From Instagram
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“The almond crop alone relies on trucking some 88 billion bees from their wintering homes which is some cases are up to 1,000 miles away…some of these hives will travel 10,000 miles of roads each year.”
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I was completely astounded when I read this in the book Dancing with Bees. It’s talking about almond farming in California.
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I ask myself again and again, “What are we doing?”.
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And then I turn my attention to what’s in my shopping bag and, with trepidation, think about what has gone into each and every thing that I buy.
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These are Italian organic almonds. I’ve soaked them for a day in ample water with salt added. This neutralises the mineral-depleting phytic acid. They’ll go on top of our fermented oats for breakfast a fair bit this week.
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And as I eat them, I’m super-grateful for every crunch.
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Sustainable? (I’ve added a question mark!) post for the last of this month’s wonderful #veryfarmish

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Most Saturday mornings our apartment smells of roasting coffee as my husband, Rob, prepares his beans for the week. He buys them in bulk, green, and roasts them in our cast iron pan, meditatively stirring for almost an hour.
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He does this for 2 reasons: Firstly the taste – he likes them fresh and he likes a very light roast, more fruity and complex than heavy, bitter coffees. Secondly for health – the beans are fresher and are much less likely to have the mould very common on pre-roasted beans.
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I also think he likes standing there, stirring. That’s usually my domain, so it’s a novelty for him 😉
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I don’t drink roasted coffee. I have what one might term a ‘delicate’ nervous system! But, interestingly, I do like to boil up the green beans and drink green coffee.
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Seeing as it’s #internationalcoffeeday on Thursday and that one of this month’s #veryfarmish challenge posts is Hot Drink, I thought I’d snap a pic and share the beautiful colour of the two different organic beans he’s doing here.

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I sent my two boys off this morning carrying lunch boxes graced with Russian Sourdough Rye Bread. The little one has his with lard on and the big one has got almond butter.
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This bread is super filling, so it’ll keep them going till 6pm tonight when they’ll be back home.
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I’ve shared the recipe – which includes molasses and malt – as this month’s #ancestralcookup. Check the link in my profile for a step-by-step guide and some seriously mouth-watering photos.
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I’d love to have you bake-it-up with me!

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More is not better. This is my Lesson Learned for #veryfarmish.
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I’ve always lent on the side of too much. I make too much food. Historically I’ve eaten too much (a story for another day). I give more than necessary.
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I started teaching myself how to bake #sourdough from library books a year and a half ago. When fermenting, I’d pretty much always end up leaving it too long. And then I’d miss the magic of enjoying all the potentiality for risen loaves.
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This is a 100% wholegrain spelt sourdough. It was made on a hot, hot day here. I was brave and chose to shape and bake it ‘early’. It worked and I was rewarded with a wonderfully-risen loaf.
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Too much is not good. Neither is too little. Just right is the charm. This is true of my cooking *and* my life. It’s part science and experimentation, but it’s also partly trusting our guts, that wonderful source of knowledge that gets deeper the more we dance with it.

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Pigs brains. A first time for me. I boiled them for a few minutes to firm them up and then rolled them in sage-spiked spelt flour before frying.
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We ate them with Italian rice and a local salad.
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My son proudly announced they were his favourite food ever. The two adults in the house weren’t so sure…but I’m getting them again this week and having another go, as when it comes to #nosetotail, I don’t give up.
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These brains came from Flavio’s pigs at @lavalledelsasso – a few miles from our home. I went there and stood in the pig pen a month or so ago. If I choose to have a pig killed on my behalf, the least I can do is ensure it has a good life and not waste it.
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This is my *Farmish Meal* for the wonderful #veryfarmish challenge this month – can’t believe we are almost through a month. Check out the hashtag to see more inspiration.

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I was sad that the summer veg in my little tiny garden were coming to an end…so I thought I’d have a go at growing some fennel.
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I love fennel bulbs. I hardly even knew they existed before I came to Italy. But they are a staple here – roasted or eaten raw, often in a salad with orange.
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I also moved some of my herbs – thyme, oregano and sage – to a new pot. Swipe to see them in their new home.
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Both pots are made of recycled fabric and super lightweight.
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This is my ‘grow something’ post for #veryfarmish. Cross your fingers for me!

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My breakfast: Swats, a traditional Scottish oat ferment, topped with organic Sicilian mango, ground linseed and olive oil.
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This porridge feels like ice-cream in the mouth, it’s very creamy and soft. And it is *so* fermented – 7 days of probiotic action – I’ve never soured a grain that long before.
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We drank it with warm Sowans – the liquid the oats fermented in.
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I took lots of pics and a few videos. Check out my story to see how it came to life and what we all thought of it!
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I learnt this from @rootkitchens – she has an ecourse with all the details.
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And lastly, this is my second #fermenting post for #veryfarmish – I showed the Sowans in progress a few days ago, here are the results!

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Peas on pizza when you’ve not got anything else in the fridge that’d count as a vegetable. Why, of course!
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In Brazil, I once ate a savoury pizza with fresh guava on it. It was good.
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What’s the weirdest pizza you’ve eaten? Go on, shock me!
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Recipe for my sourdough spelt wholegrain pizza is in my profile. It’s good. Especially with peas and sausage 🙂

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This morning is mostly grinding oat groats to make more of the Scottish ferment called Sowans. It’s not insubstantial work with a hand-crank Marcato Marga grinder, even with a 6-year old helper (who’s not a bad photographer, eh?!). Hence the glass of bread kvass to ‘keep me going’ 😉
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I’m going to take more pictures this time round, hoping to get a story up later in the week with all of the details of this wonderful, traditional, wise and frugal fermented drink and porridge combo.
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In the meantime, this is my ‘Old-Fashioned Kitchen Tool’ for #veryfarmish – I could have bought a much quicker, more whizzy, electric grain grinder. But I opted for this muscle-enhancing beauty instead.

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