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A Wild Woman is not a girlfriend…..I love this poem. It really resonated as I had a tremendous pre-menopausal meltdown at the weekend. Luckily I bounce back quickly as I have taught myself to stay out of the ridiculous stories in my head at those times of uncontrollable wildness – and I have an amazing partner. I am a lucky one. I didn’t realise it was going to be so tough, this change! Most people don’t appreciate a woman’s journeys, especially these kinds. I am soooooo glad I managed to squeeze max out before this began, lol.

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A wild Woman is Not a Girlfriend

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A Wild Woman is not a girlfriend

But can you love me in the deep?
In the dark?
In the thick of it?
Can you love me when I drink from the wrong bottle
and slip through the crack in the floorboard?
Can you love me when I’m bigger than you,
when my presence blazes like the sun does,
when it hurts to look directly at me?
Can you love me then too?

Can you love me under the starry sky,
shaved and smooth, my skin like liquid moonlight?
Can you love me when I am howling and furry,
standing on my haunches,
my lower lip stained with the blood of my last kill?
When I call down the lightning,
when the sidewalks are singed by the soles of my feet,
can you still love me then?

What happens when I freeze the land,
and cause the dirt to harden
over all the pomegranate seeds we’ve planted?
Will you trust that Spring will return?
Will you still believe me when I tell you
I will become a raging river,
and spill myself upon your dreams
and call them to the surface of your life?
Can you trust me,
even though you cannot tame me?
Can you love me,
even though I am all that you fear and admire?
Will you fear my shifting shape?

Does it frighten you,
when my eyes flash like your camera does?
Do you fear they will capture your soul?
Are you afraid to step into me?
The meat-eating plants
and flowers armed with poisonous darts
are not in my jungle to stop you from coming.
Not you.
So do not worry.
They belong to me,
and I have invited you here.

Stay to the path revealed in the moonlight
and arrive safely to the hut of Baba Yaga:
the wild old wise one…
she will not lead you astray if you are pure of heart.

You cannot be with the wild one
if you fear the rumbling of the ground,
the roar of a cascading river,
the startling clap of thunder in the sky.
If you want to be safe,
go back to your tiny room —
the night sky is not for you.
If you want to be torn apart, come in.
Be broken open and devoured.
Be set ablaze in my fire.
I will not leave you as you have come:
well dressed,
in finely-threaded sweaters that keep out the cold.
I will leave you naked and biting.
Leave you clawing at the sheets.
Leave you surrounded by owls and hawks
and flowers that only bloom when no one is watching.

So, come to me,
and be healed in the unbearable lightness
and darkness of all that you are.
There is nothing in you that can scare me.
Nothing in you I will not use to make you great.

A wild woman is not a girlfriend.
She is a relationship with nature.
She is the source of all your primal desires,
and she is the wild whipping wind
that uproots the poisonous corn stalks
on your neatly tilled farm.
She will plant pear trees in the wake of your disaster.
She will see to it that you shall rise again.
She is the lover who restores you to your own wild nature.

by Allison Nappi

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“My Roadkill Art…. hmmmm!  Yes, well… “

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SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE - Made from recycled materials feathers from the capes of seven golden roadkill pheasants - 2 years in the making, completed at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, modelled beautifully by Visual & Shamanic Artist KATIE SURRIDGE of London. Pigs ears and trotters with goji berries - silk purse "Kali's Pants" - aka - "Nice Beaver"  'TOTAL BOLLOCKS' - ROADKILL BADGER TALISMAN - ANTI BADGER-CULL CAMPAIGN  Hernes Horn H2840039

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My taxidermy projects are quite personal, and not really for sale.  They do not form part of my general paid art work (community works or school projects) so I tend to keep these separate from each other.  That said, I may take on a commission for a special person or idea if I have the time, as with the story of the testicle earrings!

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I usually exhibit my work at festivals, as part of a performance, or personally in my home (where-ever that may be) as a shamanic fetish/object with a specific purpose or meaning.  Often these objects have a slightly dark sense of humour injected into them and a much deeper meaning than one might imagine.

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This short 5 minute film for Woodlands TV gives you a visual taster, lol.

“Tribal Arts and Cafts in the Woodlands” – Episode 6 of 6

Roadkill Pheasant Cape

Roadkill Pheasant Cape

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So… Yeah, the earrings, lol.  It is quite a funny story and I was asked to tell it recently, so seeing as I had to type it out anyway, I thought I would stick it on here too.

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Squirrel Testicle Earings

Squirrel Testicle Earrings

The story of the Testicle Earrings!

I was at a friend’s party in London few years ago and got talking to one of the other girls there that I had not met before.  To be honest, I only knew two other people there.  She was telling us about how her boyfriend had proposed recently.  She had suffered a fidelity betrayal by her previous partner and was still furious and hurt that he had cheated on her.  Afraid this might happen again with her new man, but wanting very much to marry him, she told him that she would only marry him if he agreed that if he ‘was’ ever unfaithful to her – she could “wear his bollocks for earrings!!”

He agreed.  Thinking she was joking.  They made a date to marry later that year in Las Vegas.

The group of friends laughed at the story, and joked that it would be funny to wear a pair of human testicle earrings for the wedding day, as a reminder of his promise, but that it would be impossible to buy a pair of real testicle earrings.  I had been pretty quiet until this point when  I said “I’ve got a spare pair of testicles!!”.

