as the one that has created them first, especially from another country. My wife has stated that I have found a Man of Equal Views and Opinions such as mine; it amuses her that we are very much alike yet lives so far apart.
Hopefully someday when the VA , SSA, Disability or my Settlement is kicked in I will Grace the Doors of the Pub in England or Be able to fish the banks with you for a nice brown . And sit and chat over a pint and laugh at the fellows that wished they could catch them. Lol
Nov 18, 2010 10:00 PM CST
|Dear Sarge, my family comes from the north of this country which is poor. They only had Iron foundries and coal mines and now they have gone as well. Sarge our country as the crow flies is only 866 miles long, yet the difference in wealth and the climate is immense. It is very cold and barren up north so the people had to find a way to survive the bitter winters and the short summers with very little money. So I put on the Recipes from my great grandma, grandma, aunties and my mother which are centuries old but are simple, tried and trusted and work every time! They were designed to keep you warm and full up at the minimum cost, yet still taste good, which is not an easy thing to do but they did it. Shepherds pie is eaten everywhere yet it was a British poor mans food, and I love the stuff. What I do not like is when people try to glitz this simple dish up as someone did on a cubits Article. It was not meant for that, it is a very easy and wholesome meal, and a way to use the leftovers up.|
Sarge people are far to fussy with food as they have never been Hungry, put them out in the Arctic Warfare School where you need at least 10-12 thousand calories a day to survive and fight.
That would soon stop them moaning, no drive thru Burger places there, just snow as far as you can see and intense cold. The British love pies and Cornish pasties, why I do not know but they do.
The east end of London got bombed by the Germans mercilessly in the second world war, and the thing that kept them going and what they are famous for is pie & mash with liquor. No it is not Alcoholic liquor, it is a green sauce made from parsley or you can have Beef gravy. They still have pie & mash shops everywhere and they are very popular and for a very good reason.
I do not know the difference to what you call expensive to what we call expensive so I have just converted the price of a meal in our pie & mash shop to dollars for you. Sarge you get a large minced beef pie a lot of mash and gravy and a big mag of tea for $2.80, for exactly $4.00 you get two large pies and double mash and a bigger mug of tea. That certainly fills you up and is always served with chili vinegar and pepper if you want it! So a lot of the elderly people go and have their pie & mash as it is cheap and filling, surely that is a good cheap meal. then they go in the pub for a pint of course. i am fully aware that to some people the thought of eating pie & mash would be quite shocking, but Sarge people annoy me when they say they don't like something and you ask them if they have ever tried it and they say NO. How can you not like anything if you have never tried it?
As I stated it would be an honour to cook for you, as my food is simple you might even like it.
Sarge on my Articles right at the bottom is Yorkshire Pudding which is a savoury pudding, it is the staple diet of our Nation, easy to make and filling, have a look when you get a moment.
Regards to all.
Nov 19, 2010 11:31 AM CST
I guess I have given the wrong impression of my up-bringing I was 1 of 8 as a child we were raised to not ask for anything as we had nothing. Our meals were very simple, hamburger helper meals, galosh, spaghetti, stews, soups, and anything that could feed a large group of kids for a cheap price we were very poor. As kids, every one worked around the neighborhood to help pay the bills on the little plot of land we had. When I turned 8 years old I was moved to a children’s home with my brother and had no contact with the rest of my family. There we were worked like farm animals and trained like them too, school, church, and picking up rocks to build fences, wall, and such, feeding the livestock and back to work on the massive farm. It was not fun. At age 14 I finally got to meet my Father again he had no use for me as he had his own life to deal with so me and my brother were on our own again.
When I turned 17 I had to have the Old Man’s name on the Papers JUST so I could GO Be A MAN. Damn what a Joke that was (if they had only knew what I had been though) I had grown up hard and fast the Military was the only place that I ever got a chance to have anything I ever wanted and did not have to ask anyone for it. I could pay for it myself By the Love of God Above I was Blessed. For once in my life, I did not feel like I was poor and eating out of a rubbish can. I sat in my room with my first pizza, a Becks beer that I had paid for myself and ate & drank until I could not do either any more. After I was done, I sat and cried for an hour or so thinking about my brother and what I had just done and how wasteful it was. I took me years to realize that I could enjoy a good meal without feeling guilty.
