Why do the weather forecasts always foretell rain and cloud and gusts of wind? The weather today has been lovely – again! I am glad that the forecasts were incorrect because Hubby and I decided to make an impromptu journey to Staveley, a village just outside Kendal and about a 10-minute ride from our Lake District guest house in Bowness on Windermere.
It all began with the usual question: ‘What shall we have for dinner tonight?’ ‘How about burgers from the butcher?’ I suggested. We buy our B&B breakfast meats from the local butcher in Staveley because everything is freshly handmade: from curing the bacon to slicing it to making the sausages that our kids love to eat.
So off we went to Staveley. As we entered the shop, two of the three brothers who manage and run it were in. I looked at the tray labelled ‘burgers’. There was nothing in the tray. Now, our butcher’s shop is a very traditional outfit. Behind the counter, one can see the butchers at work. Today, having glanced forlornly at the empty tray, I noticed that a large metal bowl on the butcher block. One of two brothers was obviously preparing something although we did not know what. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the saying goes.
‘Have you any burgers?’ I enquired.
‘I was just preparing burgers with horseradish,’ the butcher answered.
‘How long will it be before the burgers are ready?’ I asked, thinking that we might walk round the village first before returning to the shop to pick up the burgers.
The butcher looked up at us, ‘ How many do you want?’
‘Four,’ replied Hubby.
The butcher picked up five pieces of square-cut cellophane. Then he picked up a handful of meat from the bowl, rolled it into a ball, and placed it on the scales. Returning to the table, he shaped the ball into a patty and placed it on the cellophane. He repeated this three times. I was surprised but pleased. I had expected to wait for the burgers, but, unbeknownst to us, we had timed our request just as the butcher had completed making up the burger mixture.
Four burgers were handed over to Hubby. ‘Will you put it on our tab?’ he asked. And the deed was done. What an easy way to buy things when there is trust between a tradesman and a consumer! We get billed monthly and we pay up with a cheque when the third brother – who tells us that he gets frozen fingers whilst making all their sausages by hand in a chilled room – comes to our house to deliver more goods as and when we order them.
Staveley is a village technically situated outside the Lake District National Park. However, it does offer walks into the Kentmere Valley and surrounding hills. Today, Hubby and I, not forgetting our dog, Zack, were only going to walk around Staveley centre. I wanted to check out some of the furnishing shops on its high street.
The burgers went down a treat with Hubby and Son numero uno. (Son number two is away on internship at present.) As for me, I thought I would eat up the leftovers from last night: my very own inimitable fried rice, into which I simply chuck whatever is at hand to make up a meal. Sometimes, I don’t think my family appreciates my cooking; but the dog generally does!
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
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