From Instagram
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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 🙂

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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

From Instagram
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The literal meaning of the word companion is ‘the one with whom I break bread’. I feel that power – to bring people together – every time I make a loaf. I keep baking and trust that the future will hold so many potential around-the-table gatherings that it’ll make my heart sing; just like working the dough does. Love from my kitchen to yours. x

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From Instagram
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If you want to bake sourdough but aren’t, what is the biggest thing that’s stopping you?
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I have spent a lot of the last year and a half teaching myself sourdough, focusing on wholegrains and local flour. It has brought me so much. And I want to pass that on.
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So, if you’re struggling to bake it, tell me where you are having problems; what you’re struggling with. I’ll take that and try to figure out how I can mix it with my own skills and turn out something that’ll help people move on.
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In addition, if you want to help me out, please feel free to share/re-post this. The more people I can reach, the better I’ll get at figuring out how to get more beautiful loaves out there. A big THANK YOU!

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From Instagram
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I’ve always found the phrase ‘comfort food’ difficult. It’s because, as a child, I abused ‘comfort’ food. I turned to sugar to make life seem OK and was an obese teen who weighed 20 stone (280lbs). Comfort food for me then was anything sweet and creamy – think condensed milk (I used to eat it from the can with a spoon).
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Despite losing half my body weight between the ages of 20 and 21, and not having had weight issues for many years, that energy hasn’t left me. Occasionally, on bad days, having a little honey, or a square of 90% chocolate feels like the panic-ridden edge of a slope; a slope where I just fall, fall, fall into the oblivion of how I used to be.
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But I know that’s an echo and I remember who I am now. I choose to breathe, to create, to look at the hills, to play with my son. And with the space that those moments afford, I see just how damn far I have come. I have sweet and creamy foods regularly and enjoy them. Full stop. I express myself in all the ways I couldn’t even imagine doing when I was that ‘fat’ girl turning to a bag of ‘goodies’. And I’ve found other foods that bring me comfort – it’s not all about sweet/unctuous anymore. Here’s one: Whole spelt grains that I’ve sprouted, cooked and served warm with spoons of peanut butter and a big blob of miso. I mix it all together and watch the colours change. I hold the bowl in my hands and feel it’s warmth. I smell the salt, the peanuts and the grain’s earthy aroma. It’s comforting and beautiful.
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Thank you @julskitchen for your comfort food podcast and the musings it brought out of me today.

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From Instagram
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I am totally in love with the recent podcast series ‘Cereal’ from @farmerama_radio. Yesterday I listened to episode 5, about sourdough and bakers who are championing local flour, community projects and real bread.
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Two threads from it are filling my thoughts right now:
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1 – Removing commodity from our food system at every level.
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This makes me want to ask, how can we get more people making sourdough at home? I think the *making* is the key, as when you start doing that you are naturally led to questions such as ‘where does my flour come from?’
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2 – Around 1/3 of bread in the UK ends up in the bin.
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This astounds me. I moved from the UK to Italy recently – a country that has an incredibly rich history in its ‘cucina povera’ of making stale bread taste a.m.a.z.i.n.g. in thousands of ways. I am reading a book by a local food author/historian which includes recipes like this right now. It might not solve all this problem, but we need to get people cooking with old bread.
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Can you tell how fired up I am?! I am so passionate about local food and there’s nowhere I feel that more than in my bread-making. If you’ve any thoughts, experiences or advice to share, I’d welcome it. I’d also really recommend listening to the Farmerama podcast.
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And, yes, almost forgot, I posted a picture here. This is today’s local spelt flour loaf. I am totally in love with not scoring my bread. Look at the beauty of that burst!

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From Instagram
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I am extending the #ancestralcookup to cover the whole of April. If you want to join in, it’s a beef and barley stew, and there are tonnes of options for you to use what you can get hold of in your part of the world.
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The template recipe is linked in my profile here. Check that out, cook it up and then post a pic and let me know how your version turned out. It’s a fun way for both me and you to feel part of a community of awesome homecooks who love nutrient-dense foods.
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We are lunching on it again today. Because I really love crunch, I got my 6-year old to be in charge of frying up chucks of my sourdough bread in lard to top it. It was yum!

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From Instagram
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This is the view from my kitchen window. We found this place to live about 4 weeks before the corona lockdown in Italy. Before that, because of an unforeseeable disaster, we were without a home for 2 months. I am so, so grateful we found this place before everything shut. And I feel so, so blessed that I can see green, trees, hills and birds whenever I want.

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From Instagram
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Breakfast is the one meal we don’t usually eat together as a family. Both my hubby and I practise intermittent fasting: I go from 6pm until 10am not eating and he does 6pm till 11.30am. There’s no way my little boy can do that, so he usually eats earlier. Habits are good to break and Sundays we usually have a ‘special’ breakfast together.
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Today it was fermented spelt porridge. I soaked the spelt berries for 24 hours with some whey, then let them sprout. When they had tails, I blended them with a little more whey. I then left them overnight to ferment. We cooked them up with this morning. My hubby added goat kefir, apple and soaked/dehydrated walnuts. My son had banana, miso (yes, I know, with banana – he’s bonkers :-)) and cashews. I had ground flax seed, walnuts, miso and a spoon of peanut butter. We all added copious coconut oil.
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Eating together, consciously, makes the start of a special day even specialer. Easter love to everyone who got (and didn’t get!) this far into my ramblings!

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