The group just stared at me with jaws dropping, and laughed.  I laughed and said “No really, I have… some squirrel ones”.  One of my friends then proceeded to tell the group that I was an artist, and about the kind of things I had made and how I lived my life.  They were amazed.  I was commissioned by the bride there and then to make her these earrings.  I reassured her that they would not be hairy, lol.

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Skinning a squirrel to taxidermy in my studio.

Skinning a squirrel to taxidermy in my studio.

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I set about making the earrings from the actual testicles, not the scrotum.  I had saved them from a previous taxidermy project using a local roadkill casualty.  Luckily squirrel testicles are quite large in comparison to the size of the animal so looked good as droplet ear adornments.

squirrel with balls

These little objects can be quite ‘oily’ when drying so the process took longer than anticipated.  They were dried repeatedly and cured in salt for a long period of time, and then I sealed the remaining oil inside using a tough acrylic varnish.  I try not to use heavy chemicals in my work.  They were sprayed silver, varnished again, mounted in silver fittings and beautifully gift wrapped for the bride in time for the wedding.

The group of friends today still talk about the story.  I hope I helped cure with humour a huge amount of suffering by a fellow sister, and make a sensitive issue easier to talk about for a young couple on the path to new relationship.  I also hoped that it be a dark but humorous warning to the ‘love-rats’ out there that think cheating on your woman comes without consequences.

Best they be warned!  We will have “your bollocks for earrings!”

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 THE ROADKILL CONNOISSEUR

Making the most of two squirrels!!

Southern Fried Squirrel”

& “Squirrel Pot-Sticker Dumplings”.

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Recipes and methods:

“Squirrel Pot-Sticker Dumplings”.

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These pot-sticker dumplings – also called ‘Gyoza’ – are a bit of a fusion signature dish of mine as they are quick to make, use only one pan and can contain tiny portions of ingredients.  Great if what you have to cook is small like a crow, magpie or tiny mammal.

Ingredients:

1 x roadkill squirrel (meat only for this recipe)
Small handful of shredded Chinese Cabbage

few sprigs of coriander and chives
1 x Spring Onion
2cm Ginger
1x tsp Sesame Oil
1 x Clove Garlic
Approx 16 Gyoza Skins (bought frozen from the Asian supermarket)

For the frying pan
A tspn of Sesame Oil
Enough hot water to cover the dumplings half way up.

 Dipping Sauce:
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Saki
1 tspn Mirin
Sprig of coriander and a chilli to garnish (optional)

Method:

Skin squirrel then remove as much meat as possible from the bones and mince with a sharp knife. It’s fiddly work!  Chop vegetables, blend all dumpling ingredients together and let stand for 10 minutes to allow flavours to mix.  The dipping sauce can be made whilst the dumplings are cooking, simply blend ingredients together and garnish!

Add mixture to dumpling cases and form a tight seal at the edges.This method uses the fry and steam method and will take about 14 minutes per batch of around eight dumplings. Heat the pan, drizzle the oil over the base, and when hot, add the dumplings flat side down.  Add water and cover the dumplings half way up their sides. Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and turn down the heat to medium – simmer and steam.  Remove lid when water has completely evaporated and fry for a minute more and remove when their bottoms are golden brown.  Serve crispy side up.  There you have it!  Easy peasy, Tufty-Tastic, “Squirrel Pot-sticker Dumplings”.

Next….

Southern Fried Squirrel”

southern-fried-squirrel

Ingredients:

1 x roadkill squirrel

Sprig of coriander and a chilli to garnish (optional)

For the wash
1/4 pint of water
Squirt of your favourite chilli sauce!

For the flour
1 x tspn corn flour
1 tspn salt
1 tspn pepper
1 tspn garlic powder

For the frying pan
Enough oil or lard to shallow fry

Method:

Remove legs from skinned squirrel.  Marinate in the chilli wash for 10 minutes.  Heat the pan and oil ready for frying.  Remove squirrel legs from wash and coat thoroughly in flour mix.  Add to hot oil and fry on a medium heat, not too hot, until cooked through and golden brown.  Drain on a piece of kitchen roll.  Serve with garnish.

They are also delicious dipped in the dipping sauce recipe used for squirrel Pot-Sticker Dumplings.  Other small animal legs, wings or strips of meat can be substituted for this recipe!

Cleaning up:

Don’t waste the squirrel!  Boil the carcass to make a Squirrel Soup stock.  The skin can also be preserved to make a little squirrel skin rug.

So please do try these two delicious recipes…. they truly are the “Squirrels Bollocks”! lol

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squirrel with balls

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Southern Fried Squirrel”

& “Squirrel Pot-Sticker Dumplings”.

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IMG_1042

A ‘How to’ film for the MUNCHIES food Channel.

I spent a very pleasurable half day with two guys from VICE / Freemantle Media UK making a show for their “How to…” series.

MUNCHIES chronicles the wide spectrum of the global culinary experience. They liked how I combine roadkill with various forms of cookery styles and ingredients and asked if I would cook for the show. I enjoyed links to the other episodes so said yes!

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I made two of my “Feral Fusion” recipes using squirrel – “Southern Fried Squirrel” & “Squirrel Pot-Sticker Dumplings”.  They were very tasty and the show is pretty funny, lol.

