Saturday, November 20, 2010

Back In The Home Slice

Park Farm...An amazing setting

After a 3 week journey to England and a 2 week visit to River Cottage Park Farm I am back home. A great trip was had, meeting lots of great people, cooks and chefs. Most of my time was spent in Dorset and East Devon in England's southwest, an area that is known for amazing produce, pork, lamb and organic products. The country scenery was absolutely incredible. It was like living in "the shire" from Lord of the Rings. Not to mention some wicked strong cider and real ales out the pie hole! Most of my time was spent with some great people at River Cottage's Park Farm.

In the kitchen there was various whole animals coming in and out including, Gloucester old spot pigs, wild venison, rabbits, pheasants, and various fish including herring, mackerel and pollock. There was a good amount of charcuterie going on as well which included, various salumi, prosciutto, terrines, pate, bacon, hams and pancetta all of which were amazing. The whole operation is looked after by Chef Gill Meller, who does a great job and has a real touch for good taste and texture combinations and rustic English country style cookery. He is also a master of pork crackling. mmmmm crackling (drooling now) Whole beast cookery is part of the norm at Park Farm so I was not surprised to find myself swimming in pork spleens, livers, heads and trotters and of course copious amounts of caul fat to wrap almost everything in. The produce was world class with a good variety of items to work with and grown by people who really care about what they’re doing in the veg patch.

Although the Brits have a large amount of traditional fair and puddings to choose from, I found it quite funny that some of the boys in the River Cottage kitchen seemed very interested in Canadian and American style pumpkin pies (which recipes are random and so ample that you can argue for days over the "right way" to make one). So I'm putting together a recipe of the pie I made at
Thanksgiving this year that was REALLY good. The boys in the Queens land will appreciate the non complexity and shear simplicity of this "western" dessert/pudding... lmao You never know, they might even give a recipe for rarebit in exchange..??? Post for the pie will come soon!

In Whitehorse, its been snowing and fairly mild so Ive got the x country skies out and I’m waiting for my boots to arrive. Went down to the spruce bog craft sale tonight. Lots of great goods from many Yukon personalities. I got a couple of prints for my wall and left a happy camper. Now to deal with summers bounty of berries etc in full force. More to come on that……

From top to bottom: The good ole wood fired it!, The chicken run, Spleens please!, Some local produce at the washingpool farm in Bridport, The boys "taking care of business"


  1. So jealous! Well, not so much of the spleens but more of the trip in itself.
    I'm working in a pie shop now so I'm interested to see what's so great about your pumpkin pie.. I'll have to see which pie trumps which, ours is a family recipe handed down generation to generation.. whatchoo got?

  2. Come on!!! Spleens are delicious and nutritious. The pumpkin pie recipe I do, ive tweaked every year for 4 years now still very rustic though. Be grateful I'm not in Ottawa or we might of had a throw down! Your welcome to come up the Yukon for a trip anytime though! ;0

  3. Careful with that offer, it might happen sooner than you think...