10 December 1999



Roast and Toast Day was a big hit with farmers weekly

readers on Sunday, Nov 21. They roasted beef and

toasted the future of farming around the land. It was a

special occasion – a chance to get together with friends

and family and a chance for farmers to rejoice in what they

do. A chance to find some cheer in this depressed

agricultural climate. Farmlife asked you to tell us about

your meal and here are some of the letters.

The writers can look forward to receiving

a bottle of Carr Taylor English wine

sparkling English wine.

I had not been able to decide how to celebrate my husband Tonys 60th birthday until I read the article about Roast and Toast Day in Farmlife. Then it all clicked into place.

I prayed for good weather as I organised a clay pigeon shoot on the set-aside, with a picnic.

I cooked the big beef joint from a neighbours Aberdeen Angus, I had been saving it for Christmas but we can buy some more. We invited 12 of our most loved friends, none of them farmers, except ourselves. We piled the back of the car high with hot beef rolls, horseradish, salads and bottles of British ale. Apple and blackberry pies and a big slab of local Stilton cheese followed. After a morning in the very fresh air appetites were truly whetted and there remained scarcely a crumb.

We asked that no presents be brought to the festivities, just exacted a promise that for one month everyone would try to buy only British food, and that they would examine the labelling and complain when it was not accurate.

As we toasted the man who had spent the whole of his 60 years following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather the assembled company were unanimous in their praise for a party with a difference. They had come in their warmest and oldest clothes, sat cheerfully on straw bales and set to with gusto to pick up discarded shell cases and broken clays. All they asked was that we did it again.

Liz Brailsford

Applethorns Farm, Foston, Lincs.

J ust to say how much I enjoyed reading your article on your visit to France on Roast and Toast Day. What a wonderful advert. Two farmer friends and I enjoyed roast rib on Saturday evening.

How pleased I was to see Nobby Bristow (the butcher pictured in Farmlife and on last weeks cover) looking his normal self, I have known him over 40 years, a great character.

WT Morphew

Ceresa, 34 Rushams Road, Horsham, West Sussex.

O ur Roast Beef Sunday was celebrated with a delicious joint of rolled rib of Aberdeen Angus beef, nicely marbled with fat, but of course as is the fashion – the outside fat was cut off. However, it was really tender and tasty, much better than tasteless and chewy Charolais beef.

It was served with a huge dish of Yorkshire puds, especially for our son who really loves them, an English cauli, our own roast potatoes and carrots from a neighbours garden.

This was followed by a deep apple pie made with delicious Bramleys. A retired schoolteacher lives in the village and has a lovely old garden and this year had a really bumper crop of Bramleys which, public spirited man that he is, he has been leaving in a box by his gate for several weeks so that passers-by can help themselves. The pie was accompanied by custard made from milk from ourown cows.

This roast beef meal was shared by our youngest son and daughter-in-law and was a most enjoyable meal.

Eileen Foss

Lower Bramstone Farm, Chale Green, Ventnor,Isle of Wight.

It was a family occasion for the Shaw family at Poulton-le-Flyde, Lancs.

"I would never dream of buying anything other than British," said Jeannie, sharing a meal with husband Alan and sons Joseph and Matthew. "Roast and Toast Day gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate British food. We have the best so why not shout about it," she said.

Some top English fizz…

Farmlife wanted to give Roast and Toast Day letter writers a bottle of best English wine. And where better to get one, we figured, than from Carr Taylor – the Hastings, Sussex, vineyard which won a gold medal at Frances biggest wine trade fair this year. They beat, you might say, the French at their own game. It seemed the ideal prize – not least because the Roast and Toast Day celebrations were partly a reaction to Frances ban on British beef. So we got on the phone to those nice people at Carr Taylor and they agreed to provide us with some bottles of their Brut, a lovely English sparkling wine.

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