I never did become that cowboy. But I have met a few on the way. And those well-trodden rural trails and refuges were where I began to understand food in a very pragmatic, camp-fire kind of way.
I’m not a great enthusiast for the ‘pot-luck’ approach to modern picnics, where everybody brings something different. A picnic should be organised like any other meal, with timing, balance, poise and companionable guests.
There is only a small market for octopus in Britain, which makes it a cheap option to buy from the fishmonger.