Friday 8th July at 7pm
Cold Hungarian hors d’oeuvre / Magyar hideg izelitő
Jewish eggs / Zsidó tojás
Ewe cheese spread / Juhtúrós körözött
Chicken crackling with red onions / Csirketepertő lilahagymával
Main course / Főétel
Maritime mutton kettle goulash / Bográcsos tengerparti birkapörkölt
Juhtúrós sztrapacska (Slovakian pasta with ewe cheese)
A selection of Aron’s home made Hungarian pastries
Tickets £24 per person
Weather permitting the goulash will be served from a traditional bogrács (kettle) in the garden.
A varied selection of liquid “refreshments” will also be available.
Please call or email to make a reservation
Despite growing up in London and arriving to Bristol from Budapest, I actually have very strong ties to the West Country. As well as having been born in Bridgwater, my surname is of Cornish origin and I always felt a strong sense of Cornish identity (even if the locals consider me to be just another emmet).
As a child we spent many summer holidays in Cornwall, putting the car on the train at Earls Court and as we clanked our way towards Dawlish, I remember the smell of British Rail kippers wafting up from the dining car
We’d stay for one week in a B&B and for another with my Grandfather’s little sister, Great Aunt Babs, who lived on the outskirts of St. Austell. It is fair to say that Aunty Babs left a very big impression upon me and I used to cry when it was time to set off on the long drive back to Croydon.
I should also admit to having been in awe of Aunty Babs, not least of all because her house was full of souvenirs that she had collected at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics at which she won a bronze medal for swimming. It lay in a glass display cabinet in her living room and looked as big as a saucer (although I suspect it was somewhat smaller).
Amongst all of the Budapest flee market “family” photographs in the corridor at Aron’s, are two photographs of my Great Aunty Babs.
All of this was by way of introduction to the maritime mutton that we are cooking on the 8th July which was reared by Becca Hosking, my Aunty Bab’s granddaughter and therefore some kind of cousin.
Sadly I don’t really know my cousin Becca. Not only is she quite a lot younger than me but she grew up on a farm in Devon and I grew up in bloody Croydon. Rebecca worked at one time for the BBC’s Natural History Unit here in Bristol as a filmmaker (don’t mention supermarket plastic bags it makes her cross). But it’s what she’s doing now which is so remarkable.
In recognising that modern agriculture is entirely unsustainable due to a reliance on fossil fuels, she and her partner took on a farm in South Devon with the intention of farming with nature. The farm had been completely stripped of all it’s natural assets. After decades of conventional modern farming, the soil no longer contained any life, the pasture contained no diversity of flora or fauna and being located on the coast, the entire place was being regularly lashed by Atlantic gales.
Amongst other things they have planted masses of trees to create shelter from storms, fodder for their livestock and to improve the soil. They’ve also tracked down a breed of sheep that resembles one that formerly grazed in Devon and Cornwall but became extinct. And every single day they move their flock from one enclosure to another a technique known as mob grazing.
Mob grazing means that the flock only eat the top of the pasture (the tasty part that’s full of flowers and seeds and stuff) and it then tramples the remainder into the ground which adds much needed organic matter back into the soil.
All of which means tasty mutton and a farm bursting with wildlife. Which is cool.
Please join us on 8th July to sample my cousin’s maritime mutton.
Oh and please check out her website to see all of the fab stuff she’s doing!