Friday, 30 January 2009

Come In Mrs BoB - Your Audience Awaits

Exiting news from the south island. Mrs BoB will be writing a guest post in which she'll interview her brother, Outdoorsman, Wildfowler, Pig Hunter, and Spear Fisherman. I've met the man in question, but before he started hunting. So I'm really looking forward to hearing all about how he got started, what the bars to entry are in NZ, how firearms licenses work there, what he's bagged. Of course it wouldn't be The Suburban Bushwacker if we didn't learn what gear he uses and what gear he would use if money were no object. I can't wait. 

If you're curious too, please leave comments telling Mrs BoB 

A: how much you want to hear what she has to say
B: To get on with it!

Hint Hint

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Clebz - What They Think We Want To Hear?

Outdoor Life have collected together a few choice words about hunting and fishing - all uttered by attention seeking numbskulls.......

Let's start with Macca (Paul McCartney) a man who currently uses his media soapbox to vent his frustrations at his former friend, who had the temerity to die before scores could be settled.
Really, I'm not joking scroll down to controversy.

"Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realized, 'I am killing him—all for the passing pleasure it brings me.' "And something inside me clicked. I realized as I watched him fight for breath, that his life was as important to him as mine is to me."

Can we believe him?

I would like to draw the courts attention to this interview in the The Sunday Times

He told “the guys, particularly John [Lennon], about this meeting and saying what a bad war this was”. Tariq Ali, [renowned lefty firebrand] who led antiwar demonstrations in London, said:
“This is news to me. We never heard of Paul’s views at the time. “It was John Lennon who was concerned about the war. He never mentioned McCartney and I never thought of asking him to join us.”

Milking cheap sentimentality has its place, song lyrics, being the ideal forum, and he was good at it. But lecturing others on how they should share his views, about the fluffy bunnies playing in the field is inviting mockery.

So Bushwacker, now that you've made your feelings about Mr McCartney known, why the picture of Lilly Allen?

I liked her dress (click the pic for a closer view of the pattern) and, well, what's not to like?

Your pal
Suburban  disgusted of tunbridge-wells BushWacker

Monday, 26 January 2009

Over Night Sensation

A while back I spent a month in the Languedoc region of southern France, and did we do some great eating. Here's the local specialty.

Cassoulet was originally cooked in the ovens of the village bakery with every family having an earthenware dish with their own symbol or crest on it, the first part was done at home and the dish dropped off at the bakery to be picked up on the way home from the fields the next day.

This should be enough for six of you
600g of dried Haricot beans
600g of pork shoulder diced (how a frenchman hunts a pig)
400g of Toulouse sausage
50g of pork rind 
1 large onion chopped as fine as you have the patience for
1 large onion studded with cloves
1 head of garlic chopped even finer than the onion
1 generous bundle of herbs (AKA bouquet garni -The green part of a leek, some thyme, a couple of bay leaves and some celery tops - tied up with a piece of string)
2 hearty pinches of rock salt
1 spoon of crushed peppercorns (green if you've got them - black at a pinch)
A glass of wine
And as much duck fat as your conscience will allow.

Lets get into it:
Blanch the beans in boiling water, skimming of any foam, 20 minutes should do it.
Change the water, add the studded onion, and bouquet garni, bring it all to the boil and turn it right down to the lowest simmer you can set you hob to. You'll need to cook this part for about 1.5 hours.

Brown the pork in some duck fat, a few pieces at a time and set aside.
Brown the sausages and set them aside.
Brown the duck legs and set them aside too.
Brown the pork rind in some more duck fat, then add and sweat the chopped onion down to mush, adding the garlic when the onion is well under way so as not to burn it.

Put all the browned parts in an oven proof dish, cover with water and simmer until everything is cooked.

Assemble the whole lot in an oven proof dish, making sure there are a good layer of beans on the bottom to avoid sticking. Add the wine and top up with water. 

leave the whole lot to stand, traditionally over night, but I usually just wait until the oven is up to 180c. Cook for about 1.5-2 hours adding more water if you need to.

