Sunday, 24 January 2016
A few years back Davy and I made a canoe out of willow branches and a tarp, it floated a little lopsided so we made an outrigger for it from plastic bottles covered in a piece of tarp.. the Canoe turned out really well and floated very merrily on the sea.. shows what can be done with basic tools and it's a different take on the usual tarp coracle that you often see made.
Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Salmagundi is an old word dating back to at least the 17th century maybe even more, it has been postulated that it was a salad dish of English origin but this seems unlikely due to the etymology of the name, most likely being of French or Italian origin.
it was originally a dish of mixed food, mainly salted pork, poultry, sea food, cheese, vegetables, fruit, eggs, beetroot and mushrooms and sprinkled with olive oil and vinegar (though recipes are vast and varied) all arranged in geometric shapes around the plate, the idea being that every mouthful was a delicious assault on the taste buds and every mouthful was different.
overtime it changed dramatically, particularly among pirate crews of the early 18th century when the ships cook simply got a huge pot and filled it with whatever was available, and it often varied daily, even containing things like sea birds, dolphins and turtles..
Thus it leads us on to the bushcraft version, at meets its often the case that each person brings one item of food along and it's all mixed in a huge communal pot over the fire, cooked well then dished out, you never know what it's going to taste like but it rarely lets you down and is always welcome on our cold northern nights.. give it a try some time..
Friday, 15 January 2016
Mora will be releasing a new full tang knife on Tuesday 19th January at the shot show in Las Vegas .. let's see if it sets the world alight !
However the price will determine whether this is a success or failure.. Remember how excited we all were last year with the release of the pathfinder but the reality turned sour when we all saw the price..that one was no success story,I hope for better things this time around.
Edit 3.16 GMT 19.1.2016. The knife has officially been released you can see it on Dave canterburys YouTube channel .. its not bad looking, but it's in stainless steel which will disappoint a lot of people and for me there is a lack of a decent point needed for delicate work when wood working... I'll probably get one but I can't see it replacing my red mora 510's. Not exactly what I'd hoped for, mora you need to contact us at Buzzard for feedback on new knives like this! Lol
It's already being nicknamed the 'Garbage'.. oh Mora what have you done ?
Your designers testers and marketing people have all failed badly .. I'm left so disappointed about this.
Saturday, 9 January 2016
Wednesday, 6 January 2016
This is an old and mysterious recipe said to have been developed by 4 thieves in France during the time of the Black death enabling them to steal from the victims of the plague without catching it themselves.
Recipes have changed over the years and no one knows for sure the original one, but what the vinegar does do is act as a insect repellent a disinfectant and an antiseptic, It's a very handy mixture to have around.
My recipe is as follows
a handful of plantain
a handful of selfheal
a handful of meadowsweet
a handful of yarrow
( and not pictured)
a handful of rosemary
a handful of watermint
mix all the ingredients in a large jar of white wine vinegar and leave for 3 months, then strain and use... it's a very effective solution for cleaning, healing and disinfecting.
Thursday, 31 December 2015
When I meet people on various occasions I'm often asked where did I get my knowledge or how did I become interested in this type of life, well for me the answer is easy, its always been a part of me and it started long before I ever realised what foraging or bushcraft or primitive living ever was.
You see being born in Belfast when the 'troubles' were bad my family wanted a way to keep us all safe and away from harm, so my grandfather (whom we all called Nanger) bought a Nissen hut along the coast in rural County Down, and that is where quite a few of our extended family spent our formative years.
This is a Nissen hut, developed by George Nissen from Norway..(pic taken from Nissens.co.uk).
It's a corrugated iron structure with wooden panelling and was originally used to Billet soldiers during the war.
We called it home.
Now pictures from this time of my life are scarce but there are a few..
This is a picture of my grandmother with me in the pram, (shows you just how young I was when this all started) and you can just make out the Nissen huts behind her.. the blue one on the left was ours..
this is a detail taken from a photo more than 40 years old (my cousins pictured) showing the huts in the background..
Life in these huts was strange, there was no electricity and no running water, that came from a pump at the top of the field that was shared by a number of families.. the loo was outdoors at the bottom of the garden. As I mentioned before the hut was made of sheets of corrugated iron, it was heated by a coal or wood fired range and lit by tilley lamps and it had to be tarred on the outside every year to keep it waterproof and stop it from rusting through, there where 4 double beds and 6 bunks inside all sectioned off, so it could hold a lot of people.. we lived this way for years and years.. as a matter of fact we only had to sell the hut about 20 years ago as the owner of the land wanted it to build houses on.
We foraged on the seashore for crabs, seaweed and whelks ( we called them willeeks) and the hedgerows for wild apples,berries. nuts and fruit which my grandmother would have used for jam, apple cakes and other sundries.. I often could be found on the edge of farmers fields digging up the remnants of potatoes left by the farmer, they were then taken home to thicken out a huge pot of what my uncle Freddy called see-through stew, usually made with a tin of corned beef and used to feed 14 people, supplemented with big thick lumps of homemade soda bread smothered in butter... !
On a friday evening we would all head round to the local harbour to watch the fishing boats coming in and see them unload and sell their catch, any thing left in the boxes after that we were allowed to take home, usually gurnard, lemon sole and prawns !! the food was simple but we ate well.. (and I won't mention the seagull soup !!).
Great memories of a time that I took for granted but that sowed the seeds of what I would become afterwards, wild places, wild food and simple living.. you really don't need much to be happy,