About Private Pie

Welcome one and all.
Something wonderful is afoot. Something secret. Something like a secret club for people who bake and eat pies, based in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

August Date Announced

Hey everyone, we've only gone and announced a date for our August 2013 meeting.


You can find all the details, and sign up on our Events page.

This theme is Free From... Free from what, we don't yet know, but I'm looking forward to trying my hand at some new ways of cooking, and opening up my tastebuds to some delicious vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and who-knows-what-else-our-members-will-come-up-with variations on this theme.

Ages ago I tried a raw vegan chocolate tart, but it needed a few fundamental improvements to the recipe (the fact that it wasnt actually vegan being a fairly large problem!) Think it is time to dig out the recipe and perfect it...

Hope to see you then


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Film Pies- The Star and Shadow

My dear pie-lovers, this has been officially The Most Sorely Neglected blog in history. This is a reflection not on the quality of pie club meetings, but mainly on my terrible grasp of technology, bad luck with broken computers, and immense laziness.

Today, however, I want to tell you about the fantastic night we had last night at the Star and Shadow, and why we chose to go there.

The Venue:

I am in love with the Star and Shadow, and have been since the first time I went there. Its entirely volunteer run, and has an air of lovingly home made shabbiness which I just adore. The volunteers made it all happen, and built a gorgeous little cinema out of empty warehouse space. you can find out all about their work at their website, here. Its great work- they show all sorts of films, have some brilliant gigs, poetry readings, a library etc. What I love most of all is that they never turn people away: if people can't afford their ticket, they can pay what they can afford, and admission is free for some groups such as asylum seekers.

The Star and Shadow philosophy
Our hosts were incredible. They were so happy to have us there and bent over backwards to make us feel at home. In return, we presented them with a little certificate of having been the venue for our tenth meeting, and were delighted to see a step ladder being whipped out immediately to put it in pride of place over the bar.

The bar, by the way, is delightful. The staff were knowledgeable about the range of beer on sale, and there are lots of lovely non-alcoholic drinks too. We had the run of the place, and it was a perfect size to let everyone sit down to nurse their full bellies, with comfy sofas to sink into dotted about the place.

the lovely bar area at the Star and Shadow

 Our hosts even offered us a tour of the building. So, just as everyone was starting to feel the effects of the first wave of pie, we were whisked off behind the scenes. Our tour guide was super knowledgeable, and had lots of little stories to tell us about how the cinema was made, how the projector works, etc. We were shown the film dark room- only one of two places in the country where you can develop black and white film. By the end of the tour, I think everyone was just as enamoured by the place as I am- the passion of the volunteers for the place is really infectious.

Behind the Scenes at the Star and Shadow

The Theme:

We now have a theme suggestion box, and being a democratic sort of pie club, have started choosing our themes based on our members' suggestions. Film themed pies were suggested by a few of you, so of course we found the perfect venue for it.

What I love about this theme is how much conversation it has prompted. I know many of you guys have been talking about this- at a wedding of my friend, a large part of the conversation with various different people was about pie-film puns. My friends who work at the hospital said a load of nurses had really gotten into the idea, and she'd find herself walking down a ward and someone would leap out and say something like "The PieWho Loved Me!". Its been brilliant fun.

We have come to expect much ingenuity and tenuous links from our bakers when it comes to our themes. We were certainly not disappointed.

The Pies:

This wasn't even all the pies- more turned up after this photo was taken.
This is just a small selection of the beautiful pies that we sampled. Honestly, our bakers outdid themselves this time. I'll be uploading loads more pictures onto our Facebook page eventually, so head over there for more pie porn pics.
Fantastic pastry decoration from Jenni and Janis- our very own pastry Gru!

The Breakfast Club by Vicky and Sarah. This was a behemoth of breakfast delights, and it smelt unbelievable. The next time I have a hangover, I shall be dreaming of this. 
My personal favourite film pie pun, courtesy of Michael and Amy. This made me do a loud guffaw-hyterical laughter type noise when they told me what it was called.
My own Lady Vengeance pie: chocolate, tofu, strawberry mousse, meringue, and liberal application of glitter and "bloodstains"
Kate's Peanut Butter pie. I-and a few others- made some very inappropriate noises whilst eating this. it was so, so good.
Lauren's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Crack pie. so named because its very, very addictive- it contains Speculoos.
The view from the sweet end of the table.

The People: 

We had a good mix of Private Pie stalwarts and some newbies, who seemed rather impressed with the whole concept.

Private Pie regulars Ange and Alex couldn't make it, and were missed. We could tell they weren't there because no one brought a rude pie- they have made a name for themselves as suppliers of the cheekiest pie puns.

I want to thank all who were there for their generosity. Not only did they gave their time and effort to bake a beautiful pie to share, but they also donated generously. For this meeting, we didn't ask for subs, but we did ask for a small donation to be made to the cinema. The staff were really grateful for our contribution, and whilst it might now be quite enough to pay for them to get a digital projector (£60,000 or so!), our donation will no doubt be useful for something.

A special note of thanks to the girl that came in just when we were packing up to ask if there was any pie about to buy. We chatted about who we are and what we do, and she donated some money for the leftovers, which was really sweet of her considering we were just going to give it to her for free.

H xxx

Monday, 30 July 2012

Quick little update

...aka testing out the blogger app on my new iPod touch...

Our last meeting was great fun, and hopefully a good time was had by all. A full blog post will follow eventually...

Hayley x

Thursday, 28 June 2012

July's meeting date announced!

Hi all,

So, the starting pistol has fired and the date for the next Private Pie Club meeting has been announced.

