The first online #ancestralcookup will be Beef & Barley Stew. I’m just writing it up and will have the details ready tomorrow. If you’re enthusiastic about real food and fancy joining a group of at-home cooks in making this dish over the next 2 weeks, I’d really love to have you cook a long. It’ll be super-flexible; you can use the ingredients that suit you. And it’ll be really tasty – we’ve eaten it 3 different ways the last few weeks and been super-comforted and nourished by it each time.
What I had in the fridge: onions, cauliflower, the end of a piece of fontina cheese and half a jar of tomato paste.
What I made: A tomatoey-cauli, fish bake!
I chopped the onion finely and broke up the cauliflower into small florets. I put these in a bowl with the tomato paste, added a drained tin of mackerel, two cloves of chopped garlic, a generous sprinkle of dried oregano and a dash of red wine vinegar. I greased a dish with lard, tipped in to mix, flattened it down and then grated the fontina on the top. I baked it, at 180C (350F) for 20 minutes covered and then a further 25 minutes uncovered.
We ate it with sourdough bread spread with local lard. The cauliflower was still a little hard and contrasted really well with the gloopy cheese. The boys loved it!
Are you an enthusiastic home cook? Would you like to cook along with other stuck-at-homers to a recipe you could easily adapt to what’s in your fridge? I’ve been feeling a little isolated in my quarantine kitchen so am working on Ancestral Cook-Up, a bi-weekly community cook where I’ll share a tasty, traditional foods recipe template that we can all have a go at. I’d love you to cook it with me and share your pics and thoughts. Check the link in my bio for information – I’ll be posting the first dish in the next few days.
6am on a Friday morning and I’m standing, with my husband, in a room of half open, half-filled boxes. We’ve sold our house. We have to be out of it in 3 hours and on a plane later that day – we’re moving countries. There’s been a huge misunderstanding: the van that arrived last night to take our things across Europe could only take 1/3 of what we own. I’m now looking at the 2/3rds of our possessions splayed across our front room, in chaos. We have to throw or give it all away to charity shops (in the next 3 hours without a car!). I say goodbye to my much-used two slow cookers along with countless other much-loved stuff. It’s only stuff, right?
I’ve missed slow cooking so much. It suits me. It suits ancestral traditions. Finally, a few weeks ago, I felt able to get a new one.
Curls of beef and barley stew are scenting my #quarantinekitichen here in Italy.
And part of me feels much more content.
How much difference does love make to our food? If water changes structure when we speak to it kindly (as #emoto showed with his experiments), how much does bread change when every part of making it is cherished, from the starter to the cutting? These are the two #sourdough breads I make, with love, each week. On the left, 100% wholegrain spelt, on the right 100% wholegrain rye. Somehow they nourish me and my family more than just flour, water and salt should.
Raw goat’s milk, still warm, from a farm up the hill a few miles. It took me a while to find a farm and then organise an order, but I am so very happy to have #realmilk back in my family’s life. And my son was in love with the warmth! We drank a little each and then I poured the rest in two jars; one for kefir and the other to sour for curd cheese and whey.