From Instagram
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I managed to find wholegrain spelt flour again and am back to baking my favourite 100% wholegrain spelt sourdough loaf. The experience of eating it makes me realise just how much I prefer wholegrain hands-down to white or semi-white flour. Its texture and taste pleases me so much. And, thanks to the @smallfoodbakery post about milling waste the other day, I realise just how much it is an environmentally and socially good choice too.
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After experimenting with sourdough wholegrain spelt loaves for a while and finding that they went stale quite soon, I tried adding a ‘scald’ to the dough. That is a portion of flour that is made into a roux beforehand and added into the mixing bowl with my flour, salt, starter and water. It makes such a difference – the loaf is softer, more sliceable and ages better.
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At some point, I’ll write it up. In fact, at some point, I’ll get to documenting a whole load about wholegrain sourdough. It is magic.
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Wish you were here for lunch πŸ™‚

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The banana skin rabbit hole deepens! This is Banana Skin Curry – a concept I stumbled on after having a go at banana skin vinegar (picture a while back – it’s still fermenting). And man, it works!
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You’ve got to scrape the inside of the skins and then soak them for a while. Once I’d done that, I bloomed a mix of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, nigella seeds and cardamoms in some coconut oil. Then I added some chopped onion, ginger and garlic, ground tumeric, ground coriander and black pepper. After that came 3 cauliflower florets, chopped small, and the 3 banana skins, diced. Lastly a small can of creamed coconut. 20 minutes and it’s soft.
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We had some left-over rice and I managed to get hold of some fresh coriander. It’s a bit of a coriander-fest in the picture, but you can see the dark brown pieces of banana skin there too!
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Thank you @soilassociation for posting about @abelandcole’s recipe. I didn’t have the ingredients to follow it, but it inspired me greatly to make up my own version.
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Having waxed lyrical about this, I do have misgivings. Something doesn’t feel right in my gut (and I don’t mean physically) when I use banana. Although they are grown in Sicily, these ones are from the other side of the world. My son loves them. 95% of what we eat is Italian, and most of that local…but what about that 5%? Is it OK to have the odd ‘treat’? Bananas for my son, coffee for my husband, chocolate for me, spices for us all? It’s a question I am not at peace with yet.
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I love that my kitchen and my ethics are changeable and that I listen when I feel that ikkiness inside, rather than pushing it away. Opening a dialogue is the most important thing, I think. Speaking of dialogue, I’d love to hear if you feel something similar…

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Oven-baked fermented semi-wholegrain millet cakes. They are easier to eat than to say! 4 days in the making, but it’s mostly hands off. Still, it makes me sound like a pro so here we go πŸ˜‰ This is what I did with the millet (there’s a pic a few posts back of it straight from the shop): Soaked, rinsed, sprouted, blended, fermented, dolloped (the technical term) and then baked.
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They really do not keep and are best, as here, straight from the oven. .
Looking at the long description above, I can see how absurd this might seem to one who takes a slice of bread from a packet. But I love it. We eat these often.
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You can also use the fermented mix to make porridge. It is very good.
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A few days left of April to have a go at the #ancestralcookup Beef & Barley stew. We are doing it again tomorrow here. I’d love to see your pictures if you do – the recipe template is in my bio.

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My newest batch of #breadkvass going in for its second ferment. I used mint from our little garden as, thanks to @forest.grace I know it’s traditional. It’s a great combination. .
I’m finding the kvass so very sweet. Perhaps it is that I am used to making my #waterkefir on the not-sweet side? Perhaps it is because it is supposed to be this sweet? My hubby, who can handle much more sweet than me, is drinking most of it. He’s happy πŸ™‚

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This is my fermenting millet – a blended mix of hulled and unhulled grains that I soaked and sprouted – readying itself for its journey into oven-baked millet cakes.
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Those bubbles have been growing over the last 24+ hours. I love bubbles – they seem the sign of such hope to me.
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I’ve written a couple of articles for my website the last few days. There’s my formula for sauerkraut and another article titled ‘5 simple steps to start cooking ancestrally’. If you use the ‘What’s Cooking’ menu at www.ancestralkitchen.com and scroll down, you’ll find them.

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This is a milestone in our house. Fresh liver from a local organic farm. The first we’ve sourced since moving to Italy. My husband ran up a hill for an hour with a slip that explained what he was doing outside the house in his pocket.
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It is from a Cinta Senese pig – a variety that is highly prized here. We bought the whole liver – it was huge. It is so delicious, mild, soft and melt in the mouth.
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Eating local liver again makes me feel empowered – to be making use of a part of the animal that is usually shunned, to be feeding my two boys serious amounts of vitamins A, D, E and K, to be supporting a local farm who care for these animals.

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Baked fermented goat’s milk heaven. That’s what I’d call this cup of gorgeousness I made from @darra.goldstein’s book ‘Beyond the North Wind’ full of the most amazing raw, sour, fermented recipes. I have not bought myself a cook book since I got Nourishing Traditions over 10 years ago. I’m not good with following recipes (I can prove it – I messed this up the first time and curdled the milk) but just sometimes, I get so excited I have to cook by the book.
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This is milk that’s baked thick and creamy and then fermented. I like mine sour, so left it overnight next to the warm slow-cooker. When it’s baking you take the skin off and save it and then add it back to the finished dish, Oh my, it was so good.
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Thank you for such a beautiful, poetic book Darra. I’m hoping to bake some the barley and rye bread in cabbage leaves next.

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Have you ever cooked with wholegrain (i.e. brown) millet? I didn’t even know you could buy it with the hulls on until I saw it at a healthfood store here in Italy. I got very excited and promptly bought two packets! .
Researching told me it’s most often used in Asian cuisine to make dumplings, but it does have a history here in Italy, where millet, often brown, as flour was added to bread mixes.
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I love fermenting grains and got exploring. This is what I came up with. Here you see the two grains about to be soaked. I do this for at least a day as the brown millet is hard. Then I drain and rinse and leave to sprout. The tiny tails on the little grains as so cute! Then I food process for a long time with a little starter and leave for another day or two to ferment. It takes on a cheesey funk that is gorgeous. Then I either make porridge with it or bake it into cakes.
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I’ll snap some pics the next day or two to show you the outcome.
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Can you buy it in your part of the world? Have you used it? What do you do? I’d love to meet another brown millet fermenting geek πŸ™‚

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5 Simple Ways to Start Cooking Ancestrally
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Ancestral cooking will produce food that is delicious and nutrient-dense as well as respectful to the animals consumed, the people who farm and the land that’s utilised. Real food – food good for us mentally and physically and environmentally – … Read More

Super-Simple Sauerkraut
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Here is the way I make sauerkraut: Remove a large outside leaf from your cabbage and set aside, then chop the rest of it into small pieces. Put the bowl on your scales and put the cabbage into it, weighing … Read More