I have never been rich or claimed to be I have made do with what I have had do with and been happy to survived. My Family of four survives on less than $600.00 a month so the Shepherd’s pie, soups, pinto beans & corn bread, tater soup, chili, and any wild game or fish taken is used wisely and not wasted. No, we do not go out to drive troughs and if we do, the $ 4.00 you spoke of would go for the Dollar menu for all of us to get something. Here in the US if we go to a place of that sort, the four of us can order two things from the dollar menu and bring water from home and it would cost us $8.00 that would be a good outing for us for the month.
By telling you my background and my family’s situation, I am not looking sympathy or a monetary contribution from you. Just letting you know that I am Truly Understanding and a Simple Country Man that means what he says and when I extend My Hand in Friendship it is Honest and Pure, There is No Hidden Agendas. The Knifes I posted were created in a small shed by my own hands with hand tools, love, and hard work not fancy machines, as I have none.
I am the sort of feller that would try any kind of food, at anytime if I were hungry. Remember uncle-sam taught me how to eat bugs and crawling things LOL. If it don’t eat me first I’ll eat it is my motto or if I can get to it first I’ll eat it more like it as I am a small feller and the bigger fellers don’t get there first .
Nov 19, 2010 6:57 PM CST
|Was that a bit too much of my History and Background Mr. Neil ?|
Did I sham Myself ? I do not think so and I am not Ashamed of Me, My Family, My Father's teachings or My Family's Name. In Addition, I am Still a very Proud Man to have Accomplished what I have become today. I do honor your Friendship Sir.
Nov 19, 2010 7:02 PM CST
|Dear Sarge, I was shipped off to my grandmas when I was young as my mother had to have two replacement discs in her spine which at that time was a ground breaking operation. My grandma lived on Blubberhouse moor in Yorkshire which is a very dangerous place, to say the least. It has claimed untold lives as people will not obey the signs when it tells them not to go onto this bit of the moor as there are bogs, they do, never to return. You cannot really compare the prices here to the USA as wages and things are different. Due to our very strict meat hygiene laws meat is expensive, whereas vegetables are very cheap. Petrol\gas is $9.50 a gallon and anything you buy has Value Added Tax on it at 17,5%. But the wages match the cost of things, For instance a bus driver will take home just over $1200 for a five day week and that is 6 hours a day! A computer help-desk person is on about $65,000 a year and a good secretary about $80-90,000+. I have been all over the world and this happens everywhere you go, some things that are cheap where you live are expensive overseas and other things are not. In Germany Electrical goods like stereos and cameras etc., are ridiculously cheap, yet a loaf of bread costs a fortune!|
I think the best time I had was when I was sent to my Uncles at Bovington Army camp in Dorset. He was a Regimental Sergeant Major so was like God to everyone on the base. he was an extremely big and fearsome man, luckily we got on as I was in the Army cadets so knew the rules. It was great being with him as he had ultimate power and even the officers shook when he was near them.
I remember once that he sent me to the back door of the Sergeants mess to get him some beers and a stroppy Lance Corporal was rude to me and refused to let me have his beer. So i went home and told him and he was not amused as he was looking forward to his beer, he went mad (not at me), stormed up the mess with me and took me in the front which I am not allowed. He ripped this Corporal to shreds and jailed him for seven days I had know trouble getting his beer for him after that!
Sarge I won the World Rowing Championship in coxed fours whilst in the Army so have a Gold medal. two silvers and a Gold medal I won at the Chelsea Flower show, which is the most famous in the world, and many other things. I am not rich and neither do I wish to be, but I am happy and have a wonderful wife and money cannot buy that!
I was awarded an Honorary PhD. for my work on a saltmarsh, not that I use the title, I just was given it through hard work.
