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!! . 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. . 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. . In the meantime, we have a lot of heart stew to eat. That’s a good thing. . Have you brined?

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!!
.
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.
.
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.
.
In the meantime, we have a lot of heart stew to eat. That’s a good thing.
.
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. . Thanks for the nut nudge @morgancarsandbread – it worked! . 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. . 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 :-)

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.
.
Thanks for the nut nudge @morgancarsandbread – it worked!
.
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.
.
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 πŸ™‚

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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. . 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. . 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. . 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. . The closer we can be to everything we share at our tables, the saner and healthier we are. . Sourdough spelt pizza (recipe in my profile) topped with local lardo, onions, olives and mushrooms. Yum :-)

Sitting down, together with my family, at the table for virtually every meal provides rhythm, comfort and connection to my days.
.
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.
.
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.
.
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.
.
The closer we can be to everything we share at our tables, the saner and healthier we are.
.
Sourdough spelt pizza (recipe in my profile) topped with local lardo, onions, olives and mushrooms. Yum πŸ™‚

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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! . 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. . 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. . 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.

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!
.
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.
.
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.
.
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. . Here’s it being made by an English family, in my modern Italian kitchen ;-) . 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. . 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!

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 πŸ˜‰
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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.
.
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. . It won’t feel like wheat bread does. But it’ll be good food. . 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. . 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. . Some more pics about to go in my stories (under the highlight lectin-free).

Lectin-free bread doesn’t have to a lot of ingredients with names your Grandma wouldn’t recognise in.
.
It won’t feel like wheat bread does. But it’ll be good food.
.
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.
.
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.
.
Some more pics about to go in my stories (under the highlight lectin-free).

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Usually I’m a good girl and let my breads fully cool before eating. I couldn’t with this one. I just about got a photo done before I cut through that crust and plopped some butter (which promptly melted!) and scrambled eggs on a thick slice. . It’s a spelt sourdough with a swats porridge included in the dough. Swats is a traditional Scottish ferment that I make regularly (check my story highlight for more details). . I’m hoping to get a little course out later in the year explaining how to make Swats. And I want to include a few ways of using the results – one of which is this loaf.

Usually I’m a good girl and let my breads fully cool before eating. I couldn’t with this one. I just about got a photo done before I cut through that crust and plopped some butter (which promptly melted!) and scrambled eggs on a thick slice.
.
It’s a spelt sourdough with a swats porridge included in the dough. Swats is a traditional Scottish ferment that I make regularly (check my story highlight for more details).
.
I’m hoping to get a little course out later in the year explaining how to make Swats. And I want to include a few ways of using the results – one of which is this loaf.

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I’ve always been a ‘too much’ kinda girl. . But as we cooks know, too much food, skillfully channelled, gives one leftovers for days. . This is a saucepan full to the brim with a millet/sorghum/farro sourdough porridge. It’ll do us breakfast, and the leftovers will be packed into a loaf tin and left to cool. Then, I’ll be able to slice it and provide fermented polenta ‘bread’ for packed lunches and easy supper for days. . I’d love to know one of your go-to Β°too much’ dishes :-)

I’ve always been a ‘too much’ kinda girl.
.
But as we cooks know, too much food, skillfully channelled, gives one leftovers for days.
.
This is a saucepan full to the brim with a millet/sorghum/farro sourdough porridge. It’ll do us breakfast, and the leftovers will be packed into a loaf tin and left to cool. Then, I’ll be able to slice it and provide fermented polenta ‘bread’ for packed lunches and easy supper for days.
.
I’d love to know one of your go-to Β°too much’ dishes πŸ™‚

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Have you heard of Zombie Probiotics?! Crazy thought, right…but they are real. Seriously, there are dead but undead probiotics in many ancestral foods – sourdough bread, sauerkraut in stews, even the sourdough discard soup I posted last week. . And, so scientists are proving, these zombie probiotics do us good. How damn cool is that? . The technical term for these compounds isn’t zombie probiotics (shame) it’s actually paraprobiotics and postbiotics. Along with probiotics and prebiotics that’s quite a lot for a non-sciency head to hold. So I had to read about it a lot!! And then, of course, as it’s soooo cool, I wanted to share. Click on the link in my profile to read the short article explaining what these things are and how they do us good. . If you were to read it whilst eating a slice of sourdough, I’d consider my work done :-)

Have you heard of Zombie Probiotics?! Crazy thought, right…but they are real. Seriously, there are dead but undead probiotics in many ancestral foods – sourdough bread, sauerkraut in stews, even the sourdough discard soup I posted last week.
.
And, so scientists are proving, these zombie probiotics do us good. How damn cool is that?
.
The technical term for these compounds isn’t zombie probiotics (shame) it’s actually paraprobiotics and postbiotics. Along with probiotics and prebiotics that’s quite a lot for a non-sciency head to hold. So I had to read about it a lot!! And then, of course, as it’s soooo cool, I wanted to share. Click on the link in my profile to read the short article explaining what these things are and how they do us good.
.
If you were to read it whilst eating a slice of sourdough, I’d consider my work done πŸ™‚

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Home-fermented olives gifted by @thelandofmint. . These are the best olives I have ever tasted. They are soft, giving when you bite into them, bitter and at the same time sweet. There is salt too, and herbs and a delicate tang of orange zest. . (And not a drop of omega 6 heavy sunflower oil in sight – yes!) . I am super-excited about fermenting olives. I was too late this year – all the ones around me had gone to the frantoio (olive mill) before I could get to it. Next year they won’t escape me!

Home-fermented olives gifted by @thelandofmint.
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These are the best olives I have ever tasted. They are soft, giving when you bite into them, bitter and at the same time sweet. There is salt too, and herbs and a delicate tang of orange zest.
.
(And not a drop of omega 6 heavy sunflower oil in sight – yes!)
.
I am super-excited about fermenting olives. I was too late this year – all the ones around me had gone to the frantoio (olive mill) before I could get to it. Next year they won’t escape me!

Read More