Serve with proper bread, a big red, and finish with a fat cigar.

bon appetite 

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Only The Good Bit

Hanks comment about being 'Scots-Irish' set me thinking aloud (in the relevant accents) about our own heritage to Bushwacker Jnr.  We're Northern European Heinz 57, and more comically, a mix of Welsh hookers and Russian aristocrats, but that's a story for another day.

Bushwacker Jnr. 'Am I a bit Welsh too dad?'  
SBW (in silly Welsh accent) "Only the good bit, boyo, Only the good bit"

After years of only eating under duress Bushwacker jnr has finally started to show an interest in the sport of his forefathers, face stuffing. I'm an eater, BoBs an eater, our Dad's an eater. 
On the other other side of the river [ex] Mrs SBW's brothers are all eaters, and even the legendarily skinny Mrs SBW can put away huge amounts of grub.

Bushwacker jnr: "What do they eat in wales?"
SBW (still in a comedy welsh accent) "Leeks, Lamb, and that most perfect of foods The Welsh Cake. Bud."

Welsh cakes are very very easy to make, even easier than Bannock and Biscuit. You can make them in a skillet over your campfire, or in an un-greased frying pan at home, but my guess is that they were originally cooked on top of a  range, where they could cook on the residual heat left from other cooking or heating water.

The recipe has only five ingredients
2 parts flour
1 part fat
1 part sugar
some dried fruit (or as I explained it to bushwacker jnr 'anything other than Currants')
1 egg

Blend the dry parts together in a bowl with your fingers as though you were making a crumble, then stir in the egg with a spoon.

Form the whole lot into a sausage shape and slice it into discs. The little people liked shaping the cakes by hand , but you being as sophisticated as you are dear reader, could cut them out using the rim of a Champagne glass.

Cook low and slow in an un-greased pan until pale brown on both sides.
If they seem a little soft in the middle, just turn off the heat and come back in a while.

Great fun to do, and anything that sells the kids on the idea that they could cook for themselves is bound to be labour saving in the long run.


Thursday, 22 January 2009

Let's Not Talk Of Love & Flowers & Things That Don't Explode

Nothing to do with my journey, but its just so great I thought I'd share it with you.
My cousins husband; gun nut, explosives expert, firework designer and all round top chap worked on it. Gun fire and explosions. What's not to love?
PS which band and which song do the words "Lets not talk of love and flowers and things that don't explode" come from? You never know i might even russell up a prize for the first correct entry.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Swagmas Pt2 - Sheepishness From NewZealand

Well played MoB (mother of Bushwacker). Bad form BoB (brother of Bushwacker).

Just when I'd said BoB would never let you down, this happened, or rather didn't happen. 
Bad BoB.

MoB, fearing that it would be cold up north (a fear that has proved well founded) ordered me a
Phoenix Zip Thru by Icebreaker of New Zealand in early December. Think of an old school 70's tracksuit top in Wool. Merino Wool.

Being a practical person by nature, MoB thought it could travel economy in combined shipping. Being nearly crimbo and expecting/hoping for a gift from her far-flung son, she had it delivered to BoBs house on New Zealand's south island, where it stayed. Bad BoB

Finally BoB has gotten his butt in gear and shipped it - half a world in seven days - BoBs sofa to the post office took nearly seven weeks. Baad BoB.

In October 2008, Icebreaker launched its pioneering traceability program in Europe called "Baacode." The system enables customers to follow their garments through every step of the production process, beginning on the New Zealand South Island sheep stations where the merino is grown and extending throughout its entire supply chain. Icebreaker is one of less than a handful of consumer companies now offering product traceability.


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Help A Mate Out

Councilor  'You should spend some time thinking about yourself'
SB 'I assure you, I do little else'
Attributed to Sebastian Horsley

Holly BKA (blogginly known as) NorCal Cazadora asks if we could show our appreciation of her fella Hank's efforts and vote for his blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook in a 'cook off' between food bloggers. 
Heres for why: His blog is way good, I've emailed with him and he's a lovely chap, it only takes a minute, and in all fairness if you're reading this you've clearly not got anything more important to do with your time


Monday, 19 January 2009


Ian 'rifle yoda' Spicer points to our handy work at Rangetastic.
I don't know what everybody else heard, but I distinctly heard him say
'Text book shooting here, by the bushwacker of course"
Modesty forbids me from saying more.