Sarge nobody said it was going to be easy.; in fact I feel sorry for people who get everything handed on a silver plate to them, for to me they have never lived.
Regards to all.
p.s. I found this old picture of us in Germany. I am the last one on the right on top of a Scimitar on the radio with a map in my hand.
Nov 22, 2010 9:03 AM CST
Thank you for the Christmas Cake recipe, we will begin making it this week and feeding as well. I had to look up a few of the ingredient that were listed however, found that we had them already the US Vs British version is very much the same just named a little different ( not a substitution surprisingly) what is contained in this one though? ( ½ level teaspoon ground mixed spice) as I am not sure of this one .
I did enjoy the bit of history on the wages comparison from there to here what is the trade from the Dollar to a Euro now it was @ $1.00 US to .70 Euro for a bit I now think the US dollar is less I am not sure.
It does appear that folks that have been spoon feed of a silver plater do not know how survive on less and have a much harder time doing so tightening their purse strings when needed . it just comes natural to my family, and when we do get to go out we enjoy it and appreciate it more.
i like the photo you have enclosed it brought my military days in the field while they might not have been as rough as yours they were of a different times and a different war times however, they seem to always include the soldiers sitting on their tanks waiting on the Brass to make up their minds where they want you next or the next fire mission.
Best Regards Brother Neil
Nov 22, 2010 2:10 PM CST
|Dear Sarge, mixed spice is a thing we get here for making cakes with. However I have been informed it is not available in the US but the nearest damn thing to it is Pumpkin spice!|
I am not sure if that is available where you are? Sarge please remember you are just one of us, just a different Nation but with the same goals in the end.
Plus British Airborne Soldiers don't die, they just smell that way!
Regards from a cold England, and at least I can stay in the warm and not jump out of a perfectly working airplane, anymore!
Nov 22, 2010 8:14 PM CST
|Neil I was not trying to make you mad I was trying to figure out the money difference due to the fact I am talking to a man on another site about Survival products and have no idea what the rate of exchange is for the Euro to a Dollar is and thought you might know.|
I know I am just a man and Just the same as you Sir . What gives you the impression that i thin i am better than you are . is there some thing I said in my post that needs explained better? as I have meant no disrespect by any of it and do not see where I have Written it that way .
I did not imply that you had an easy life or were spoiled or that I was any better than you Sir, I have read my post several times and can not understand why you are in anger with me if you would care to explain I would appreciate it Sir.
Most Kind Regards
Nov 22, 2010 11:39 PM CST
|Dear Sarge, there is know way you said anything wrong at all! We do have a slight language barrier on some things and our humour is a lot different from your humour that is all. It has nothing to do with anything you or I have said. For I can watch the American comedy shows that they put on over here like friends or sex in the city and do not find them the least bit funny as I cannot understand them Whereas you could and are always are most welcome at any time come to my house, and watch our shows and not understand them either. Our humour is dry and witty not rich.|
Sarge I think you are a lovely man with a great family and to me could do no wrong as you are a Soldier like us. In our Army we take the mickey out of each others Regiments, for instance if someone was to say I was in the Army Catering Corps, being in a Sabre Squadron myself he would get something like "oh your motto is we burn everything" meaning what they cook they have a tendency to burn and we would continue the banter with them. We take the mickey out of the Marines by saying "you don't know if you are a Soldier or a Sailor," and things like that, till it ends in a fight and the M.P.s are called. That is the way it works and not only in the Army for we take the mickey out of the Air Force and especially the Navy as well. But Sarge when it comes down to the crunch all that is forgotten and every unit binds together, to make a unique fighting force. There is only a couple of Regiments tha nobody takes the mickey out of and that is the SAS and the Gurkhas.
One being a highly trained special forces Regiment and the other a totally mad Regiment of small Nepalese men who are absolutely fearless in battle and out of it.
Sarge I just hope we can remain friends and that you have not taken my humour as that is what it is the wrong way.
