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Friday, 31 July 2009

Meatballs Up Grey Nag

Sooooo - I packed me bag and drove the chariot off to Slaggyford and parked it in a puddle of mud. And walked up to the top of Grey Nag. The top of Grey Nag is 2152 feet above sea level and has an old cairn with a trig point on top of it and what appears to be a substantial sheepfold, into which I insinuated the akto so as to be out of the frisky hurricane coming off the Solway Firth.

After a few chapters of "The bride of Lammermuir" by Walter (where's my washboard?) Scott, I rang Brian who said he'd come out of his chapel and shine his six million candle-power Petzl in my direction and I, in turn, would shine mine at him

The distance is exactly a few miles, but in a straight line and, in dayloght at least you can see chez Brian from the edge of Grey Nag. (I believe the older name for this hill may well be "Watch Hill Currick" by the way. Its a good place for an observation post for the watching for the approach of baddies towards Alston Moor from various directions) I have to report that the results were disappointing. And it was perishing cold to be stood around on a Pennine scarp in that nithering wind.

Anyway, I diverge from my purpose which is, of course, to describe the delights of Look-what-we-found basil meatballs in tomato sauce, whikst listenign to radio Scotland (good reception up here) and sipping a rather rough scotch.

I got some criteria from various posters on and I describe my evening meal with reference to those. Credits at the bottom of the post.

Taste: Quite fab. This is high quality stuff, and no mistake

Ease of preparation: A doddle. Stick it in a pan and warm it up gently. (some skill required)

Portion size: Nowhere near big enough on its own. I added a small tin of peas and 80gm of smash. This didn't quite ruin it, but came close. It still tasted good, but looked a bit messy.

pack weight: 320gm (860 gm with extras and a tin of peaches)

Calories: 408 + 350 ish with extras added

Time to prepare: Five minutes altogether

Value for money: At £2.49 plus , say, 50p for the extras, this is cheaper than most dehydrated food. So I reckon this is excellent vfm

One pan? Yes

Need to wash up after: Yes. get a dog.
Propensity to windypops: Not that I noticed any additional emanations
Aftertaste/repetition: No.

Overall: This is high quality, tasy food and very good vfm. 320 gms is not specially heavy, but you have to add things to it to make a meal. This wouldn't matter too much on short trips, or on the first day of a longer trip. The quality and taste make it worth the slight extra effort. Somebody should encourage the company to add some carbs to their basic meals and call them "hillwalkers" portions. Or something.

As for the night on Grey Nag - a bit breezy, but dry. I read seven chapters of "The Bride of lammermuir" by Sir Walter (Give me sunshine) Scott, finished my 35cl of Glen Rustynail and got a great view of the Most Northern Pennines. Was regaled by some grouse and visited by two meadow pipts and a mouse... and two hillwalkers. I had a chat with a shepherd and left after lunch for coffee at Brian's
Thanks for the criteria suggestions and other helpful comments to:
Mr Sam.
These probably aren't their real names, I would suggest.


GeoffC said...

You actually saw other walkers on Grey Nag?. Damned unlucky, we have never seen anyone at all in the entire area of the Gilderdale Fells.
Great wild and (usually) deserted area - in drier times!.

mike knipe said...

Yes Geoff - It is a bit unusual,I know, although Brian visits Grey Nag summit frequently, and, I think this was my sixth visit.
The old chap looked a bit like me, actually, but his female partner was quite a bit better looking (then either of us!)

baz carter said...

The LWWF stuff is great tasting but light in calories as you state. A good dessert can off sett that. The old fall back of birds instant custard is a good remedy. I've used these as a first meal out or on overnighters when weight isn't too much of a consideration. There are several options that are gluten free which is good for me, especially when the majority of the other outdoor options aren't.

mike knipe said...

Ah yes, instant custard. Saved me life on a TGO Chally once. (Well, it made the night a bit more comfortable)I've just bought several packets of slightly out-of-date MOD instant custard on Crook market (5 packs for £1)!

baz carter said...

Instant custard for me is like spinnach for Popeye :)

My fav is a choc cake bar with it.

mike knipe said...

Hmm, well, yes...! Chocolate cake bar and custard. Dribble..... obviously...... I'll have to have some for my liddle walk next week.
Thanks for the prompt, there, Baz.

baz carter said...

Or jaffa cakes :) Now you've got to make a choice (sorry!)

mike knipe said...

Sometimes its nice to have a choice - but I must say that, for me, choccy cake wins over yer Jaffa cake everytime.
Then there's ginger sponge cake....

baz carter said...

I haven't been able to source a gluten free ginger cake - yet :)

James Boulter said...

A great spot for a wild camp Mike. I was on its summit last sat after a walk from Croglin but descended to Gilderdale for a wild camp near that spooky looking mine building. You could swim across the hills it was a bit boggy!

mike knipe said...

I don't think I know the mine building in Gilderdale, James. Any chance of a grid ref? - wouldn't mind having a look.

James Boulter said...

Its this place Mike

mike knipe said...

Well now James, there's an interesting place - I'm going to have to have a look at this one. Stangely odd but oddly strange at the same time, its not on my map, other than as some boulders. Its on the list of places to visit.
Thanks for this!

James Boulter said...

With a bit a sweep and a tidy up it could make a nice little bothy. It is rather strange that it is not marked on the map though.

mike knipe said...

Noted that comment...
Do you have the locations of the of the other non-MBA bothies in the area?
(Probably not for general publication!)

James Boulter said...

If you keep the locations to yourself Mike I can email them to you.

mike knipe said...

I know where they are, James, I wondered if you did! (Probably not the best wording on my previous comment)

James Boulter said...

I only know of two other Non MBA ones Mike, both pretty good. I wonder if the ones I know of are the same as the ones you know of? I tell you what, I will email the details of what I have and if you fancy it if you know of any others you could email them back. That would be lovely that would!