The date is 23rd July 2012
Time: 6pm onwards
Venue: a suitably sporting city centre venue
The theme is:
Sporting Pies

Places are already running out the door, so be sure to score yourself a goal place in our next meeting.


Hayley xxx

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Local Tipples Pie Club Meeting

Hi all,

Again, an apology for how long it has taken me to get round to writing this up. I think i need some sort of a machine that converts my thoughts into blog posts without me actually having to sit down and type them up, as i hardly ever seem to have the time these days.

The Venue:

May's meeting was held in the wonderful Queen Vic pub in Gosforth. This pub is close to my heart as i used to live in the area and remember when it was Northern Lights before (a bit tatty and a bit rough). So, when the Queen Vic reopened I was so pleased to see what had been done with it- it is stylishly classic, the staff are briliant, and the food is rather good as well. The landlord Justin was so excited and supportive of the idea that it was a total pleasure to have organised it there.

the Theme:

This meeting's theme was Local Tipples, because what else do us Geordies like to do besides have a couple of bevvies. So we thought this would be a great opportunity to creatively use just a small selection of our local drinks in baking a pie.

I had assumed that we'd get loads of savoury pies and might struggle to get some sweet pies in this theme, but i was really pleased with how imaginative everyone was- we actually got a really good balance of savoury and sweet in the end.

The Pies:

I'm going to mainly let the pictures do the talking here:

 (Pictures to be uploaded as my computer is being rubbish!)

We had mead pies, cider pies, brandy pies and a variety of delicious ale pies.

Special mention goes to Alex with her home-made Newcastle Broon ice cream to accompany her pecan and broon pie, Jools for her creativity in bringing cake in the guise of Workie Ticket Whoopie Pies, the very mysterious Hair Of The Dog pie brought by Graham ("it contains hair. And dog."), and my colleague Haymond Lam, who despite never having baked a pie before and turning up late managed to steal the show with his pulled pork and ale pie.

The People:

Our marvellous bunch of loyal regulars turned up again- it's so wonderful to meet up and have a good old natter with a whole range of really genuine, good people. We had a couple of new guests as well, and it's always brilliant to see new faces enjoying the copious amounts of pie.

As is usual, there was very little left over!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A Very British Evening of Pie Delights

Oh what a night!

The third meeting of Private Pie was our biggest and most successful yet.

The Venue:
We held our meet in one of my very favourite pubs in Newcastle, The Bridge Hotel. Initially we thought of their function room upstairs, but when I discussed the idea with the landlady, she had the brilliant idea of using the snug downstairs instead. This meant that we had easy access to the great variety of real ales that were on offer. And as we all know, real ale and pies are the perfect partners! It also meant that we got an awful lot of jealous stares from other pub patrons. Many thanks to their staff for being so brilliant with us.

As we approached The Bridge Hotel, we started to get a bit nervous. Before us appeared to be a rather large film crew, huge lighting rigs etc. We breathed a sigh of relief when we realised that (this time anyway) we weren't being made into a film, but that a Newcastle Brown Ale commercial was being filmed. How cool is that? A more Geordie experience would be hard to find.

The Theme:

Well, since it's British Pie Week, it would have been very rude to not have a Great British Pie theme. And oh yes, we are professional in every way shape and form, so we had homemade bunting, Union Jack cocktail sticks (with the Union Jack possibly the wrong way round, which only occurred to me later :-S) and a beautifully professional cardboard and sellotape affair depicting good old Cedric donning a crown and a union jack flag.

Just too professional for words...

The Pies:

Oh my, we had such a brilliant selection! In a stunning twist of fate, my camera actually worked this time, but apologies if I didn't get pics of everyone's pie. I wasn't actually feeling that hungry, so only had a small selection of a few. Best Pie Pun has to go to Kevin, with his Key Limey Pie, whilst our first ever rude (and potentially libellous) pie went to Ange and Alex for their George Michael's Cottaging Pie. Most Complimented pie goes to Caren for her triple berries pie (people were pretty much scraping the pie dish for the last remnants, it was so good), whilst most gruesomely delicious pie has to go to Martin and his Stargazy pie.
Martin's Stargazy pie

George Michael's Cottaging Pie by Ange and Alex

Jenni's Forrester's pie. mmmmm, full of lovely venison goodness.

North Country Tart

Kevin's Key Limey Pie

Caren's delicious triple berries pie
For more pictures, have a look at our Facebook page

The People:
Wow, what a brilliant bunch came along. We were pleased to see some familiar faces, especially Caren and Kevin who came to our very first meeting. And we welcomed a whole load of new people, who all seemed really enthusiastic about the whole idea. Everyone seemed to get along famously, have a great time, and eat some delicious beer, and most people were really keen to snap up places for our next meeting, which was announced at the start of the meeting. I'd particularly like to thank the generous people who sponsored me for my firewalk. It's also really great to get to know the people that we tweet regularly- the North East seems to have a really vibrant twitter community.

All in all, a brilliant evening- and that's even despite me managing to drop my pint, leading to an embarrassingly loud crash, a broken pint glass, and a covering of beer on my jeans for the rest of the evening.

Thank you so much guys for making Private Pie such a huge success.

Monday, 13 February 2012

March meeting

Hi all,

Just to let you know that our meeting planned for 6th March is now fully booked. Well done if you got a place.

You can still apply to our standby list so we can let you know if anyone drops out. If you have applied for a place but then you realise you can't make it, please do let us know as soon as possible, so we can give someone else the chance of coming along.

Looking forward to eating huge amounts of Great British Pie!

For more info on Great British Pie Week, get yourself over to this website. There's some great recipes, hints and tips, and the Pub Pie competition.

See you there!

Hayley xxx