December 10 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Local produce proved to be the key ingredient when a village side was crowned the best in the land when it comes to cricket teas.
Judges were bowled over by the efforts of Lis Walker and Lorraine Page from Rocklands Cricket Club, who were crowned winners of the Yorkshire Tea Great Cricket Tea Challenge.
After hundreds of entries, the pair were whittled down to the final four and were announced as the winners during the Ashes.
And the victory has helped them secure a top prize – a brand new kitchen worth £10,000, which will be installed next month.
The final saw Lis and Lorraine travel to Lord’s – the spiritual home of English cricket – to lay on a spread showcasing Norfolk ingredients in the famous Long Room for a panel of judges comprising Ashes legend Michael Vaughan, Ian Brabbin, head of tea at Taylors of Harrogate, and Justin Clapham, from the world-famous Betty’s craft bakery.
Their winning spread consisted of mini Victoria sponges, sandwiches made with Norfolk cheeses which were served on stumps and “egg before wicket” – Lorraine’s infamous home-made scotch eggs.
“We dressed our dishes with jars and preserves,” Lis said. “When they told us we had won, we were standing in a line like the Great British Bake Off. Lorraine burst into tears.
“It’s the sort of thing that happens to other people. It’s really amazing.”
The tea crew has 15 people on the rota, working in pairs, doing the cooking and laying out the spreads.
Lis was inspired to start baking after she tried some of her friend’s home-made profiteroles at a party.
“I am the woman who used to think a dessert came in a box and had Sara Lee written on it,” she said. “Making the teas is a social thing. It can be lonely and monotonous while the boys are out on the field, especially if their wives and girlfriends don’t understand the rules of cricket.”
To celebrate the success, a number of events will be held at the cricket club. Former Zimbabwe cricketer Henry Olonga will be in conversation with Matthew Gudgin, from BBC Radio Norfolk, at the club at 8pm on Friday. Tickets cost £2.50 and can be bought by calling 07876 298422 or 07717 175586.
The award-winning afternoon tea will be served on Monday, August 26 when a summer fayre is held at the club. The event will start at 10.30am and there will be a casual cricket tournament.