I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!

I needed a boost this morning: Fried fermented millet/sorghum polenta slices, a fried @lavalledelsasso egg and a pesto-ish mix of parsley, walnuts, garlic, lime and olive oil. . I topped it with home-made black salt, new season olive oil and then sat down with a knife and fork to tuck in.

I needed a boost this morning: Fried fermented millet/sorghum polenta slices, a fried @lavalledelsasso egg and a pesto-ish mix of parsley, walnuts, garlic, lime and olive oil.
.
I topped it with home-made black salt, new season olive oil and then sat down with a knife and fork to tuck in.

Read More

It seems like an open-and-shut case. But it’s not. . Six months of research and my opinions are very different to what they were. I’ve written the details in a piece which you can find in the link in my profile. . As always, I’d love your thoughts.

It seems like an open-and-shut case. But it’s not.
.
Six months of research and my opinions are very different to what they were. I’ve written the details in a piece which you can find in the link in my profile.
.
As always, I’d love your thoughts.

Read More

This thyme feels like more than *just* thyme to me. . I bought it, along with some cabbages and brussels, from a lady who grows and sells her veg at the tiny local market here in Pontassieve. . We’ve been in this town almost a year and in that time we’ve come to know (and love) the farmers from whom we buy our meat, eggs and dairy. . Vegetables have been the last part of our food shopping without a face. By that I mean, up until now, I’ve mostly not known the person who grew them. Finally, this month, I had the head space to make an attempt to change that. . Thursday evenings will host our ‘walk together to the market and get veg’ routine. I hope that we’ll get to know (and love) the small producers there, including the lady who picked and dried this wild thyme. . If so, it’d feel to me like we’d settled. We’d be part of the precious fabric of this land. We’d sustain and be sustained by the beauty, knowledge and effort of this community. . And I’d be able to breathe out.

This thyme feels like more than *just* thyme to me.
.
I bought it, along with some cabbages and brussels, from a lady who grows and sells her veg at the tiny local market here in Pontassieve.
.
We’ve been in this town almost a year and in that time we’ve come to know (and love) the farmers from whom we buy our meat, eggs and dairy.
.
Vegetables have been the last part of our food shopping without a face. By that I mean, up until now, I’ve mostly not known the person who grew them. Finally, this month, I had the head space to make an attempt to change that.
.
Thursday evenings will host our ‘walk together to the market and get veg’ routine. I hope that we’ll get to know (and love) the small producers there, including the lady who picked and dried this wild thyme.
.
If so, it’d feel to me like we’d settled. We’d be part of the precious fabric of this land. We’d sustain and be sustained by the beauty, knowledge and effort of this community.
.
And I’d be able to breathe out.

Read More

Chocolate Water Kefir. Totally 6-year-old son approved! . I had a brain wave whilst making cacao husk tea: man, this’d be goood fermented. So I cooled it, added sugar and let my kefir grains at it! After a second ferment with orange and cardamon it’s delicious.

Chocolate Water Kefir. Totally 6-year-old son approved!
.
I had a brain wave whilst making cacao husk tea: man, this’d be goood fermented. So I cooled it, added sugar and let my kefir grains at it! After a second ferment with orange and cardamon it’s delicious.

Read More

A new batch of Sowans, the traditional Scottish fermented drink, ready for a 7-day ferment. . I make a batch of this every other week. It’s whole oats, flaked at home, then put through a sieve. The bits I use here are the crumbs that fall through the holes in the sieve. I put them into jars, add water, stir and then leave to ferment for a week. . Every morning during that week, I give them a quick stir. Towards the end of the week, I taste the liquid. When it’s funky enough for me (I like it funky), I stir it and strain it through a sieve to remove to bran particles. I leave the remaining liquid to settle. Over time it separates into liquid and oat starter. . I use the liquid, Sowans, as a drink, a starter and to bake bread. I cook up the oat sediment, called Swats, as a porridge, use it as a thickener and bake it into sourdoughs too. . Phew. Trying to explain that clearly took some thought. I’m hoping that, later in the year, I can put together some videos demonstrating how I make this and more of my kitchen alchemy projects. I’m also hoping to create a newsletter and have an exciting project with Andrea @farmandhearth on the burner. Lots of things fermenting – both literally and figuratively over here. . Happy weekend to you all. x

