Mabel Gubbins Rapper

Mabel Gubbins Catering Arm

Ang provides a Mabel's-eye view of the Morris Fed workshop

(written for the Fed newsletter)

Mabel Gubbins Rapper were approached by the Morris Federation with a request to host a workshop to be held by Stone Monkey. As it was put to us, "We all get something out of belonging to the Fed, so it's good to be able to put something back inÂ…" Which is very true, so how could we refuse?

Our first challenge was to find a suitable venue: Where? How big? Do we expect 10 attendees? - 100? - None at all? Luckily Katie knew of an ideal venue in Bletchingdon which had a wooden floor, would easily accommodate around 50 people, had good road communications and also had kitchen facilities - Very Important! The hall was booked and the workshop was advertised, catering was discussed.

Three weeks before the workshop date and we only had a handful of responses. Why? Wasn't the prospect of a day with the Monkeys exciting enough? Was Bletchingdon too isolated for people to travel to? Did Mabel's promise of lunch, tea and cakes not appeal? Should we cancel the whole thing? With a week to go we had a rash - nay, a veritable measles of replies and we knew that we had a certainty.

On Saturday 11th February Mabel were in the kitchen of the Bletchingdon Village Hall by 9.00am and raring to go. The heaters were on (honestly - it was a very cold morning!) the urn was filled and lunch was being unpacked. People began to turn up, hot coffee and teas were dispensed and at 10.00am the workshop commenced. There were eight sets of dancers, and a troupe of Monkeys to instruct, assist, demonstrate, berate, elaborate and encourage.

Now out in the hall it may have been all "tappity tappity tappity tap"; but in the kitchen it was all "choppity choppity choppity chop". Yhere was cheese to cut, bread to slice, soup to defrost (DEFROST !! AARRGHHH!!), soup to cook... and mugs to wash and mugs to wash and mugs to wash - this rapper dancing is thirsty work ! After three hours of tangled swords and knotted brains the work-shoppers were allowed a lunch break. And they had:

THREE sorts of home-made soup; THREE kinds of bread; TWO makes of cheese; TWO varieties of apple; tomatoes; bananas; and, to crown it all, a pot of Nigel's Home-Made Marrow Chutney.

There was time for a quick trip to the pub next door (Mabel have no idea what happened there - they were chained to the sink washing plates and plates and plates, ready for the tea break...) and then the afternoon session got under way. Dancing is energetic work and lots of calories get burned off which need replacing. The odd pint in the pub helps with this but, even better than beer is CAKE - and CAKE is one of Mabel's passions. So with afternoon tea and coffee we provided:

NINE different sorts of cakes and biscuits - and yah boo sucks to the man who looked at them and said "I hope these are all home made." Yes, they were - all lovingly hand-crafted by Mabel. Mr Kipling: eat yer heart out.

Having refuelled and taken on ballast, each set of work-shoppers were now ready to demonstrate to each other what they had learned during the day and there was a showcase of very entertaining dances.

Mabel would like to thank the Monkeys for being such appreciative guests; the Morris Fed Events Organiser for entertaining the notion that Mabel might be competent enough to host the event; and the work-shoppers for dutifully eating the fruits of our labours. And special thanks to the lady who, instead of going to the pub after lunch, entered the inner sanctum of the kitchen, picked up a tea towel, and dried plates and plates and plates!

Mabel Gubbins have picked up on one particular comment on the feedback forms in respect of the catering:

Simple but Delicious

Last modified: Sat Jun 09 10:41:24 GMT Daylight Time 2012