Saturday, 27 April 2013

Birthday bushcraft...

The birthday boy didn't want a party this year, just a walk in the woods with a few friends. He requested that his dad dressed up like a bear as he had done for his third 'we're going on a bear hunt' birthday party, but the fancy dress hire shop didn't have the costume anymore! Instead we walked through the river, looking for animal tracks. We found lots of deer slots and each child was able to make a cast with plaster of Paris to take home as a souvenir. 

We then cooked sausages and our campfire favourite, damper bread on the fire before heading home tired out. 

How to make Damper Bread...

You have to twist your bread around a green stick and keep turning so as not to burn it, but it tastes delicious on its own, freshly baked.

500g plain flour
3 tablespoons natural sugar
1 teaspoon  sea salt
3 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup of softened butter
1 cup of warm water

in the kitchen...
1. mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Add water and stir. Dough should be too dry to come together into one lump.
3. Cut in butter and knead by hand just long enough to make it smooth and consistent.
4. Form into a log, wrap in plastic and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

at the campsite...
5. Prepare 1 or more sticks 1cm in diameter by shaving clean with a pocket knife.
6. Cut dough into 12 pieces. Roll into long pencil thin snakes 30cm (12 inches) and coil these around the end of the stick, ours are always quite chunky else they fall off! 
7. Hold sticks high over the fire, constantly turning until the coiled dough turns golden brown.
8. Cool and eat straight off the stick! My friend from New Zealand recommends drizzling butter and jam into the hole as she did as a child. 

adapted from the recipe in the book Baking Bread with Children by Warren Lee Cohen


  1. What a fantastic way to spend a birthday party! I have three boys too, and am finding it increasingly difficult to get them outdoors for any length of time. It might be easier with friends in tow...
    PS: where do you get your boys' wooly jumpers from please?

    1. I am finding exactly the same Alice, but they're always happy to go out with friends! The boys knitted jumpers are hand knitted by Grandma! Emma x

  2. Oh my goodness, your childrens lives are straight out of Enid Blyton stories. What a fantastic idea for a party. they will have such happy memories.

    1. Ha I wish they were! Although I was never keen on ginger beer and boarding schools ;0)

  3. Hi Emma, my two are 30 this year (yep how time flies!) and my daughter hates having her photo taken which always upsets me as she is stunning to look at. Unless she is holding her baby niece, she is really camera shy. Her twin brother has never had that problem! We've just had the chance to write an article for a magazine complete with photos for our jewellery business and guess who had to her photo taken - me as daughter refused to be photographed!
    Lovely photo's of your boys as always!

  4. What a brilliant way to celebrate a birthday Emma! I think Ted and Hugo have a lot in common. I love how their birthday celebrations were so similar despite being on opposite sides of the world.



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