Sam Bagge | www.walsingham.co
Sam Bagge, general manager at Walsingham Farms Shop, is more than ready for spring, especially new season lamb
After a week of heavy snow and disruption in North Norfolk it goes without saying that 2021 could be starting off worse, yes worse, than 2020! However, as the snow starts to slowly melt here in Little Walsingham, all eyes are now focused on spring and the imminent arrival of Easter, a lovely time of year in our part of the world.
This year, rather like the Christmas just gone, is likely to be a lot different to what we consider ‘normal’. It’s quite a struggle to predict anything at the moment: if and when lockdown might ease, what impact it will have on us and so on. Easter is for us, like many butchers, farm shops and delis, a crucial trading period, normally the start of increased trade as the sunnier weather brings holiday makers and second home owners to our part of the world. This year, it will all be a bit of a mystery!
Yet Easter, and the spring in general, is a fantastic season for local food and exciting produce. I’m most looking forward to the arrival of spring lamb from our farmer Nick Gardner, from South Creake, near Burnham Market, which is always highly sought after. The meat is tender and subtle in flavour, and the colour is also paler than old season lamb. Grilled lamb leg steaks are excellent if cooking a light evening meal perhaps with a light dressing or wilted spring greens and fried herby potatoes. It would pair excellently with a cold glass of Norfolk Bacchus wine, perhaps from the vineyards of Winbirri, near Norwich, or Cobble Hill, near Burnham Market, both fresh, fruity and award winning.
This year we are asking our customers to order early for their new season lamb and their other choices – but, don’t worry, our ever-popular lamb and mint pie will certainly be available come rain or shine!
And then, before we know it, it will be time for asparagus, crab, strawberries and all those wonderful spring greens and, hopefully, happier times all round.