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Even though it was cold and raining I’d do anything to avoid twenty 5 year olds running amok at a birthday party so I went AWOL and headed north to the Talbot market.

It’s actually a farmers market, but I don’t like using that term. I rarely see any true farmers, maybe a handful. The rest of the stall holders are selling gourmet products at ridiculously high prices to cash in on the farmers market craze. I’ll refrain from my Farmers market angst for another time. It’s not that I HATE farmers markets, I just wish we had more real farmers primary produce and not ‘artesian’ gourmet stuff. Savvy?

The Spa Country Venison guys had shoulder at a reasonable price so I picked some with a slow cook stew in mind. Deer shooting is an expensive exercise here, requiring time, money and knowledge. It’s on the to do list, but for now I’m happy to buy locally raised venison, it fit’s in with the support local economy principle. On the way home I pulled over in Clunes, one of my favourite hidden treasure towns of the west. The main street is a step back in time, so much so that they filmed part of the Ned Kelly movie with Heath Ledger in it. Anyway, true to form Clunes provided me with another magical moment when I spotted a 1930 Ford truck.

I was pretty excited to see this beauty lovingly restored, but on top of that it was still being used for it’s original purpose. In the tray was a tonne of recently chopped firewood. This put a real smile on my face, proving that if things are made to last and looked after they can be used and used. An 80 year old truck, still collecting firewood. STUNNING.

Anyway I cooked the stew with with a bunch of stewing vegetables, bacon, rosemary, bay leaves all brewed in a broth of Fino Sherry, Pinot Noir and Beef Stock. Two days on slow cook. The venison melted in the mouth.