I’m not the most rugged person, as any of my friends will attest, however I do enjoy getting outdoors and even occasionally camping (although the photo above was taken over three years ago, so not too often!) I am a keen forager and also enjoy a late summer scrump of unwanted apples and pears. So its been particularly hard for me this year to be stuck on crutches, watching from the sidelines as my friends go wild swimming, cross country running and generally making the most of the beautiful British countryside.
To make amends, over the weekend I got the opportunity to live vicariously as I met the Bushcraft expert Ray Mears. Out on tour to promote his latest book ‘Out on the Land‘ Ray Mears provided an evening of folk tales, practical advice – including starting fires on stage! And very personal insight to lives of First Nation communities.
After the show I met Ray Mears and we talked; biodiversity, cherry orchards and knee surgery. Warm hearted, fascinating and inspiring, it was one of those rare moments when you meet a hero who actually turns out to be a hero.
Ray Mears new book strikes a good balance between beautifully printed coffee table accessory and useful book that you can take tips from, that could save your life. Although I am full of praise I am disappointed by the lack of Porridge! What do I mean? Well the book has a great section on food in the wild that includes how to prepare fish, make bannocks and pancakes but not a Porridge recipe in sight. To add insult to injury there is a recipe for rice pudding, made and served to look rather like Porridge 😀 So to set the record straight I have written my own simple recipe, for the best camping breakfast….
Serves four campers or two grizzly wild explorers.
- Stove and fuel – For my wild cooking I use a Kelly Kettle but Ray Mears uses a spirit stove. Or you could use techniques from the book to create a real camp fire.
- Sturdy saucepan.
- Long handled spoon, spatula or spurtle.
- Camping mug (for measuring ingredients).
- Water tight containers to transport and store ingredients.
Quick cook oats
Dried fruit (flame raisins are my favourite) or in summer berries
- From your dry store take two large cups of quick cook oats.
- Place in the saucepan and add 4 cups of water and 2 dessert spoons of milk powder.
- Give all the ingredients a good stir then place the saucepan over the stove or fire.
- Cook the oats for 2 mins stirring constantly, then add a pinch of salt.
- Add the dried fruit for a final minute of cooking.
- If you are using fresh berries add to the cooked Porridge, but make sure you know what you are eating. The ‘Out on the Land’ book provides a simple identification guide to berries.
- Pour the cooked Porridge into bowls, serve hot and enjoy the best outdoor breakfast.