Pre Dizzy Pig Events
Even before the creation of Dizzy Pig Brewing and the Dizzy Pig pub, we have enjoyed some excellent evening events, some planned some not. The not so planned generally involved a neighbour or two popping round to say hello, drop something off or to borrow a tool. This then lead to a thorough testing of the latest cider for the boys, and wine for the ladies. One thing lead to another and snacks appeared, time passed and little work was done, but with good friends, a drop or two of alcohol to accompany some fine home produced food, life was savoured.
Other events were more organised, over the last few years we have became a little more competitive. Our first event was the "Inaugural Pool Cottage Sausage Fest", in which neighbours and family alike were invited to submit a batch of 6 identical flavour sausages for scrutiny by a panel of "judges". The judges were Edgar our local farmer and a couple who had attended a smoking and curing course earlier in the day. With the rules drawn up and some 14 entries the judges took their duties extremely seriously and with awards for best overall sausage and best home reared pork sausage, competition was fierce. When all the marks were added up, checked and verified, the results were announced. To our great surprise the overall winner was brother John, we took best home reared and our son, Ben took second place. A fine result for the Williams family and we can honestly say we didn't rig the result, even though we organised the event, made up the rules and hosted the competition!!
Our second competition was more for the ladies and was the "Inaugural Pool Cottage Pudding Fest". Once again we invited all and sundry and following the success of the sausage fest, entries rose to 30. All the wonderful creations were winners given the amount of time and effort each pudding must of taken to make. With multiple entries from a number of the competitors and with a total of 40 guests, everyone had lots of pudding to eat, so much so that many of us felt quite sick at the end. Judging of the puddings was carried out by everyone, in that for a donation to Macmillan Nurses, everyone received a judging sheet, a bowl and a spoon. Once everyone had had their fill the scores were totalled and the winners announced. For this competition, there were trophies and medals for overall winners and a children's section was keenly contested and unlike the sausage fest, the Williams clan did not win all the prizes, though Ruth received a highly commended for her excellent Admirals Pudding.
2015 was the year of the "Poolhead Pie Festival". The competition had just 2 categories; savoury and sweet, but all pies had to have the filling fully encased, non of this stew with a puff pastry hat here at Pool Cottage. Judging was once again carried out by everyone, for a donation to charity. For the donation you got to sample over 30 pies ranging from huge hand raised pies to delicate fruit filled pastry, topped with meringue. We even had an entry from Italy courtesy of a couple visiting friends locally. This easily took the furthest travelled pie award. Once all the judging and awards were presented, we gathered round the fire-pit and the beer, cider and wine flowed long into the night.
In honour of "The Great British Bake Off" TV series, the 2016 event was the "Showstopper Challenge Festival", where anything goes as long as it had that wow factor. There was much plotting and secrecy, but on the day the entries were truly magnificent with structures that defied gravity. Judging and prizes were once again awarded, but our small community was the big winner because everyone came together, had fun and went away happy (and a bit tipsy)!