Sat 15th Dec - Sun 16th Dec, 2001
Ty Powdyr CHRISTMAS BASH
CHRISTMAS BASH in brief.
Attendance: around 42.
Thanks go to all the Kitchen hands (inc. Roisin), pudding providers and outdoor organisers Al and Andy.
Special Thanks to Ken for his incredible hard graft throughout the day - from helping me set up the tables in the morning through to his chopping 25kg (55lb) of onions in the afternoon - and he was still strutting his stuff on the dance floor at 1.00am!!!!
Also Thanks to Karen Cooksey (Lee's considerably better half) who was not only a whizz with a knife but also provided much needed culinary guidance.
Result: Lots of fun, frolick and plenty of wind (on and off the hill!).
A Grumble: For some reason I can't fathom the Christmas bash attracts very few of the KMC's, how shall I put it, more mature members (with a couple of notable exceptions). This event is an important social occasion in the KMC calendar and it is, at least in my opinion, somewhat disappointing that one particular "faction" of the club appear to feel excluded. I could understand if there were genuine reasons given by our more senior clubites (& there were a few), - perhaps they were scaling grand heights or had the family round for the weekend - but oh no - the responses I received were, in general, more akin to "I've got to do my hair" or "there's an episode of Telly Tubbies I can't miss". At the end of the day there are few occasions where we have a real opportunity to come together socially as a club - the annual dinner, President's hotpot, Christmas bash and of course the Black Memorial Lecture. It is the popularity of the last of these across all ages of KMCers that illustrates why it is important that we guard against our natural tendency to form cliques. Bowden, who I unfortunately knew all too briefly, provided a grand example of a man for all seasons - he attended all major KMC events, including the Christmas bash, where his opening address to the hungry hoards has, thanks to Ken, now become an established part of the evening's festivities. I hope that both by seeing Ken's example and by recalling Bowden's infectious enthusiasm next year's Christmas Bash will be a more inclusive affair (any suggestions as to what changes would help this come about?).
Happy Cranking in 2002
Your ringmasters for this year's KMC Yuletide feast of festive fun, frolicks and fine food were to have been no other than Catherine Destival and the Naked Chef. Unfortunately during the trial run it was discovered that she couldn't cook and he couldn't climb so alternatives had to be sought. Finally we found a couple of folk whose culinary and climbing skills were somewhat more balanced - both being able to knock-up a mean pan of steamed broccoli whilst heel-hooking their way up a VD. So may I introduce Kev and his attractive assistant Lee (no they're not from Essex) - so it's over to them.
Provisionally I'm planning to forgo the usual KMC games in favour of two alternative events, an easy Christmas climb and relatively gentle hill walk - both will leave from the hut on the Saturday morning (not too early). I've successfully recruited a couple of fully unqualified guides to lead the posses of enthusiastic KMCers into the jaws of oblivion, one party via a medium length walk and the other via a v.diff level mountain climb. The details of both events will be available nearer the time, suffice to say they will both be possible even in the unlikely event of wind, clag and rain. So go on, break with the tradition of not being arsed to get to the hut till grubs up on Saturday night - dig out your old, seldom used, harness or walking boots and enjoy some hearty camaraderie out on them there hills.
Now to Dinner
Whilst you're all out there battling with the elements and trying to fit the contours and cracks of Snowdonia to your Dark Peak map and Jordainian topo, Lee, myself and a handful of happy helpers will be preparing a feast of gastronomic delights to satisfy even the most cavernous of KMC appetites (i.e. all of the Daves).
To start with I make NO apologies for the dinner being vegetarian - I have no objections to a meat eater knocking up a free-range Turkey or the likes, but though I don't mind killing the beasts I've not got a clue how to cook them. So if any of the KMC carnivores feel hard done by, grab your pinny and your choice of beast and muck in with the veggie cooks. Another point of issue some folk may raise, is that the food will be, where possible, organic, seasonal & localish. I realise that there are a lot of folk out there who consider all such concern for the environment to be a load of old tosh, and pesticides have done them no harm and no doubt they've an old Uncle Reg who smokes 80 fags-a-day washed down with 2lbs of drippin' and 3 bottles of rum and he's as fit as a fiddle and recently came third in the Karrimor Elite class. Anyway, just for them, I've arranged for the condiments to extend beyond Salt and Pepper to include an OP grinder and a couple of bowls of DDT and Round-up - so if you want to give your food that wonderful supermarket flavour, you'll be able to do so. And now to the menu - though this is just a guide and will depend on exactly what veg' etc are available at the time - as well as our organisational skills (probably wise to bring a pack-up just in case!).
- A glass of the Fizzy stuff
- Celery and Stilton soup or Melon
- Cashew Nut loaf (more like a Pate so Ok with dentures!)
- Carrots in Butter, Honey and Ginger
- Sprouts (it is Christmas - and they're good for you Roisin!!)
- Steamed Leaks (just to keep the dorms' warm)
- Broccoli or Savoy Cabbage (ibid)
- Roast Parsnips
- Roast Potatoes & Rosemary
- Mashed Potato
- Mushroom & Onion gravy
- Bread source
- Cranberry Jelly
- Victoria Pudding (courtesy of Dave Shotton's culinary skills)
With a bit of judicious shopping I'm hoping to do everything for £6 - or there abouts - if, however, I find myself awash with surplus dosh I'll donate it to the Snowdon Mountain Rescue (or maybe a solar panel for my van!!).
I look forward to seeing you all on the Friday evening.