The opposition I get when I wish to cook anything that you don’t generally find in Sainsbury’s (although these days you’d be surprised) is so great that I only ‘go there’ when I need to. In any good marriage you choose your battles carefully. Nine years of marriage and I am still learning which are the right battles…
Ok so enough marriage guidance – my point is that I have got a new outlet for cooking my wild food and enjoying the outdoors.
My good friend Charlotte has an allotment in Lewes which is a great venue to meet up on a cold evening, upturn some large flower pots for seats, build a fire and throw a pan on the hot flames.
Charlotte works for an organic vegetable producer and so always has something good to bring to the pot from work or indeed from her patch around us and I try to bring at least one meaty offering from a field (rabbit) or tree (pigeon) to cook.
The food is not exclusively free, foraged, or wild. In fact the meat and fish for our first meal was 100% supermarket produce, and there was no theme to it! Plaice, sausages, lamb chops, lamb kidneys, and a piece of steak… Since then we only supplement our hunted/gathered offerings with items to have a variety of food to eat.
Charlotte and I worked together some years ago but do not know each others friends so each time we meet up we invite a person that we would like the other to meet, and hopefully that person will enjoy sitting out in the cold sharing stories and eating what we have. Despite more recent meals being prepared by torch light and the chopping board is wood from a pallet, there have been no complaints so far verbally or from anyone’s guts!
Speaking of guts we had an interesting experience last time with offal as we had to visit a supermarket to buy some kitchen roll and water to boil the vegetables (ok, ok… poor planning) and on our walk around Steve, (our invited guest) disappeared and returned with 6 lamb hearts. Rough…. hearts… um, not my thing…. but I could not let Steve-o out do me, so I warmly congratulated him on his find and reluctantly went to the checkout.
Once the flames had died down and veg was ready to go on Steve took great delight in cutting up the hearts into manageable pieces. He clearly was listening in this GCSE or A Level Biology because as I sat wittling my hazel ‘folk’ I could hear him proclaim “I think this is the ventricle” and later “this must be one of the arteries”. I tried to ignore it as it wasn’t helping be ‘O.K’ with eating this much over-looked food. I suggested that they should be stewed (which we didn’t have time to do) to soften them up but this feeble attempt to avoid eating these hearts wasn’t enough to dissuade Steve or Charlotte.
It would be nice to drop a picture in here of the hearts but I rarely think about taking photos when out doing these things, and I was trying to stop myself retching so taking a picture for future reference was not high on my agenda – sorry.
Yes I ate some. I did it, it is done. I am unlikely to do it again…