Noshtalgic cheatin’ in the kitchen

by Martin Field

Pickled eggs ‘n Scrumpy
I was telling Beery Mag about getting legless on scrumpy (a strongly alcoholic rustic cider) on the morning of a mate’s wedding many years ago.

We rode borrowed motor bikes down narrow hedgerowed lanes near Rockwell Green in Taunton, Somerset, and stopped for morning tea at a quaint little tavern that sold cider.

The place was basic. The bar was a trestle table bearing big jars of pickled onions and pickled eggs. Behind the table was a barman who spoke a form of English with which we were not yet acquainted and behind him were a few age-blackened barrels of scrumpy. A quartet of yokels wearing felt hats and smocks sat out front drinking and chewing straw.

‘Pints of scrumpy all round!’ yelled the husband to be. The brew was cheap, rough, cloudy, sharp, and seemingly innocuous. After a few pints and a number of delicious pickled eggs, it was off to the ceremony.

A shitefaced party consisting of a scrumpy-fuelled bridegroom and friends does not present a pretty picture at a wedding. I’ve often wondered whether the newlyweds are still together.

Next morning we found that aside from the expected nauseating consequences of mega hangovers, the scrumpy and pickles had created bizarre and volatile compounds in our innards. Coincidentally, noxious fumes permeated the hotel with a strange yet unlikeable miasma; this apparently led to early departures and cancelled bookings. Enough said.

Beery harrumphed, ‘Pickled eggs. Too easy, but!’ (The Queensland vernacular has started to rub off on her.)

‘All you do is hard boil some eggs for about ten minutes and cool them. Remove the shells and place the eggs in sterilised jars. Fill the jars with the vinegar that you have thriftily saved from commercial or homemade pickled onions and seal. After a week or two in the fridge, serve them sliced with bread, cheese and pickled onions and cider or beer or, if you can get it, scrumpy.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *