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Sausage n Mash, right? Nope. Sausage n Sowans!
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Whoever worked out that tasty, fatty bangers are great laid on smooth creamy cushions was spot on.
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But we rarely have white potato. Here, instead of mash, I’ve served our local @valledelsasso sausages on a bed of the Scottish traditional oat ferment, Sowans. The fat of the sausage helps compliment the slightly acidic ferment flavour of the oats.
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I surrounded the whole thing with roast onion and cardi (cardoons). The cardoons were too bitter for my son (he usually eats everthing!) but I managed some 🙂
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Check out my story today to see Sowans (and a ton of other ferments) in progress.

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Spent beer mash sourdough topped with home-cured bacon from pigs cared for up the road and raw Italian provolone.
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This was *such* a treat.

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What if eating real food didn’t have to be prohibitively expensive? The most nutritious, real, nourishing foods have traditionally been the cheapest and simplest – conversely, the expensive, rich meals of the wealthy were often laborious productions involving sweets and refined foods.

It’s time to take back our ancestral wisdom and reclaim foods and skills that once belonged to the people, and have now been relegated to super-expensive and elite grocery stores at staggering prices.

In this episode, Andrea and I discuss five of the most expensive “healthy” foods you can buy – which also happen to be five of the cheapest foods you can make at home!

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#4 – The 5 Most Expensive (And Yet The Cheapest) Foods
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What if eating real food didn’t have to be prohibitively expensive? The most nutritious, real, nourishing foods have traditionally been the cheapest and simplest – conversely, the expensive, rich meals of the wealthy were often laborious productions involving sweets and refined foods.… Read More

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Raw goat milk is back at @aziendaagricolapodereruggeri! That means my hubby has a great excuse to run uphill through olives and vines for almost an hour…to feed my kefir needs 🙂
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We’ve been without fresh raw milk for 5 months and I’ve missed it.
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So grateful for the two farms we get all our meat and dairy from – that we can reach them without a car, by using our (or in this case just my hubby’s!) legs.
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Bring on the kefir smoothies for breakfast.

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This jar of rosemary, sultanas and apple is the beginning of a wild-fermented botanical water. Once it’s fizzy, I’ll strain and then use it, along with flour, to build a starter. I’ll then use this starter (as I would a standard sourdough one), to leaven a loaf.
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What a cool technique?! It’s from Naturally Fermented Bread by @morgancarsandbread – a book that I found via an IG live Paul did a few months ago.
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Aside the leavening power of this ferment, the liquid will also give my bread flavour. And I’m guessing it’ll be delicious, because it smells amazing already.

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In what seems like a past life, I used to love chocolate yogurt. The tart with the sweet zinged on my tastebuds. I’d not experienced that flavour combo for years….until this morning.
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Here’s how my breakfast went down:
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I had some Boza (the fizzy lacto-fermented Turkish drink I make) in the fridge. I heated it up. Whilst it was warming, I ground some home-roasted cacao beans. I stirred the cacao paste into the boza and served it with some sourdough rosehip crackers.
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It felt like a complete indulgence.
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An indulgence that it *also* so health-giving. The millet ferment (and sourdough) are pre-digested so easy on my tummy. Warmed, the probiotics still provide me with postbiotics and paraprobiotics (article in my bio if you wanna know more about these). The cacao, processed as I do – ancestrally – provides so many nutrients.
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I smiled as I tucked in. Not bad for something I made up 😉

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This – a photo of me aged 20 – is the most personal picture I’ve shared since starting my Ancestral Kitchen profile here a year ago.
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And it feels delicate. But at the same time, I am so moved to share – as it helps illustrate *why* I do what I do in my kitchen everyday and just what it has helped heal in my life.
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In the second episode of @ancestralkitchenpodcast, I say to my co-host Andrea:
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“You can look at someone and think, oh, they’re thin, or they’re beautiful, or they’ve got good skin – I had terrible skin, and I spent my entire adolescence overweight and being bullied….and it’s through going into that, and addressing the problems that I had, and facing them, that I’ve managed to move to where I am.”
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Not only has facing my food issues brought me to *such* a joyful, healthy, unusual and tasty place with my food creations, but in that process (which is still ongoing!), I have healed and am healing so much more than just my body.
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I hope that by sharing my kitchen joy plus a little of my story (including this picture), I’ll impart the depth, joy and healing available through food. I’ve changed mine and it’s changing me.
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You can download the three currently-released Ancestral Kitchen podcasts, including the ‘Meet Alison’ episode, via the link in my profile or by searching for it in your podcast player.
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If you have comments or would like to share anything of your food story, do let me know. Even though I may seem all official and that, with a podcast, I’m just me, in my kitchen, getting on with the things that need doing 🙂

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I’ve cooked cow’s heart 4 times in the last 6 weeks! I was determined to find out the easiest/tastiest way to cook a whole heart.
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I’ve brined a whole heart, brined sliced heart, slow-cooked a whole heart, slow-cooked sliced heart and fried sliced heart.
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And my conclusion: Slow-cooking a whole heart is by far the easiest. No fighting to slice the muscle-meat, no faffing with extra soaking. And the taste leaves nothing to be desired. It is so good. On top of this, you also get a divine broth to use as sauce or in other dishes.
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Heart is so often overlooked. It’s not expensive, it’s lean, it’s really tasty and, slow-cooked, it’s really easy. As soon as you get it home, put in in your slow cooker with a lot of water, an onion and some carrot/celery then turn it on low and leave it overnight.
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And if you cook a whole one, you’ll have tonnes of leftovers. Chunks of it even freeze well when cooked.
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Here’s one of our recent lunches: heart with a gravy made of the broth, local vegetables, my sourdough and home-made lard.
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Hearts and lard back-fat thanks to @lavalledelsasso and all the veg thanks to wonderful Italian producers.

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My beer’s ready!
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And I’ve learnt so much the last week.
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This is a 5,000-year-old recipe which has Egyptian roots. It uses barely-cooked bread to provide most of the fermentation power. I made mine with local spelt, which I malted (sprouted) myself.
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When you think of beer, you think of men, right?! Me too, until I listened to @rootkitchens talking on @missingwitches earlier this week. Until recently it was *women* who were the beer-makers. They took it to market, wearing pointy hats so they’d be noticed, carrying it in a cauldron. Sound familiar?! They did this until society starter a smear campaign against them, these women, these ‘witches’.
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I feel like I’ve opened a box and have so much more reading to do.
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And I feel heartened to know that I am stepping in the footprints of my English female ancestors as I bring this brew to life in my kitchen.

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