Well it all started with a telephone conversation, with my ole mucker Giles, from Air Gun Gear TV, (look them up on you tube), and him saying would I like to come with him to see him draw the Christmas winners for the raffle he had on, with Solware of Tamworth (www.solware.co.uk) gun shop. Of course I said yes and then Ty Ford who works at Solware, dropped me a line would I like to come do my famous, game cooking road show. The Bachelor Cooking For The Boys(oh and girls too)?
Ty Ford, welcoming customers to solware open day….
Blimey what an offer, to cook for proper down to earth countrymen and women damn straight, I would love to come and cook for you guys and gals. So The Ole Hedge Creeper (www.theolehedgecreeper.co.uk) agreed in a flash, as I love cooking as much as I like hunting.
A poster was drawn up say Bristol Hunting Legends Rob and Giles were coming to Solware to put a show on for the day hmmmmm Cheers Ty bloody legends, I have not lived that down yet, What I will say to those friends who are giving me stick don’t knock it as you are friends with a legend, Ok stop laughing my ribs are hurting too and I have run out of Kleenex from laughing so much Ty, ya daft bugger.
So the plan was hatched also coming along on the day with his own stand was another ole mucker Simon Pritchard a top shooting coach from Shot Gun Awareness training (www.shotgun.me.uk), The day was decided to be Saturday the 18th of January 9am to 3pm and that meant Giles and I would have to be on the road by 6am no later to get there in time to set up and be ready to meet the public.
As it was my Emilie (daughter number two) decided she wanted to come as she said there was no way she was going to miss any of her Daddy’s game cooking as she said no body cooks like her Daddy, Awwwww I wonder what she was buttering me up for but well if I had said no or Giles for that matter I think we would have had to run for our lives as that daughter of mine has a tong like a razor blade and a left hook like Henry Cooper (A brilliant English Boxer) so of course I said she could come.
Well the morning of the 18th came and my alarm never went off? But being the ole country boy I am and never have I missed a day’s sport for over sleeping my body clock had me up by 5am anyway, I gave Emilie a nudge come on get up Giles will be here in an hour I got sum mumbled reply of leave me alone, So I went and made a cup of tea and went back to wake her. No she was still snoring so I shouted quick were late for wildfowling I am going without you, Bloody Nora I have never seen anyone move so fast shouting Daddy Get my gun I am coming she was fully dressed and by the door shouting come on come on the wildfowl will be dropping in were late.
I fell about laughing trying not to spill my mug of tea when she realised what I had done then that fire arose in her eyes, so were not going wildfowling then Daddy as she stamped her feet and threw her Jack Pyke coat on the floor? No darling we have that cooking demo to do up at Solware remember? Oh yes as the devil eyes faded to her angel eyes well in that case Daddy you can get me a MacDonald’s breakfast on the way then as you really are not funny at all, I quickly agreed better to let a sleeping dog sleep than wake them up all grumpy or something like that, I know what am I a man or a mouse? I will say give me a piece of cheese and I will show you.
Another ole mucker Phil Crampton from Rat Works (Custom air rifle tuning etc. look for them on Face book) found out the hard way not to wind Emilie up now he stands at a safe distance and throws bars of chocolate at her until the growling stops and she puts her colouring pens away. There is a story to be told there but I will leave that for another day ask me when I have a pint of finest West Country Cider in my fist at a game fair or something of the likes.
Giles got there 6am sharp we loaded the car with all the cooking equipment etc. and hit the road and hour or so later we stopped at McDonalds as promised in the services and Emilie waffled it down a big MacDonald’s breakfast along with about a gallon of BBQ sauce just from the look of the pic I took I don’t know whether it was sour or she enjoyed it she never left a moral though.
An hour later we pulled into the Solware car park to be greeted by all the boys as the banter started over coffee and a look round the shop, WOW what can I say it’s not the biggest place but by far it’s the best stocked place I had been too in a while, Every nook and cranny was packed with what I can only describe as a field sportsman’s dream shop.
I was like a kid in a candy shop I wanted everything the gun racks looked fit to burst with everything from air rifles and pistols to shot guns and rifles and everything in between, I swear I had just walked into an Aladdin’s cave, I don’t think I could of opened my eyes any wider then I was brought to earth with a bump.
Emilie’s voice rang out Daaaaaad! I want this pink air rifle, as Kev the owner of the gun shop stood there smiling holding a pink BSA ultra or something like that. Phew I had to think on my feet and well persuaded her that her Air arms S200 was a far Superior gun and all the vermin would see her coming if she had a bright pink gun. Phew she agreed Ahhhh I didn’t think of that Daddy you are very clever? Hmmmmm but what else would this little madam has in her sights to give me open wallet surgery? Thankfully I kept her busy on the cooking stand and taking photos and Giles had her as the sound girl holding the camera Mic’s etc.
We started cooking and as Ty had requested I make a mixed game curry so I made madras for him as well as my Famous Sheiks Delight (stew) from my book available at www.fourteenacre.co.uk and by clicking on the Pass It On Link, I also did pan seared pigeon breast /pheasant in cider/rabbit in cider and oh so many more dishes one of the best was my famous woodpigeon and wild duck chorizo mini kebabs they went down a treat.
I will say the aroma of the game cookery drew hungry field sports folk and beyond from miles around like moths to a flame to the Pass It On Young Sports cooker stand ( www.pass-it-on-young-sports.org.uk), Actually all I had left as the end of the day was a piece of garlic and a rasher of bacon.
All the pots were wiped clean with the field sports folk all taking a slice of bread and well mopping up what was left of the juices asking for the recipes, True to Emilie’s word she was stuffed full of all the dishes and well she worked hard for them as she helped cook every dish and serve every bowl to the hungry field sports folk.
The day could not have gone any better and on the way home Giles and I were a buzz with ideas for our next trip up to Solware and if we are invited back again for another brilliant day like this with salt of the earth field sorts folk at an awesome location that is Solware of Tamworth, Emilie slept all the way home dreaming of her bagging game and her Daddy cooking it for her as she kept sleep talking Giles and I Giggled.
If you would like us to come review your shop or any equipment please drop us a line at www.countrymans-diry.co.uk or myself personally at www.theolehedgecreeper.co.uk and I or we would only be too pleased to come do a review or test out any equipment or clothing etc., Please keep the amazing and positive emails coming both Greg and I try to answer you all personally but some do get through the net.
Solware and the Ole Hedge Creeper