 

freemantlemedia uk

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“Raising The Skirt 2015″

Thrilled to be one of this years participants.

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I was drawn to a previous posting of the first RAISING OF THE SKIRT (in 2014) months ago and was compelled to Google further.  I found a website and read and listened with tears in my eyes and on my cheeks to some of the Odes to our beloved Cunts.  They resonated deeply.  Once again I realised that despite plenty of personal growth work already, I still owed my precious vagina so much more.

So when a “Call For Participants” popped onto my radar I sat bolt upright and started typing.  I sent in my CV and cover letter the artist Nicola Canavan, introducing myself and my story….  I was chosen.  I was delighted and I felt vitalized.

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It saddens me to say that I hated her for years.  I blamed her for being useless, for hurting all the time, for ruining my relationships.  Despite feeling pain and discomfort whilst making love and for days after I wanted to please my previous partners in bed.  I believed this was simply because I loved them but more subconsciously it was because I was afraid to ‘lose’ them.  Then, after over 20 years of gynaecological issues, and all the ‘head crap’ that goes with it, I was cured!!  Well, almost, lol.  The medical profession can only take healing so far, the rest has to come from within.  This was in 2001.

The true healing of my heart, mind and yoni began in 2007 when I left a huge chunk of my previous life behind and spent an entire year shacked up in my studio, single and loving it!  I documented my inward journeying in a variety of media.  I explored old fears and patterned behaviours, new ideas, people, places and opportunities.  I began consciously “Healing My Temple Door”.

But how do you discipline yourself into opening and surrendering to love when you are hurt, afraid, or angry?  I began to practice.  Slowly I began to love my body again.  I read some fantastic books.  I delved deeply into death and the archetypal psyche of truly wild and witchy women.  I discovered ‘me’ again and so much more.

So, whilst in the sanctuary of my studio, after over two decades of frustration, fear and failed relationships I felt ‘fixed’ enough to be confident and powerful about my budding and belated sexuality!  I boldly decided to make my exciting journey public.  It took a lot of courage to ‘come out’ with regard to my sexual history and private mental tortures.  So many of us suffer as a result of poor sexual health, trauma and the pressures of conforming to a skewed and outdated socio-cultural model of what it is to be an ‘acceptable’ woman’.  I wanted to reach out, seek and include others who have experienced similar; women (and men) who actively want to heal heart, mind and yoni, to dissolve the collective female ‘pain-body’.

I have always been a ‘pusher of boundaries’ and have done some extraordinary things in my lifetime.  I love my life.  I have been a beacon for many women.  I still however struggle with deep-seated low self-esteem issues despite outwardly being incredibly confident and fearless.

Now I am in a solid, sexual and spiritual relationship.  I am still encouraged to be all that I can be.  I still feel the need to know and work on myself from time to time, especially since I have recently started the MENOPAUSE!

Now I face a new challenge.  I have searched for a suitable vehicle to take me on this deeper journey of personal growth but struggle to find ‘non fluffy’ events, workshops or like minded women that can facilitate them.  Then I found this event.  I can’t explain my excitement.  Is this the vehicle for me?  Whatever the decision, I will continue on my path and continue to grow.  I am simply happy that these events exist, and that transgressive female artists and other exceptional and empowered women are no longer burned at the stake for breaking out of our patriarchal constraints.

 

Thank you so much for your gifts and of the ‘Raising the Skirts’ dear Nicola. Viva Vaginas!! Lol.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Alison Brierley. (8th May 2015)

 

 

 
1. A ‘gentle’ introduction to my taxidermy work, lol. “The Story of the Testicle Earrings!” –
https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/blog/

3. “HERNE’S HORN” – This was debuted at a festival, as are many of my performance pieces… it explored the masculine nature of women. It was a piece in response to ‘Kali’s Pants’ (Beaver Merkin) which explored and exaggerated the darker feminine aspects of the female psyche, Vagina Dentata and Kali. The horn is rhino and symbolises the lengths we have to go to be regarded as an equal… ie: grow our own cock! lol.

4. “THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT – Made from a hares head and various found and recycled objects.

5. SHEELA-NA-GIGS – Ancient fertility paintings and lino cuttings using placenta blood.   https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/sheela-na-gig-placental-blood-lino-printing-fertlity-art/
 
6.  “Healing The Temple Door” – A Journey of Self Realisation and The Return of “Libido” – A POEM! (WARNING – EXPLICIT)
https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/healing-my-temple-door-a-journey-of-self-realisation-and-the-return-of-libido-a-poem/
 

7. “My MASSIVE Vagina” aka “My Purring Pussy” aka “Festive Fadge” aka “The Temple Door” – A few years ago a giant vulva that graced a red tent opening.  My intention was to create a safe healing area/ re-birthing womb space for women to discuss issues around vaginas, heart and sex. It debuted however a ‘hobbit’ size honey moon suite for some dear friends at their Hand Fasting.  It was also used in the evening to ‘collar’ a few blokes we thought were total ‘cunts’ for a bit of Gurning… It hangs on the dining room wall at the moment. It was decorated in tinsel at Christmas and now has a loud purring and meowing mechanism installed.  Last week it was used for a Beltane ritual at a Rent Tent gathering.

