After qualification finished last week the top 8 were selected for today's sausage roll off back at Crusader Towers. However before the final, thing of the year rules dictate that I must collect the finalists by bike and this is where the drama started.
On Wednesday I set off for the first 3 cafe finalists (Earsham Street Bungay, Gardeners Kitchen Bergh Apton and Little Pigs Poringland). I had gone less than a mile when I clipped the curb and flew off my bike on to the pavement. Unfortunately I landed on my face and felt my front tooth bend in my mouth, then my ribs landed on the phone in my top pocket causing me some pain.
Despite some blood, a wobbly tooth and bruised ribs I decide to press on or the SROTY final would have to be cancelled. Although a bit dazed and in some pain I completed the the 38 mile ride and the first set of sausage rolls were in the bag.
|Sausage rolls collected from Gardener's Kitchen|
|Rainbow didn't have pots of sausage rolls at the end but just meant it was going to rain|
|Andrew fixed his puncture while I brought the SR's|
We continued in a constant drizzle to the Great Walsingham Cafe for our next collection. Whilst there Andrew insisted we phone our last stop (Artemis in Cley) to make sure they had 3 rolls left as we were now past lunchtime. This was very wise as they had in fact sold out.
|Sausage rolls collected at Great Walsingham|
|The Owl in Holt came up trumps as first reserve|
Once again things didn't go smoothly as after a few miles we hit a road that was covered in black ice and with cyclists sliding and a couple of falling off incidents the ride was abandoned. I was left to slide off to collect the last finalists.
Back at Crusader Towers with everything now in place the draw for the first round of the sausage roll off was made. Jenny (Vegetarian) supervised proceedings while my tasting team warmed up and cleansed their palates.
|Crack sausage roll tasting team ready for the first round|
Earsham Street Cafe v Gardeners Kitchen
Little Pigs v Four Seasons
The Owl v Creake Abbey Cafe
Great Witchingham cafe v Piano Tearoom
Just to reach the knockout phase is a real achievement as all the sausage rolls were excellent. Earsham Street and Four seasons had comfortable early wins before The Owl v Creake Abbey sausage roll off, which proved to be a cracking tie. Some of the tasting team felt the christmas additions counted against Creake Abbey and they went out 4-3. The Great Witchingham v Piano match was a battle of the sausage roll giants (literally) and lived up to its 'tie of the round' billing with the judge's finding it hard to pick a winner but Great Witchingham eventually came out on top.
|Sausage Rolls being prepared for first round action|
The Earsham Street v Great Walsingham clash was a classic match up and would have made a worthy final but in the end Earsham Street proved too strong and progressed through. In the other semi Four Seasons came out a 5-2 winner but it was an excellent showing from the Owl to get this far after its last minute call up to the finals.
After the finalists were heated up they were introduced to the crowd ready for the last tasting of the year.
|Last two sausage rolls standing|
|Action from the SROTY final|
I will shortly be announcing what thing of the year will be next year when I will return to something baked and sweet.