Hello and Welcome to the Oak Anniversary of Meat Filled Pastries, the marriage of one mans journey of football and his love of pie, let’s get into it.
I have decided that I want to become a professional sportsperson, in particular, a footballer, at 29 I know I am at the peak of my footballing powers with a left foot that can still ping a decent long ball cross field and the love of a good tackle but how do I get my foot in the door? Well, based on the antics of football authority figures in the UK alone then I have a few options:
1. Be a convicted rapist.
2. Be proficient in the art of racist, sexist and chauvinistic text messaging.
3. Be a bit flippant about practitioners of Judaism.
Look at the list. Seriously look at it, and that’s without considering the list of match fixers, assaulters and hit and runners to name just a few of the convincts currently plying their trade in professional football in the UK. Could you imagine talking yourself out of a disciplinary hearing in your work if you were found guilty of any of those listed above, no me neither but yet in the realms of professional football, a place seen as the holy grail for idealistic youngsters kicking a battened Dr. Pepper can about a school playground, these crimes (because that’s what they are) result in almost instant redemption. It’s appalling.
Now let me clarify this by saying I am not against rehabilitation of individuals who have committed such crimes but for the process to be carried out in front of millions of people, many young and impressionable, whilst getting paid a small fortune for the privilege really has your head scratching at what goes through the minds of the people that run our game. The joke is there is no rehabilitation of these individuals, there’s no courses they have to go on, no donations being made, no consequences for their acts, instead these individuals are rehabilitated back into the game as if nothing has ever happened. If you need any evidence of the impressionability of these figures on others then just look at the moronic behaviour of a small minority of Sheffield United fans who took to social media to post about club patron, Jessica Ennis-Hill, because she had the audacity to say that rape isn’t very nice.
You know, I don’t know if I even blame the individuals, not for their actions which are clearly abhorrent, but for there willingness to accept the warm embrace of the football family, irrespective of their crimes. Why feel shame, when those around you behave like their is nothing to be ashamed of? I don’t know, sometimes it makes you think, why bother?
Luckily though I have never heard of pies committing hate crimes, so without further ado let’s rate some pies!
Where: Celtic Park, Scotland v Republic of Ireland, Euro 2016 Qualifying Group D
Price: Priced at £2.20 it was 10p more expensive than it’s most recent comparable (Pie 78: The St. Mirren Pie) and as such is at the top end of the scotch pie price scale for Scottish football, this price would no doubt be defended on the basis of the surroundings in which you consume it in.
Presentation: A small white napkin with a tin foil container, very much the standard at this level, although I’m still to be convinced the red hot nature of a pastry case is really what a football fan need to contend with as a game rages on before your eyes.
Meatiness: The level of notes I made about this pie on reflection could have been far more in depth, but as it was my birthday, and perhaps the biggest game of the year I was set to attend, I was rather full of the joys of life. That said though, notes were made and the memory is now accustomed to storing pie consumptions in a section of my brain, ready for removal come review time. The pie was filled nicely, there was room for more but you couldn’t accuse it of being skimpy. The meat was moist if not a little greasy, but had a nice texture. There was a long hot, peppery linger something that my palate yearns for but, as I discovered come judging day, would be too severe for those with tufts of grey hair poking out their ears. I lied it though, so that’s all that matters.
Pastry: Pretty non descript although I will say it felt and looked under baked and actually mashed together a bit in the mouth as you munched your way through. There was no crispy edges perhaps a symptom of trying to meet demand instead of providing a quality product. Could have been better, could have been worse.
Brown Sauce: A small brown sachet, the kind you see in work place canteens across the country, one is never quite enough but two is sometimes too much. Added tang.
Overall: A solid effort, long peppery kick, added the heat which I adore but some may not. Pastry could have been better baked. Preparation perhaps done in a somewhat slap dash manner.
Gravy Factor: Pepped up with pepper gravy!
Who knew that Oak is the item associated with an 80th wedding anniversary, and who knew I would get to 80 pies when this started, well 81 is on it’s way the first of a double dunt special from junior side Dundee Violet.
However until next time, go forth and eat pie!