Wild Food Weekend
Wild food weekend
We have just completed our wild food weekend for 2018 and what a great event it was. The wild Food weekend is held at our camp site on the beautiful National trust estate at Cotehele. With good weather forecast we were all keen to get to camp and get ourselves ready for the event. We begin at 3.00pm on Friday and finish for 12.00 noon on the following Sunday so customers have two nights wild camping in our woodland site with us. First on the agenda, as we do with most of our events is to go through the safe and efficient use of handling the cutting tools. That lead us into making foraging sticks which we were certainly going to be needing the next day. For our evening meal we prepared a large side of Salmon accompanied by veg. The students flavoured the salmon side how they wished and cooked them in a variety of styles. With dinner done and everyone washed up it was time to chill , enjoy the campfire and rest for tomorrows busy day.
The night was peaceful we heard the occasional owl nearby, everybody rested well. For breakfast on Saturday morning we all were making breakfast pizzas. Simon talked the group though how to make their own dough mix and we cooked them off on the Muurikkas. Once the bases were hardened we waited for them to cool and topped with a selection of ingredients which included, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and venison sausage.
We then had to prepare the deer. A young Roe buck was given to the group and we talked them through the method of processing the deer from field to table. The group did fantastic with this task, the skin, head and lower legs were removed then it was efficiently jointed.
Simon had a few things planned with the venison which included a haunch for a Tagine, another haunch for a game pie. the shoulder was seasoned well and went in a ground oven, the back straps were used for small steaks and the rest we made into jerky.
With the deer processed and allocated for meals we went for a big foraging walk around the Cotehele estate. We collected blackberries, elderberries, rosehips, haws, hazelnuts, crab apples, beech nuts, burdock roots, garlic mustard and more.
We arrived back into camp and Dan took the group on a further game prep session which included wood pigeon and Rabbit. With all the collected food Simon now assisted and directed the students onto several projects for cooking up the great evening meal. We had a game pie cooking, with venison, pigeon and rabbit an apple crumble made with collected apples another with blackberries. There was burdock roots being roasted in the embers of the fire, the tagine was simmering away and sweet and savoury breads were being baked. Apple crisps and the seasoned shoulder of venison in the ground oven were also prepared. The evening meal was fantastic and without a doubt the best food we had all produced on any of our events so far.
The evening was finished off with a drink around the campfire, full and tired we called it a night.
The last morning we experimented with breads and jams, a breakfast quiche was made and even a venison pasty. Most of the jerky was ready which tasted great too. Overall it was a fantastic event with a lovely group. We are now looking forward to our 2019 Wild Food Weekend which will be 6th 8th Sep