It’s the sight we all wait for on a wet and cold shooting day. The welcome vision of a vehicle with its tailgate up, packed with flasks, food and the odd bottle of sloe gin, ready to restore weary Guns midway through the morning’s shooting. Some call it ‘elevenses’ — a lovely word reminiscent of my school days — others call it by what ever might be in the hamper. When my husband ran a family shoot in Dorset, we called it ‘soup’.
And for anyone who had set out early that morning, driving from far afield to arrive on time, it’s desperately important. For the shivering companions of Guns, it is the divine punctuation of the day. And for any children, I’d guess a promise of hot sausages and a mug of steaming broth can be a major reason for turning up at all.
The members of our little shoot preferred a late lunch at the end of the day, so elevenses needed to be reasonably substantial. A soup or broth-based toddy was essential. The largest flask would be filled with velvety and creamy soup, something that the children would find as good as the adults, so nothing too exotic.
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