The Folly Acres Cook Book by Sue Webster
Artist Sue Webster's first cookbook is a semi-autobio-graphical look into the world and kitchen of artist-duo TIm Noble and Sue Webster. Hand-typed by Sue on a 1941 Olympia Robust typewriter - originally produced for WWII German military - this hardback 151 page book is entwined with memories and insights, unpublished drawings and photography by both Tim and Sue.
This book is testament to Tim and Sue's time spent in the kitchen of their Gloucestershire smallholding - cooking for friends such as chef Mark Hix and singer-songwriter PJ Harvey - The Folly Acres Cook Book is about creating dishes and celebrating the stories behind them. [Extract below]
Winter at Folly Acres. I awoke this morning to a fucking beautiful blazing red sun raising high above the Slad Valley, my bedroom window framed it so it represented a perfect facsimile of the Japanese flag.
Around the end of January and early February any journey between London and Slad presents a gourmet of roadkill. This particular morning was no different – on my journey I spotted 5 foxes, one badger and an abundance of both male and female pheasants squashed helplessly between road and gutter with only a solitary wing left flapping in the wake of every speeding car passing by.
We keep a bin liner in the back of the Golf to collect such booty in order to bring it back to the Evil Shed 2. (Evil Shed 1 burnt down last year – an arson attack by our friendly neighbourhood adolescents from the nearby estate) In the Evil Shed we garrotte our roadkill and leave them hanging in order to naturally mummify and use as valuable materials in our work.
However on this particular occasion we decided to obey our animal instinct and take one into the kitchen – afterall it was cold outside and we’d had a frost…
For this recipe we used a female pheasant picked up in The Vatch, plucked and prepared by Dan our farmhand on the land.
You will also need these things from the kitchen or the garden;
A lemon cut into quarters
A couple of rosemary sticks or purple sage from the Folly herb garden, 5-6 garlic cloves, white wine and extra virgin olive oil
With a very sharp knife, cut the pheasant in half and throw our the backbone for the fox to eat later.
Place the bird in a large bowl and squeeze over the lemons and throw the quarters into the bowl. Crush the rosemary or sage with your bare hands and toss them into the bowl too. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Crush the cloves with a flat of a knife and add to the bowl. Pour over with a good amount of olive oil and white wine and leave the flavours alone to marinate for at least half an hour.
Heat a frying pan without any oil until red hot and drop in the bird flesh in order to sear the skin on either side, let it sizzle or burn a little like branding cattle.
When the pieces are browned put them in a roasting dish and pour over the marinated contents. Put this in the oven to roast until tender – about 10 – 15 minutes if the oven is already hot. After it’s cooked take out the bird and leave to stand for a while allowing the juices of the marinade time to regress back into the pheasant so it doesn’t appear too dry.
Serve with roasted Folly potatoes and freshly picked sprouting winter broccoli.