Sorry, I really will stop gloating/bringing conversations that readers aren't party to into the blog very soon. 

I've got a few Leeds based posts on the way but camera problems mean they're not ready yet.

For those of you who are interested; plumbing school is going well, I've remembered just how much I love going to see punk bands, it's so cold that I must have shivered off a few more pounds, TNM is in fine fettle and we're hatching plans for another road trip this coming summer.
Thanks for sticking with the blog despite my tardiness.
Your pal
The bushwacker

PS For those of you with an interest in rifle and stalking skills, Ian is holding some one day deer stalker's courses this year, and when you think of what he can achieve with a lummox like me, how good could he make you? Dates TBC contact him at Red-Deer
Maybe even see you there. SBW

Sunday, 4 January 2009

I Want One - A Not So Occasional Series Pt5

This time it's a rifle. Seeing as the Tikka T3 (£700ish) i shot at Rangetastic was so good strait out of the box, it set me wondering. As Sako and Tikka are both part of Beretta. What are Sako offering for the extra £600 ?

The current offering is the 85 series, a refinement of the highly rated 75 and available in the usual range of calibers, stocked with a choice of wood, laminate or synthetic (£1300ish). The most obvious difference is that the actions are caliber-specific; cartridge length determines the length of the action. Giving new meaning to 'use enough gun'. This looks far nicer, saves a few grams, and means the bolts travel is matched to the effort needed to cycle your cartridge.

Worth the extra cash? Depends how many sewage pipes you had to clear for it, I suppose.

Off up north
Your pal

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Our Friend's In The North

A great picture by James of me sitting at the bench - Rangetastic!
Have all the 'crack shot' jokes been made already?

With the new year begining; the economy sliding, Google soaking up all the advertising budgets, loafer wearing smart arses not being in demand the way we once were, and me and the gorgeous Mrs SBW no longer an item, I've decided give myself a kick up the arse and to go to school.

Psychology and Law both sounded like tempting vocations, but the whole 'poor student' thing just isn't practical. So I'm going to save the world - one house at a time.

As a culture we're at the crossroads where the 'Big Brains and Opposable Thumbs' experiment is about to be tested, possibly to destruction. A deregulated derivatives market has just been tested to destruction and even some of the less imaginative voices are starting to talk about peak oil either having already happened or being more than a 'penciled' appointment. While MCP and quite a few of my off-grid chums see only doom and gloom, I see a massive opportunity. One where we'll re-float the financial system and free ourselves from fossil fuels; by a massive swing to locally generated energy and the responsible/ingenious deployment of the resources we have. I'm prepared to bet the next ten years of my life on it. So its off to trade school in the frozen north, (or "Leeds" as the locals pronounce it) to brush up on my plumbing and electrical skills. While I'm there I plan to get time for some outdoor adventures with TNM. The beautiful county of Yorkshire (Englands Texas) offers plenty of chances for us to get up close and personal with our dinner. Although Ferret Legging isn't and wont be on the agenda.

In honor of my new workplace, under a kitchen sink rather than behind a desk, here's my favorite builders joke - The Intellectual Building Site

There's an English guy living in Eire, has no money, so he thinks 'I'd better get a job' so he goes to a nearby building site to ask the foreman if they have anything for him.

Foreman: "Well thanks for coming down and askin'. I'd like to give you a shout, I really would, because i like to think of myself as a fair man. And that's the reason I'd only be fair if i gave you a warning first. This IS the intellectual building site, and although I'm sure you're a nice fella and all, it'd be only fair if i warned you, I've not been a fan of the education system in your country since they phased out the eleven plus. This is the intellectual building site, we start with the crossword in the London Times with our breakfast, at the first break we do the crossword from the Irish Times and by lunchtime my nephew has faxed us the New York Times crossword. So if you don't get in you mustn't be too hard on yourself, its no reflection on you as a person, it might be that you just weren't smart enough or your education just wasn't good enough. Remember this is the intellectual building site."

English guy: "Sounds fair whats the question?"

Foreman: "What's the difference between a girder and a joist?"

English guy: "That's easy Goethe wrote Faust and Joyce wrote Ulysses!"

Your pal
The bushwacker.
PS Just think how much weight I've lost to have my pants hang down like that!