We find the roads can often be a useful pantry, if you keep your eyes open. Out on a cycle ride, Andy found this dear little wood pigeon, killed cleanly by a car - all feathers and not much meat. But nice plump breasts, which he removed for us, donating a few bits and bobs to the Gingers, who were circling around waiting for their share of the spoils. Pumpkin likes to pretend he likes grown up things like this, but he doesn't really enjoy them. Clover, our darling girl, goes quite feral and snarls over her meat like a tigress with a freshly killed antelope.
When we returned from our late summer forage, with blackberries and parasol mushrooms, I began putting together a little supper of 'found food'. The pigeon breasts were marinaded in olive oil, Maldon salt and fresh lemon thyme, following - more or less - this recipe by Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Meanwhile I made a blackberry crumble, substituting muesli for the usual plain oats, which worked beautifully. The shaggy parasols were grilled in olive oil -
- and the pigeon breasts lightly fried with added balsamic vinegar. Andy picked some of the last of our garden salad, in the twilight; the evenings are drawing in and the wood burner back in use.
Neither of us have had pigeon breast before, but it was quite delicious, rather livery in flavour and flavoured more like a red meat than a bird. Definitely worth picking up again. We certainly couldn't afford to eat this kind of meal in a restaurant, but there was much satisfaction in gathering most of our supper for virtually nothing.