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Sourdough discard soup with celeriac, carrot and sausage, topped with lard-fried breadcrumbs for a soup-complimenting crunch.
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This is a version of the recipe you can find linked in my profile that is gluten and lectin-free, being made from a millet starter that I keep.
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I can’t believe I went so long without putting discard in my soup. Next, I want to try and find some smoked sausage, so I can work on a more traditional rendering of this dish, which I based on the Polish soup called Zurek.
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You should try making it while it’s still winter(ish). It’s so very good.

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Ancestral cacao-diving continues in our apartment. And look at these! I think, aesthetically, they are very beautiful, but the light brown marks are a commercial-chocolatier’s nightmare: bloom. It’s where the cacao butter hasn’t cooled down ‘just right’.
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Traditionally, chocolate was only ever used in drinks and this bloom didn’t matter.
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But when I eat these, instead of melting them into a drink, I can taste the effect. There’s more grain; it’s a bit drier.
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I’m not sure exactly why it happened this time, and not the other dozen times I’ve gone through the process. But, just like teaching myself sourdough or kombucha, I carry on and I learn.
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And, while I experiment, we’ve made it to the ‘mythology’ section of the 700-page ‘The Secret Life of Chocolate’. Who isn’t interested in why and how people believe what they believe? It’s fascinating! My son and hubby are very happy making it one of our family evening-reads. Perhaps that makes us weird, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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We render lard from local back fat in a slow cooker. It’s simple – dice the fat and put it on low. Every couple of hours, pour the liquid off. By the end of the day the ‘scratchings’ left over are small and you have containers full of lard everywhere.
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I then work some magic with the left-over bits. I transfer them to a medium-hot cast iron pan and cook for 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally. This not only creates wonderfully crispy bits of delicious fat that we can sprinkle on our food, but also seasons my cast iron pan nicely!
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Zero-waste, a shiny pan and smiling faces at the table.

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When you have a kid who ‘can’t have’ certain things, it kinda breaks your heart. So, at least if you’re me, you try and make up for it by making exciting things that they *can* have.
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That’s why I started making Boza, the originally-Turkish lacto-fermented cooked millet drink. And I can report, according to this little man, it makes awesome smoothies.
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The little chef chose his own additions – banana, linseed, water kefir grains, lettuce and coconut oil. All whizzed up with the lacto-goodies and sustaining complex carb of the sweety, tangy, fizzy Boza.
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I’m almost there with getting the methods for making this ferment clarified and working towards documenting them. I’m hoping to have something up in the virtual world over the next month or two.

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I’m working on ways to cook heart. It’s become a lesson in brining, which, a month ago, I’d never done. I’ve brined cow heart twice now – once with stout, once with local red wine. It softens the meat, and gives a lot of flavour. Like this there’s no need of a fussy, high-flavoured sauce. The one you can see here is basically cabbage!!
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But brining is a lot of work and a lot of salt/sugar. I’m a practical soul, so if I can make it just as good more easily (and less saltily), I will.
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I’m getting another cow heart on our next pick-up (which we do on foot, with huge cool bag!) from @lavalledelsasso and I’ll slow-cook this one without brining. Let’s see what it’s like.
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In the meantime, we have a lot of heart stew to eat. That’s a good thing.
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Have you brined?

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Chocolate malt sourdough experiment number 2 is a finished recipe! This time, as well as the deliciously smoky malted barley and added sorghum flour porridge, I used local hazlenuts.
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Thanks for the nut nudge @morgancarsandbread – it worked!
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I have created so many sourdough spelt recipes the last couple of years – bread, naan, pizza, muffins – that I’m thinking it’d be scandalous not to try and compile them somehow and offer a Sourdough Baking with Spelt course.
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It’s been filed as something I really want to do. There are a lot of things I really want to do! I’m not complaining though. I like enthusiasm 🙂

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Sitting down, together with my family, at the table for virtually every meal provides rhythm, comfort and connection to my days.
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On Sundays, we often have sourdough spelt pizza. Seeing as my son is super-enthusiastic about food, I’m slowly training him to complete all the steps.
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He measures out the levain on Saturday morning. He mixes the dough on Saturday evening ready for the fridge. He stretches and folds it through Sunday morning, using the timer and gauging its lightness. Then he decides on the toppings and helps me stretch out the mix ready for the pizza stone.
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Just like the chocolate he made yesterday, I hope this process is imparting an understanding of and value for the food that we share together. It was when I deeply got involved in the creation of my own food that the disordered eating I’d been beholden to for most of my life, turned on its head.
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The closer we can be to everything we share at our tables, the saner and healthier we are.
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Sourdough spelt pizza (recipe in my profile) topped with local lardo, onions, olives and mushrooms. Yum 🙂

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My 6-year-old son made 100% cacao bean-to-bar chocolate. His favourite bit was after roasting when he used a hairdryer to blow away the shells from the cacao nibs!
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His flavour choices are unmarred by my ‘grown-up’ ideas of combining. These are mint (from the garden) with orange zest. The mint hits your palette straight away and then disperses and you are left with the chocolate orange warmth.
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Meanwhile, we (as a family) are progressing with reading the 700-page ‘The Secret Life of Chocolate’. At the moment, we’re learning about physical, chemical and psychological addiction – on what level is chocolate actually addictive? I’m fascinated by this, seeing that, as an adolescent, I used to down kg bars of white chocolate regularly.
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It’s like the journey I’m taking now – to learn how cacao was originally, and can most powerfully be consumed – is healing the part of me that spent a obesity-filled childhood overeating on it.

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A boza line up. Or for those that haven’t seen me post about this fine fermented drink before, a traditionally-lacto-fermented grain drink hailing from the land around the Turkey that’s been dated by archaeologists as having been made as early as the 9th century BCE.
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Here’s it being made by an English family, in my modern Italian kitchen 😉
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Furthest away from you is fermented millet, honey and vanilla. The one in the middle is fermented millet and super-dark whole cane sugar (aka ‘Guinness’ boza!). And the one closest is fermented sorghum with golden cane sugar.
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Check out my story today (saved to Boza highlight) to watch me filming my hubby doing a taste test of all three and see which is his favourite!

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Lectin-free bread doesn’t have to a lot of ingredients with names your Grandma wouldn’t recognise in.
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It won’t feel like wheat bread does. But it’ll be good food.
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It’s so easy for us to cling to food having to be a certain way. Let’s give our taste buds and our senses the space to experience something differently.
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This loaf is millet, sorghum, salt and water. All Italian ingredients. It’s denser than the one I’ve been making with added psyllium husk. But it’s taste is better and it’s less hassle.
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Some more pics about to go in my stories (under the highlight lectin-free).

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