A local launch of the book Much Ado About Mutton took place in the village Hall of Llanfinhangel Rhydithon (or Dolau, pronounced 'Dolly' for short) in rural mid Wales on September the 6th. With delicious mutton to sample, and some extracts from the book read by the author and friends, not to mention village gossip to catch up on, oh, and the wine flowing freely, what could go wrong?
Fortunately, all went relatively smoothly.
Local mutton producers David and Helen Pickersgill of Weobley Ash Farm, Herefordshire (pictured) brought some of their excellent Moroccan spiced mutton sausages.
Local cook and food expert, Lavinia Vaughan, cooked some wonderful mutton tasters from meat butchered by Tom Pugh at Harry Tuffin's supermarket eight miles away at Knighton in Powys.
The ewes for the tastings were of two breeds - Shropshires from Tom, and Lleyn from David and Helen. Both had been hung for between 10 days and three weeks. All the animals were about 4 years old, and were slaughtered at Griffiths, Leintwardine, Shropshire. Both Doug Griffiths and Tom Pugh came along for a taste of their wares.
Author Bob Kennard and his wife Carolyn, together with local sheep farmer, Mike Reynolds (see right) read some extracts from the book, bringing to life the voices of mutton enthusiasts of previous generations.
The general consensus of the evening was that many people found they enjoyed eating mutton and found the evening fascinating, and wasn't it a good idea to get the community together! What was the best gossip of the evening? Well, that would be telling, mind you, I was rather surprised to hear about young George and that sheep .......