8.   “POLARITY” – Cernunnos and The Bringer Of Light to Dark Places – AKA – The Horned Lord and the Witch. FERTILITY ART
https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/polarity-cernunnos-and-the-bringer-of-light-to-dark-places-aka-the-horned-lord-and-the-witch-fertility-art/

9.  PLACENTA PABULUM – ART & COOKERY & COMMISSIONS – “Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it”.  https://alisonbrierley.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/preoccupied-with-placentas-10-experimental-adventures-making-beautiful-things-from-placenta-placenta-art-cookery/

10.  “MENOPAUSE” – Crow Woman – “I grow my black wings and scream in silence, stand back or I may tear out your soft throat with my teeth and paint my lips with your hot red blood”.   This is my latest work, drawn just last week.  Two poems accompany her but they are yet to be tweaked. I am in the process of collecting menstrual blood using a moon cup to paint the finsihed portrait.

“Menopausal Crow Woman”

The Truth Telling Years

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Medusa Truth tweeked

Marker pen and Menstrual Blood (Phase Three 2015)

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“Menopausal Crow Woman”

The Truth Telling Years

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Salutations Kali
Dark Goddess
Truth Sayer
Little Death Bringer
Devourer
Love me with All of your heart Benevolent Mother
Love me while you tear me apart and bestow your Dark Gifts
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I Know You Medusa
Adorned in Blood Serpents
Shedding your many Skins
Eyes blazing
Forever Transforming
Evolving
You insist you assist in my Peeling
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I Feel You Crow Woman
Emerging from my very core
Imparting the Deep Knowledge I have always Known
In my Blood
In my Bones
In my Chromosomes
The Wisdom of the Crones
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Deep Gratitude
For Many things
For my fledgling black wings
I stretch and flex,
Admiring their beauty and dark luminescence
One of many Gifts
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Compensation for the challenges of the Change
For the wrinkles and graying hair
On head, chin and down there
Preparing for the Blood to dry,
Eggs to die
For the now bi-monthly ‘Brain Fry’.
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 Fear and Release
As I slough the Layers from this Great Fuck-Off Onion
Feeling raw and exposed
My Heart aches like never before
Full of overwhelming Compassion,
Rage and Woe
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I visit the dark places
In my Mind
In my Psyche
Full of pain and fearful things
Doors and Boxes locked long ago
Inviting the Little Deaths so that I can grow
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So Beautiful
This flower
This Wise Gaping Wound
This Oracle of Change and Truth
Flowing
Now irregular and unexpected
Past the Velvet Folds looking a bit tattered and torn
This metaphorical Sheela with teeth
I claim them back
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“Come in!”
Come in to my cavernous nether mouth
Taste me, take me, devour me
I offer you the universe
In Exquisite details
Don’t dare oppress me, suppress me
For I WILL castrate you
Rip off and out your cock and throat
Paint all of my lips with your hot blood
Cloth myself in your entrails.
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But I still love you
With all of my heart
Even when I am tearing out yours.
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Kali
Medusa
Dark Goddess
Truth Sayer
Little Death Bringer
Devourer
Love me with All of your heart Benevolent Mother
Love me while you tear me apart and bestow your Dark Gifts
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by Alison (Tribal) Brierley
(2015)

“Plain (Menses) Sailing” – PMS

Artwork by Alex Alice

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Don’t believe the head chatter
And it’s all Plain Sailing
A calm and uneventful crossing
A ‘breeze’
A gentle navigation
Through the Cyclic waves
Hardly noticed

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Some occasions are a bit chillier
A bit choppier
Choppier of waves and winds
Choppier of heads
All have been known to roll

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Once in a while there’s an all out Storm
In the darkest of nights
HUGE waves
Tossing you this way and that
Walls of blackness
1000 feet high
Veils of impending velvet doom
Like giant Nosferatus
Menacingly loom over you

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Pressure!
Tremendous pressure!
Tremendous crashing
Bashing and slashing
Picking you up then smashing you down
To drown
Sails are torn and tattered
Nerves shattered
Flung far into the unknown
Uncharted waters
Totally lost

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No respite
Hulls are ripped open
Black liquid pain
Leaks from the cracks that have appeared
Cracks that are new
Cracks that are old
Patched up cracks
Smoothed over and glossed over cracks
Forgotten
Until now

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Pressure!
Tremendous pressure!
Just to keep afloat
To save this boat
To keep sailing
To keep smiling
Keep working
“WARNING!!”
“IMMINENT DEATH APPROACHING”

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The vessel Explodes
Medusa speaks her Truth
I pray for survivors
Then a watery demise
A bursting of tears
A river nesting in an ocean
A surrendering to despair
“PLEASE!! Is there ANYBODY out there?”

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Just as quickly as it arrived
The storm breaks
The wind knocked out of sails
The sea of salty tears slows
Ebbs and flows
Then stops

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I am Beached
The wind is now a breeze
A new calm fills this aching, exhausted body
Warmth on back
Pretty turquoise sea
Tickling my toes
Fingers sift soft sand
I am back
I am me

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Stillness
Deep gratitude
A new level is reached
No one else was wrecked
But the hull is still breached

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Old junk and gunk still leak
Now just flotsam and jetsam
Bit by bit
Washed away
With each new breath
Each new wave

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The sun shines again
Shines a light on the darkness
Breaks the brooding clouds apart
Warms a broken heart
Gives you what you need
To stay strong
To stay sane
To return to the mundane
To navigate another storm
Another day
Next month say…?

