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Pot au Feu

Strictly speaking, pot au feu is a French term for a stew cooked on the fire to which any meat can be added. I have called this soup by the same name as the same thing applies. You can add any vegetable that comes to hand and omit any that aren’t to your liking. Parsnip, swede and turnip are fairly strong flavored, so don’t use too many of them. If you add potatoes, it can be a light meal in itself for lunch or supper served with crusty bread.

Virginia Willis’ Aiken Hounds Pimento Cheese Peppers Have a Kick

I don’t foxhunt anymore, but I do volunteer with Aiken Hounds. I usually help with Opening Meet (Thanksgiving), Hunt Ball (this year was on Valentine's Day), hunt breakfasts, as well as the Aiken Horse Show in the Woods. This pimento cheese and peppers recipe is from my friend Virginia Willis. It is one that I like to bring to tailgates, as it is easy to make, travels well, and everyone loves them! The pimento cheese makes a wonderful grilled cheese — IF you have leftovers!

Kate’s Covert Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The best thing about this carrot cake recipe is that anyone can make it. Really. Anyone. The second best thing about this carrot cake recipe is that everyone will eat it. This is one of my favorite items to make for any occasion, be it a birthday, an evening with friends, or for a hunt breakfast. The moist texture and wonderful flavor of the cake is beautifully complimented by the sweet but not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting, which your hunting friends will undoubtedly lick from their fingers with great delight. Bring this to your hunt’s next breakfast or tailgate and your starving cohorts in the field will swoop in and attack it like a school of Piranhas, leaving not a single crumb in the pan.

Memories and Mince and Tatties

Passionate foxhunters appreciate the thrill of the hounds at work and, as importantly, the sport’s centuries’ old tradition and pageantry.  Food is of course, a part of the tradition.

When I was a child, nothing was more important on our refrigerator door than the fixture card for the hunt. I remember its heavy stock with a crimson fox mask staring at me seductively. My father, resplendent in his pinks, and I would load up his hunt horse and my incorrigible pony into the van and head out. After a challenging day, usually spent arguing with said pony over remaining in the junior field, we would head home with frozen fingers and toes. After tending to the horses with a warm mash, we headed to the house with appetites that only a great day in the field can produce.

One memorable meal came from a Scottish family friend. Mince & Tatties, as the dish is known in Scotland, is a humble, yet gorgeous potato-crusted pie dating back to the 1700s. It was likely created by frugal housewives looking for different ways to serve leftover meat to their families on the British Isles and throughout Ireland. Mince & Tatties, or Shepherd’s Pie as it is known in England, originated in the north of England and Scotland where there are large numbers of sheep.

I have tweaked it a bit to make it guest friendly. It can be part of a buffet or done in individual ramekins for portability. It is very satisfying, warming and delicious – any time.  Happy Hunting!

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