I’m not talking about hunting although that of course does come into it, nothing like bagging fish or rabbits or bigger prey to put meat on the table!
But what about the less eaten creatures? The likes of Rook (shot as ‘branchers’ - the adolecent birds just before they take to the air). Easy to take out with a .22 air rifle and they taste amazing.
Squirrel is real good too - caught in the same way.
Then on to wild plants - here in the UK there is an abundance of great stuff to be eaten just by looking round the wilder areas of the countryside - or anywhere that is a good few yards away from the road.
I picked huge amounts of berries a week or so ago from a disused railway track that runs near my house. I got blackberries and elderberries by the sack full all for free which have been mashed down and are now slowly turning into wine.
There is a small unpoluted brook that runs close to where I was collecting the fruit and I saw watercress by the ton. I also dug up a horseraddish plant, the root of which will be grated and made into amazing horseraddish sauce for with a beef joint (If I could get away with it I’d bag one of those cows I saw too but that’s going a bit far as they are owned by someone else).
I also like hunting out mushrooms (with the aid of a very good book to ID them safely). I got a giant puffball mushroom last year that was a good foot across. I scooped the innards out and stuffed it with ground beef and tomatoes and baked it slowly in the oven.
I only ever take what I need and avoid the rarer species of plants no matter how edible they are but there is so much good food to be had that you simply cannot buy in the shops.
Since I started this - shall we call it hobby? - I’ve learnt so much about the food that we used to eat as a nation that just gets completely passed over now. I’m not sure why exactly but so many people assume that if you cannot buy it in the supermarket you cannot eat it.
Anybody else do this or is it just me being pikey!?