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By Alison (Tribal) Brierley

(2015)

 

“THE SILK PURSE” -aka- “PEPPER PIG”

Pigs Head Terrine

Made with the whole head, in particular the Ears!

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“This dish was totally awesome, the flavours and textures rivaled any I’ve had in my favourate restaurants!  This terrine was made out of a pigs ear and a trotter!  It was a beautiful thing to look at, and tasted damn good too, dipped in an Asian style sauce made from soy sauce, mirin and sake, with ginger, garlic and spring onions…. mmmmmm!”  

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TERRINE is one of my favourate dishes!!  It has humble beginnings as a hearty meal for French labourers, but is now served in upscale restaurants as a starter.  You can experiment with terrine ingredients as much as you wish, nothing is carved in stone when it comes to these kinds of recipes!  It depends on what nature offers you at the time and your personal tastes!

Since the meat mixture is best marinated and left in the fridge for a day, cooked and cooled the next day and then left up to two days for proper pressing to occur, terrine can be a time-consuming dish. But it doesn’t have to be!

pig headThis terrine came about whilst visiting a friend in Scotland.  My friend and I often swap oddities, techniques, recipes and make things from dead bits, this occasion was no different.  This trip consisted of much outdoor cookery, taxidermy practice and a pigs head!

Ingredients 

  • 1 pig head
  • 2 tblsp pink peppercorn
  • 1 tblsp black peppercorns
  • dash salt and pepper

“I don’t always use bacon to line the tin, often I use a jelly, say, from a pigs head, ham hock or trotters.  I  like to decorate the top (first layer in the tin) with a few foraged edible leaves and/or fruits“.

Other Ingredients 

Asian dipping sauce! 

  • Soy sause
  • Sake
  • Mirin
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • Spring onions

pig head brawnMethod 

“The gelatin removed from the meat is used as a preserving & jellying agent (as in the making of pork pies).  Nowadays artificial gelatin is often added, but I prefer the traditional method”.

  1. Boil the pig head in a large pan covered with water until the meat starts to fall off.  Then pull as much meat off as you can.
  2. Make a pork ‘binding’ jelly.  This can be made a day in advance by boiling the trotter or hock in a sauce pan, then simmering on a low heat for 3 hours, until the skin dissolves and the knuckles separate.
  3. Season the jelly with salt and pepper
  4. Line the tin in layers, starting with the pink peppercorns.  Add layer by layer of meat pausing to pour some of the melted jelly binder.
  5. When finished put in fridge till set.
  6. Turn out and serve with the delicious Asian dipping sauce.

 

 

Also think about including… 

  • Foraged herbs and fruits of your choice – autumnal fruits such as plums, blackberries,cherries, apple or apricots work really well!  Be creative!!  Why not make your own chutney too?
  • Wild foraged meat – ROADKILL!

I often make my terrines from Accidental Meats/ Roadkill.  It sparks conversation and debate….

 

 Making Roadkill Pies for Come Dine With Me“…so whats the difference?”

Wild Game Terrine was one of the dishes I served up on Come Dine With Me many years ago, alongside Curried Pheasant & Quinoa Roadkill Pies.  I served two dishes as I wanted to spark a debate if my guests wouldn’t eat the roadkill, but would eat the butcher bought meat.  My question was – “so whats the difference?”  It was the same wild animal, the difference being one had been deliberately shot with a gun, the other had been accidentally hit by a car!  If it was a question of ethics, which one was the most humane?  If it was a question of freshness, one had been hit by a car within a few hours, the other had been hung for over a week in the butchers shop…. which one would you eat?

As it happened they devoured them, and loved it all!    Phewwww!!

Click here for the 2 min trailer…

I hope you enjoy my other ROADKILL & “FERAL FUSION” recipes!

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………………….oOo………………..

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“FOOT & FADGE” – Roadkill Terrine – “FERAL FUSION” – Wild Food Recipes with Trotters, Uterus and Goji Berries

 

Roadkill Rabbit and Pheasant Terrine with Pig’s Uterus, Trotters, Bacon and Goji Berries.

Enjoy!!

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“Big Cat Warrior Tribal Choker”

Tooth, Bone and Bead Necklace

Made from recycled materials, cow bone, wooden beads and a pair of Giant Cat teeth.

 (Completed in 2007)

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“When you can speak your heart to the people – clearly and without fear – honour, bravery and victory are yours”.

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Native Americans often crafted and wore jewelry carved from bone and horn parts.

The ‘Bone Choker’ provided physical protection of the neck and the jugular vein during battle and fighting in the hope to deflect an arrow shot at them by an enemy during war parties.

Bone chokers are also believed to provide spiritual protection of the voice.  It was said that the Spirit shall also provide a great speaking ability when wearing a properly made bone choker that always speaks the truth and guides the warrior to speak from the heart.

By wearing a bone choker, the spirits of the animal they come from were believed to provide protection from all kinds of troubles and even disease.

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Bone chokers were originally made from bird leg bones.

