Having recently been on a Woodland Ways weekend to learn some bushcraft and survival skills, I couldn’t help but want to write about the food aspect. After setting up our shelters, well our bashers (a piece of waterproof material with holes in the corners!) on the first evening, dusk was falling nad we still hadn’t prepared our meal, to be cooked over the open fire in two huge cast iron cooking pots, or Dutch ovens.
So, as the sun set we were introduced to the wood pigeons, shot by the gamekeeper of the farmer’s woodland in which we were sheltering. And our first lesson was how to prepare one of these without using our knife. If you’re squeamish, I suggest you don’t read on, or scroll down the page!
First it’s a case of twisting off the wings, then pulling off the head. Next push both thumbs down inside the neck, one hand at the front, the other at the back, then push upwards and sort of turn the pigeon inside out. Peel the breast bone away from the skin and then prise the flesh away from the bone.
Chop into pieces and season. We then added Five Spice, ginger, onions, olive oil and mushrooms, and stewed over the fire.
In the woods, (and because the instructors have to be safe rather than sorry,) the pigeon was cooked until very well done and served with rice.
What more could you want? Home prepared, home cooked, local produce: and when I say local, I mean from the actual wood you’re camping in…perfect!