Charity’s Regional Manager and Care Home Chef Create Delicious Game Pie For Residents
At Little Bramingham Farm, the residential care home in Luton run by charity Friends of the Elderly, residents have been ‘tweet’ed to a historical and gastronomical delight. Regional Director, James Batchelor and Care Home Chef, Jim Wright took a ‘Gander’ at a scrumptious Game Pie recipe and decided it would be a tasty treat for the residents to enjoy now the autumn days are here.
Game Pie has a long history, not only in Great Britain but throughout the world. Dating back to Roman times, Game Pies’ main ingredients were wild birds and animals such as Partridge, Pheasant, Deer and Hare. In fact, the German classical archaeologist, Wilhelm Adolf Becker, stated that the Emperor Augustus consumed pies that contained Chicken, Pheasants, Pigeon and Duck. However, Game Pie reached its most sumptuous and extravagant form in the Victorian years, with detailed recipes complete with specialised Game Pie moulds and serving dishes. An 1890s edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management even shows a Game Pie topped by a stuffed pheasant.
“Jim and I thought that creating a Game Pie for our residents would not only provide them with a delicious and wholesome meal, but that it would also provide a great talking point about its history and origins,” said James Batchelor, one of Friends of the Elderly’s Regional Directors. “It’s the first time we have served Game Pie and we are so glad the residents thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Jim, the Chef at Little Bramingham Farm, is from award-winning TNS Catering and has been delivering tasty and well-balanced meals to the residents since January 2023. “I love to create delicious and nutritious meals for the residents as I’m dedicated to serving them appetising and flavoursome dishes every day. Our Game Pie included pheasant, Partridge, Venison and hare and was encased in a shortcrust pastry and was served with a rich gravy and vegetables, it was a real ‘turn-ip’ for the books,” said Jim.
Talking about tasting and enjoying the Game Pie, 90-year-old Eileen Gleasure who has been a resident at the care home since 2018 said: “The Game Pie was absolutely delicious.
It was a lovely treat.” Another resident, 93-year-old Ellen Every added: “It was so tasty and went so well with my red wine.”
“Ensuring our residents have a nutritious meal is first and foremost,” said Emma Lawrance, the Registered Manager at Little Bramingham Farm. “With Jim, we try to introduce tasty meals which are a little different, taking into consideration our residents’ likes, dislikes and preferences. They all agree that a new dish can be a delicious surprise.”
“There were quite a few puns ‘flying’ around as the background to a Game Pie is ‘egg-stra-ordinary’,” continued James. “One of the residents told me that in Medieval Times, the birds in a Game Pie included Heron, Crane, Crow, Swan, Stork and Blackbirds and that this is where the 18th Century nursery rhyme Sing A Song of Sixpence stems from. Of course, we didn’t have four and 20 Blackbirds in our pie.”
“It’s lovely when residents appreciate what you do for them. I also love working for an organisation like Friends of the Elderly, where we all work as a team and provide a truly worthwhile service,” added Jim.
“Food brings people together, and everyone at Friends of the Elderly recognises that it’s not just providing great food, but the importance of interaction and how it can impact an individual’s day in a very positive, personal way. Game Pie Day was such a success that it will definitely become an autumnal addition to our menu,” concluded James.