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Perhaps an unconventional Christmas meal, but with only two of us to feed a turkey or goose would be too much, and with some exquisite stewing venison in the freezer from Dunham Massey it seemed only natural to have venison stew.

We bought our venison from Little Heath Farm a few weeks ago when they received a delivery from the National Trust property just down the road.  It is nice to know that the main ingredient in our Christmas meal came from within 5 miles and most likely had a lovely life roaming the parkland at Dunham Massey.

With a large part of my University days spent studying Native Americans both in the UK and Canada, it seemed only apt to follow the recipe for venison stew from Jamie’s America book.  Based on a Navajo stew, this recipe is incredibly delicious and is the second time we’ve made it.

My only addition was to make some parsley and suet dumpling, which I popped into the stew towards the end of cooking.  There is something very moreish about dumplings – I think I could eat a plateful drenched in a couple of spoonfuls of stew liqueur.

Mash potato was made with our allotment grown potatoes, which must be said have been a bit disastrous.  Whether it’s the variety, how we’ve grown them, or how we cook them, but the potatoes just disintegrate into soupy glue if not watched carefully. 

I have learnt that the trick with them is to watch them carefully in the water, looking for the moment when the outside starts to break down, but leaving them long enough to make sure they are almost cooked through. 

This time I put it through my wonderful French mouli that I picked up at the carboot – it was fantastic!  With the help of a little cream (maybe a lot…) and butter, and some seasoning, the mash turned out all right.

What did you eat for Christmas dinner?

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Yesterday we had a lovely time playing with Buddy in our local park.  If you throw a tennis ball he’s off like a shot after it and determined to catch it, with lots of growling if he misses it.

With the weather bringing more rain the park is getting wetter, which ultimately means more chance to slip.  Buddy has had a few near misses in his determination to ‘get that ball’. 

Yesterday the near misses culminated in one almighty tumble – first his front legs slid under him, then his shoulder and face met with the muddy grass, his bottom and feet came up over his shoulders and finished in a roll.

Poor Buddy – he had a mouth full of grass, one side of his face the hair was slicked back, his collar was full of mud – but he looked so happy!  He was less happy when we got home and the hose pipe came out…

We also tried Petplan’s pet IQ test out on Buddy over the weekend and he scored quite well – good fun have a go!

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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