The Quest for Pie!

 

The idea behind Pie Quest came to me at lunchtime. I was bored with sandwiches, I was bored with wraps, I was bored with cup-a-soup. What I truly wanted was a good meat pie that would fit in the palm of your hand. Something you saw in period drama, hawked by men with tattered trousers carrying overloaded trays on their heads, whilst cunning eyed urchins planned strategies for stealing them. So you see it was a bit of a dream, as good pies are hard to find in this age. It is true that a large amount of variety can be found in a local supermarket, you can purchase everything from bacon and leek to chicken and mushroom. All of these pies however are flimsy affairs, held together with tin foil plates, dismantling themselves into crumbs as soon as picked up, not to mention that you need an oven to bake them.

No, the prospect was bleak. I searched the high street of Cheltenham ( where I lived at the time ) in the hope of finding somewhere that was still enamored with the past. Some sort of side alley full of old fashioned shops or something very much like that. The closest I managed was a pasty shop, and whilst this sufficed for a short while, a pasty does not have the same appeal as a pie ( too many letters you see ). After venting my spleen to my co-workers we decided that we must pursue the pie out into the countryside, sampling pies all over and marking them to find the best. So, here are the rules of pie quest, if like me you crave adventure and good food then find a handful of hearty companions and head into the countryside.

 

  • A number of stout and good natured fellows must gather together
  • A compass direction must be chosen. This typically comes from the subset North, South, East and West, but variations and combinations can sometimes provide better results.
  • The party must walk in this direction ( roads and footpaths permitting ) until reaching the first ale house.
  • It is up to the discretion of the party to choose whether to enter any ale house along the journey
  • When reaching the first ale house it then becomes possible to change compass direction. This may be done to avoid unsavoury districts or bogs or swamps. Groups of rampaging animals may be avoided in the same manner
  • If an ale house serves pie then it is the responsibility of the party to sample the meal and score the food on the criteria laid out below.* If pie has been sampled before in the ale house, sampling of the pie must be forfeit in favour of finding new pie elsewhere.
  • Unusual methods of transport are encouraged.
  • Stone mushrooms are usually a good indication of pie in the area, questers should be on the look-out for these.
  • The only point at which the quest may be abandoned is if pie has been consumed, or the available time has expired ( this is based on circumstance )
  • The most important rule is that: NO PLANNING SHOULD EVER BE UNDERTAKEN. Pie is wary and tricky to catch and if an announcement or decision is made as to the destination, then the pies usually hear and escape.

 

When eating pie, the following criteria should be considered and a mark out of five given.

 

  • Beer - The quality and range of beer available on your journey.
  • Setting - The loveliness of the surrounding in which pie is eaten.
  • Meat - The quality and amount of meat found inside the pie. Extra points should be considered based on types of meat ( i.e. Rabbit, Venison etc. )
  • Gravy - An important and vital part of any pie. Mark this on taste, thickness and colour
  • Pastry - The walls of power that hold the goodness inside. Give marks for colour, taste, texture etc.
  • Value - The amount of pie purchased per unit currency. Large meals that cost very little get high marks here.
  • Pieness - The very essence of a pie. A pie should have of pastry on ALL sides. Pies served in dishes or upside down score lower.
  • Toilets - It is important that pie is disposed of with care and reverence, so the quality of the public services is important
  • Ancillary - Any extra points that you wish to make
  • Length - The overall length of the quest, and your happiness with it.
  • Features - The points of interest seen during your journey. Interesting road signs, strange events etc.
  • Livestock - Pie is made from meat, and meat comes from livestock. The presence of livestock does indicate that meat is naturally available nearby.
  • Weather - The quality of the weather experienced on the quest
  • Terrain - The quality of the terrain. Motorways and city road should score low.
  • Mushrooms - Mushrooms the herald of pie indicate the closeness of your meal, score the quest on the number of these seen
  • Possibility Pubs - The number of pubs that were passed during the trip.
  • People - The friendliness of the people encountered.
  • Wenches - The number of wenches seen on the journey. Ladies may alter this score to refer to the male sex.
  • Overall - A final overall feeling of the quest

 

Pastry