Kindest Regards to all of you lovely people.
p.s. We have nothing to do with the Euro at all, it was totally rejected by the British people and that was a good move. We have the pound. Now Ireland and other countries are trying to get out of the Euro as it has made their Countries very expensive and bankrupt. So we are giving them 10 Billion pounds to help them out. For instance Ireland is not far from us and in England a pint in a pub is $3.00, however in Ireland a pint of beer is $17.7527. Sorry Sarge as much as I like a pint that is a lot of money for a pint, and to support other Euro Nations out. Especially as beer is cheaper in other Euro Nations. A glass of your Cola in Paris is $22.2641 and that is but a small glass. The whole of the European Union is corrupt, politician wise. sad isn't it!
Nov 23, 2010 2:04 PM CST
While I do have the BBC (British) Channel on TV here, I am not sure if they are making fun of British folks or not. I enjoy some of the more educational shows it has with the chef shows, travel shows, and things of that sort. I do have a bit of a since of humor but I try not to do so at the expense of others (Not saying you were) I have learned long ago to be able to laugh at myself due to some of the silly things I do are sometimes unavoidable now .
Your quick wit and humor is quite amusing to me, as I read your post, stories, and articles you seem to be happy most all the time. (As my spirit seem to always be in a rage and fighting inside of me, your kind words seem to calm my raging, angered spirit that is lost and dwelling in my head) Yes Mr. Neil, I Too hope we remain friends, even though we may be several thousand miles apart it is like finding a long lost Brother for me. I would never intentionally or deliberately insult you, sometimes my mind does not work right so I will read some post several times and sometimes I have to read it the next day due to me getting tired here lately. Meds being changed again.
Also I shared your Shortbread recipe with a thread on DG with a few ladies that were wanting it I do hope you do not mind Sir, I did give you full credit and did not change anything on it I just posted it as you had it per words . As they wanted the “English shortbread”, I did not think you would mind. Most of them are elder ladies and are on the cubits site but there are a few that are not.
Well I need to do a bit of shopping for some groceries, as we are a bit low on a few things so I will chat at you later.
Best Regards My Friend
Nov 23, 2010 8:01 PM CST
|Dear Sarge, I do have PTSD, Epilepsy and one arm that does not work. But I have a lovely wife three nieces and a nephew my side and three nieces the wife's side of the family.|
Our little island is a resilient Nation that makes fun at itself, For we moan about the weather to hot or to cold and wet. We stand in long lines queuing for things and don't grumble, well we do if someone tries tp push in. Then we eat Fish and chips on the way home out of newspaper in the open air. We love to go in the pub and have a good pint of beer and God forbid any landlord that serves you a bad pint. For that is our little treat. Believe it or not the British are quite quiet people and do take a lot of abuse from politicians etc., but Sarge when you put our backs up against a wall as we call it they can fight back in a devastating way. It is hard to explain it as you live thousands of miles away from me. I have been to America for two weeks when I served in the British Army and I was in Canada.
Your country is so vast (to us), we did but see only a bit of it. A tiny bit of it. The rest we see on the TV over here as they have programs and news from the US. Unfortunately these programs do not show of the best of it, and give the impression of mass opulence and everyone in big flash vehicles. We tend to walk as our roads in the cities were designed for horses, not cars. The Average traffic speed in London is 4 MPH and if there is an accident that stops entirely. So it is quicker walking or using public transport, like trains the underground and buses.
The only real way to know about our country is to come here and experience it for yourself. I recently had a Lady from Iceland who was coming to London for a Holiday asked me where to go and what to see as she likes Gardening and her Husband likes Soccer and wanted to see a Soccer game live. I pointed them in all the right directions and they had a great time. Politeness and good Hospitality is an English trait.
One day Sarge you may see we are not that bad here.
I have a Daughter but I have not seen her since she was two years old, she would be 23 now. So you are blessed with two lovely Daughters and a wife.
As for my Recipes, I do not mind where you use them as I am not a copyright freak, and if they give someone a bit of pleasure then that is great, even though I cannot stand DG!
My Most Kindest Regards to your goodself and all the family.
Neil & Sarah.