“The spirit of the bird could be invoked to protect the person’s voice from ailments, jealousy or fatigue.  The bird was not always killed to make the chokers. Most often they were found after a predatory animal had already killed them or they had died a natural death. This was considered a good sign when found. Not only for the people who needed the chokers but for the bird, so it’s life would be of honor, value and service”.

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I wear this choker for special, spiritual and ceremonial occasions, when I feel my voice needs to be true, strong and direct.

I made this originally from a recycled cow bone belt that I bought in Bali, during a Big Trip in 2001-02.

The belt sat with some other souvenirs in a box for many years, until I made a trip to Cambodia in 2007 and acquired the “Big Cat’s” Teeth.

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The Cambodian trip was a solo trip that immediately followed a huge fight and subsequent breakdown of a relationship and business partnership.  I literally threw my passport, a pair of knickers and my credit cards into a bag and drove to the airport.  I guess I ran away… I was at my tethers end.

It was necessary at the time to throw myself to the mercy and wisdom of the Universe, alone and accepting.  I was in great emotional pain.

I wanted to re-find myself, to rediscover my TRUTH, VOICE and COURAGE am begin my life all over again.

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When I consciously opened my heart to the universe and decided to throw myself into whatever opportunity arose, I had a chance meeting in a random guest house in Phenom Penn.

The very next day I began working with an independent mobile medical unit that delivered first aid and medical attention to the displaced refugees in a camp just outside the Cambodian capitol.  These refugees had been forced to live in pretty horrific, unsanitary conditions and the stories they told were heart breaking… as if this country hadn’t suffered enough under Pol Pot!!

I dressed woulds, administered meds and assisted the doctor with general & dental support. I chatted to the people and played with the children. I also was a blood donor and gatherer of other potential backpacker donors as Dengue Fever among the locals was claiming lots of lives and massive transfusions were needed, especially for the children.

Towards the end of my trip these large cat teeth were gifted by a toothless old man, as a Thank You.

Alas, despite feeling the love and warm emanating from his heart, I couldn’t understand the language so didn’t hear from what big cat these teeth came from… all I picked out was “BIG CAT”.

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This trip reset my moral compass and reminded me of what I could achieve regardless of any relationship.

My “Big Cat Tribal Choker” necklace is a reminder to always act from the HEART and speak my TRUTH.

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As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive.

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Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKINANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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“The ‘Harey’ Ushanka”

AVIATOR/ TRAPPER HAT

harey ushanka 3

Made from recycled materials and a Roadkill Fox and Hare.

 (Completed in 2013)

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The “Ushanka”- meaning  literally “ear hat”.

This style of hat is found across the globe,  protecting the ears of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Canadian Mounties, continental police officers, pouting models on catwalks, and pretty much everyone in between, from temperatures as low -70c.

The Ushanka hat has been worn in Russia, Scandinavia and Germany for centuries, and there are  suggestions of it having been worn by nomads of central Asia and the arctic.   Often made with sheepskin, or thick muskrat, rabbit and mink fur.  The ear flaps provides warmth and protection from wind, impact and falling winter hazards, like icicles or branches.

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This hat was made for my new baby.

The outer was made from a pair of recycled suede trousers.  The inner was made from my little ones snugly orange pumpkin Samhain baby-grow.  The white ear flaps were made from the tip of a Roadkill Fox’s tail.  The rest of the fur is from the same Roadkill Hare that was utilised in the making of “THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” fertility fetish object.

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I guess what surprised me the most about making this hat was how damn quickly he grew out of it, lol.

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For more information on the making of the

“THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT

(Completed in 2009)

read on….

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This project began in 2009 during a week-long ‘walk-about’ following the death of my father, and shortly after the decision to start a family with my current partner.

I found the Hare at the side of the road only 20 minutes into my lone travels around the North of England and Scotland.

She came with me the rest of the way, my travelling companion,  and bit-by-bit, she was eaten, shared, processed and learnt from, becoming part of the journey, and touching every person we came into contact with, in a deep and meaningful way.

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Over the following 16 months (it took a while for an old bird like me to conceive, lol) her bulging vulva was slowly stuffed and filled with little sacred objects, each having special significance: a carved penis from a dear friend; a small piece of chalk flint from the phallus of The Cerne Abbas Giant; a fossil spiral; a shell; a sculptured clay zygote from another dear friend; and a bird’s egg.

Eventually, I couldn’t fit anything else in her.

She now dangles in the window of my motorhome as we drive along, bobbing away to music and the rhythm of the road surfaces, up-front and part of our lives.

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Makes a change from fluffy dice!

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To read the full blog click here!

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As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive.

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Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKINANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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Animality – Women, Animals and Instinct

An Exhibition by Photographer and Artist Casey Orr

Tribal Ali by Casey Orr for The Animal Library poster“The Animal Library – Women, Animals and Instinct” examines how Nature and Culture intertwine and explores the different relationships women have with animals; the cultural understanding of the language of women, the histories of women and nature, and our relationship to animals and our animal selves through photographs and reproductions of the books and library artefacts.

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I was photographed along with 10 other women who embody what she hopes to explore and communicate – an understanding of culture as not separate from nature but that the two are intertwined; both integral to a definition what it is to be human.

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The dictionary definition of ‘animality’ reads: ‘the animal nature of human beings.’

Quote…. “Animality is an exploration of the different relationships women have with animals. These range from women who align themselves with animals and their inherent powers through the wearing of fur, animal print and feather to women who, through animal husbandry and farm work, have a daily commitment to animals. These women live and work with animals, know the rhythms inherent in farm life and have the visceral understanding of non-human nature that their work demands. For other women, they simply share their life’s rhythms with animals. The species boundary dissolves and pets become companion and family. The women and animal lives intertwine in human domestic life.

As notions of gender and sexuality begin to be understood more as a moving spectrum of being and identity, so our relationship to animals, to our animality, might be better read as such instead of the strict and codified animal-human binary we’ve been taught. In Western culture, nature and culture are usually conceptualized as distinctly separate. But not all societies make this distinction between nature and culture. For some, being natural can mean something more than simply ‘not cultural’.

With Animality I am consciously aligning women to nature, and saying, yes, perhaps through menstruation and childbirth, hormones and cycles, women, untamable and wild, are aligned more to their bodies and to nature. And it’s not to say men aren’t also organic beings – but maybe it’s harder for women to forget our innate wildness because our bodies are always acting in untamed ways.

I am a woman engaged in these cycles and also engaged in culture, the making of cultural artifacts and in the discourses of cultural meanings. I make photographic series and use metaphor and the relationship between images to try and articulate and form my own questions about the meaning of life and the wonder of being.

Animality is a language, a mode of self-expression, and a function of our relationship to non-human nature. We are intertwined in the fabric of this earth life because we’re not just cultural beings – we are also animals”.

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1st December 2015 – 9th January 2016

“THE ANIMAL LIBRARY- WOMEN, ANIMALS, INSTINCT”

Leeds City Central Library, in the City Center.

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THIS IS A TRUE STORY!  

“Ode to Old Crow” …..

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golfing crowOnce upon a time there was an old one-legged Crow who loved to watch a good game of golf!!

He lived at Scarthingwell Golf Club, at the 10th hole, in a lovely old park just south of Tadcaster in Yorkshire.

Every year a particular group of guys would come to play and dear old “One-legged Crow” would delight in following this team of happy chaps around, watching them play from hole to hole, and especially at the 10th, cheering them on with a

“Caw-Caw-Caw”!

He was such a Star!

crow-talk

For many, many years this group of guys would come to play their Annual Golf Tournaments at the park and dear old One-legged Crow would come and watch.

They grew quite fond of Old Crow and even changed their name to “Team Crow”!

A happy friendship developed between them.

A game of golf at the park wouldn’t be the same now without their dear feathered friend.

 

 

Then one year the inevitable happened….

 

always in our hearts crow“Team Crow” turned up to play their Annual Tournament.

Old One-legged Crow wasn’t there.

They played on into the game, and still their feathered friend didn’t show up. The guys were sad. It wasn’t the same without him.

At the end of the game they came to accept that maybe dear old “One-Leg” had gone to Corvid Heaven – that he had maybe passed away.

 

They decided that from that very day their Annual Golf Tournaments would be in honour of their gentle, curious, fun, golf-loving feathered friend.

They kept their promise to Old Crow.

 

And every year they still do…..

 

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3 crowsIn response to a post recently about three dead roadkill crows in my freezer, a dear old friend asked me if I had a spare leg and would I make something for one of her regular customers.  Not an unusual request from someone that knows me well… lol.

She told me about her customer, how she had cut his hair for years and every now and again he would chat about golf.  He told her a lovely story about how is friends played a tournament every year, and about an old one-legged crow who loved to watch them play.  This customer was the Chief Organiser of “Team Crow”.

She recounted the story to me.

I said “of course! Anyone who honours Crow can have a leg”! Lol.

So I made this trophy for them, for their Annual Tournament.

The story and memory of dear old One-legged Crow and his love of golf lives on….

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“Ode To Old Crow”

TEAM CROW – GOLFING TROPHY

one leg crow trophy

Made from recycled materials, a trophy base, a mini golf ball, silver star and silver club and of course…

One Crows Leg!

(2016)
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Since writing this story I have been contacted by Team Crow who are thrilled with the story and wish to create a team logo from the Trophy.
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They also had this to say…
"...besides our annual competition for the One Legged Crow trophy we also have two other competitions which last over the whole year. We have therefore decided to award your shield to the "Crow of the Year" which will be the best performer over the three competitions".
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How fab is that:-)

xxx
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“FOOT & FADGE” – Roadkill Terrine

Roadkill Rabbit and Pheasant Terrine with Pig’s Uterus, Trotters, Bacon and Goji Berries.

My 'Foot and Fadge' Terrine - Organic pigs trotter and uterus with goji berries.

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TERRINE is one of my favourate dishes!!  It has humble beginnings as a hearty meal for French labourers, but is now served in upscale restaurants as a starter.  You can experiment with terrine ingredients as much as you wish, nothing is carved in stone when it comes to these kinds of recipes!  It depends on what nature offers you at the time and your personal tastes!

This terrine came about from acquiring a recent roadkill rabbit and pheasant, a bag of organic pigs trotters from a local farm and a pigs uterus from the Chinese Supermarket!

Since the meat mixture is best marinated and left in the fridge for a day, cooked and cooled the next day and then left up to two days for proper pressing to occur, terrine can be a time-consuming dish. But it doesn’t have to be!

 

Wild Ingredients 

  • 1 roadkill pheasant
  • 1 roadkill rabbit

(Or whatever nature provides when using road-kill.  Use the breasts of pheasant, pigeon (or other bird) and saddles of rabbit, fox, deer, hare, etc, for the terrine; throw the rest of the game meat and bones into the stock pan, cook, cool and pick clean the bones, you can freeze the meat bits for later to use in another recipe). 

 

For the forcemeat  – This is a cold pressed terrine!

  • Chosen cuts of cooked meat, or/ and cold meat picked off the carcasses of pre-boiled game
  • livers from all the game (optional) fry off/ cook first
  • 1 handful fresh breadcrumbs (optional if Gluten Free)
  • 1 tbsp (lemon) thyme, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • trotter jelly
  • 1 tbsp dried and powdered nettle leaves  (these I forage every spring in bulk and dry out for the whole year.  Mostly dried for tea, I also powder and chuck into soups, stews, mash, gravy…all sorts!)

 

“I don’t always use bacon to line the tin, often I use a jelly, say, from a pigs head, ham hock or trotters.  I  like to decorate the top (first layer in the tin) with a few foraged edible leaves and/or fruits“.

 

Other Ingredients 

  • 6 rashers of smoked bacon
  • pre-soaked Goji berries (in Brandy tastes really good!)

 

 

Method 

Day One…

  1. Marinate the choice cuts of the game (saddles, breasts and thighs) in a generous splash of red wine (you could also throw in a few teaspoons of soft brown sugar if you want).
  2. Make a pork ‘binding’ jelly.  This can be made a day in advance by boiling the trotter or hock in a sauce pan, then simmering on a low heat for 3 hours, until the skin dissolves and the knuckles separate.

The gelatin removed from the meat is used as a preserving & jellying agent (as in the making of pork pies).  Nowadays artificial gelatin is often added, but I prefer the traditional method.

 

Day Two…

  1. Mix (in a blender) the cooked meat, cooked livers, breadcrumbs, season with the salt and pepper and mix together thoroughly with 4 or 5 tbsp of melted trotter jelly.  This is the forcemeat.
  2. Cut the marinated game meat into long strips about 2 fingers thick.
  3. Fry the game in oil/ butter until nicely browned, do not overcook the meat.
  4. Grease a 1lb loaf tin or glazed earthenware terrine dish with the butter.
  5. First cooked bacon rashers into the buttered base.  You can first add some pretty herb leaves for decoration if you fancy.  Be creative!!  Pour on a little of the warm, liquid jelly to bind the first layer, then a layer of forcemeat!  Allow to cool and set.
  6. When set, add another layer of forcemeat followed by a layer of game meat, and repeat this action until the game is gone.  Be mindful, think about the finished pattern when it is cut into slices.  Add the Goji berry layer somewhere in the middle.  Finish with a layer of the forcemeat.
  7. Terrines must be pressed as they cool to release trapped air.  This makes for a smooth texture and they’re easier to slice.  Find a piece of wood or plastic that fits snugly inside the terrine dish and weigh it down with a house brick (wrap in cling-film or foil in case it is a bit dirty).  If you have a spare loaf tin the same size, use that with a brick inside it.  Put the terrine in the fridge for 24 hours.

 

Day Three…

  1. To serve, remove from the tin, guide the knife around the edges and tap upside down on a chopping board to release.  If it doesn’t come out, pour some boiling water into a baking tin and warm the terrine for 10 seconds at a time, so the jelly begins to melt inside, but not so much that it melts the bulk of the terrine. When released, chill again and slice thickly while cold with a very sharp knife, clean the blade between slices.  Arrange on a plate with some chutney, jelly and warm brioche.

 

Also think about including… 

  • Foraged herbs and fruits of your choice – autumnal fruits such as plums, blackberries,cherries, apple or apricots work really well!  Be creative!!  Why not make your own chutney too?

 

 Making Roadkill Pies for Come Dine With Me“…so whats the difference?”

Wild Game Terrine was one of the dishes I served up on Come Dine With Me many years ago, alongside Curried Pheasant & Quinoa Roadkill Pies.  I served two dishes as I wanted to spark a debate if my guests wouldn’t eat the roadkill, but would eat the butcher bought meat.  My question was – “so whats the difference?”  It was the same wild animal, the difference being one had been deliberately shot with a gun, the other had been accidentally hit by a car!  If it was a question of ethics, which one was the most humane?  If it was a question of freshness, one had been hit by a car within a few hours, the other had been hung for over a week in the butchers shop…. which one would you eat?

As it happened they devoured them, and loved it all!    Phewwww!!

Click here for the 2 min trailer…

I hope you enjoy my other ROADKILL & “FERAL FUSION” recipes!

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………………….oOo………………..

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Pigs ears and trotters with goji berries - silk purse

“THE SILK PURSE” -aka- “PEPPER PIG”

Pigs Head Terrine

Made with the whole head, in particular the Ears!

 

“This terrine was made out of a pigs ear and a trotter!  It was a beautiful thing to look at, and tasted damn good too, dipped in an Asian style sauce made from soy sauce, mirin and sake, with ginger, garlic and spring onions…. mmmmmm!  

 

Will finish that blog and publish soon…

Enjoy!!

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