A new batch of Sowans, the traditional Scottish fermented drink, ready for a 7-day ferment.
.
I make a batch of this every other week. It’s whole oats, flaked at home, then put through a sieve. The bits I use here are the crumbs that fall through the holes in the sieve. I put them into jars, add water, stir and then leave to ferment for a week.
.
Every morning during that week, I give them a quick stir. Towards the end of the week, I taste the liquid. When it’s funky enough for me (I like it funky), I stir it and strain it through a sieve to remove to bran particles. I leave the remaining liquid to settle. Over time it separates into liquid and oat starter.
.
I use the liquid, Sowans, as a drink, a starter and to bake bread. I cook up the oat sediment, called Swats, as a porridge, use it as a thickener and bake it into sourdoughs too.
.
Phew. Trying to explain that clearly took some thought. I’m hoping that, later in the year, I can put together some videos demonstrating how I make this and more of my kitchen alchemy projects. I’m also hoping to create a newsletter and have an exciting project with Andrea @farmandhearth on the burner. Lots of things fermenting – both literally and figuratively over here.
.
Happy weekend to you all. x

Read More

This time last year me and my two boys were living out of 2 suitcases. We did it – being forced to move 8 times over a period of 6 weeks, because the flat we were supposed to move turned out to be uninhabitable. . During those 6 weeks, in various unfamiliar and ill-equipped kitchens, I continued to make sourdough. We were never without a loaf. . Looking back (thankfully from the comfort of a new flat we found 10 days before the first lockdown), it astounds me that I kept this going. It was testament to 2 things: 1 – The simplicity of my ‘go to’ sourdoughs, and . 2 – The amount of times I’d baked them before. . If we practise, we can do anything. We can repeat nourishing staple foods with our eyes virtually shut. . I have written up the recipe for my Everyday Rye Sourdough. You can find it via the link in my profile. It’s super-simple. No kneading, no constant watching. So easy you could even make it if you ever find yourself ‘between homes’, I promise ;-)

This time last year me and my two boys were living out of 2 suitcases. We did it – being forced to move 8 times over a period of 6 weeks, because the flat we were supposed to move turned out to be uninhabitable.
.
During those 6 weeks, in various unfamiliar and ill-equipped kitchens, I continued to make sourdough. We were never without a loaf.
.
Looking back (thankfully from the comfort of a new flat we found 10 days before the first lockdown), it astounds me that I kept this going. It was testament to 2 things:

1 – The simplicity of my ‘go to’ sourdoughs, and
.
2 – The amount of times I’d baked them before.
.
If we practise, we can do anything. We can repeat nourishing staple foods with our eyes virtually shut.
.
I have written up the recipe for my Everyday Rye Sourdough. You can find it via the link in my profile. It’s super-simple. No kneading, no constant watching. So easy you could even make it if you ever find yourself ‘between homes’, I promise 😉

Read More

Soup with a difference! (in fact, with at least three differences) . 1 – It’s got sourdough in it! Yes, I used some discard. What a revelation…talk about hearty. I mixed my rye starter with home-made stock, veg and sausages. It thickened the soup up and gave us a tangy carb hit too. . 2 – It came from the lovely @dreamtemplearts family. This is the first time I’ve been passed a recipe I was looking for (it’s based on Zurek, a Polish sour soup) via a one to one IG connection. That warms my heart :-) . 3 – It traditionally includes All Spice berries. I have not been able to find these in Italy, so instead used a similar flavour profile – cinnamon bark, nutmeg and cloves. I would never have thought of putting these flavours in a savoury soup. It added to the roundness and warmth. . This one isn’t going anywhere. I already have plans to make it again and when I’ve got my favourite version, to write it up. If you’re looking for discard uses, keep watching. . And that’s Russian Black Salt on the top in case you’re wondering…there’s a highlight on my profile for process pics of it. . I’ll go back to my Polish soup induced warm haze now :-)

Soup with a difference! (in fact, with at least three differences)
.
1 – It’s got sourdough in it! Yes, I used some discard. What a revelation…talk about hearty. I mixed my rye starter with home-made stock, veg and sausages. It thickened the soup up and gave us a tangy carb hit too.
.
2 – It came from the lovely @dreamtemplearts family. This is the first time I’ve been passed a recipe I was looking for (it’s based on Zurek, a Polish sour soup) via a one to one IG connection. That warms my heart 🙂
.
3 – It traditionally includes All Spice berries. I have not been able to find these in Italy, so instead used a similar flavour profile – cinnamon bark, nutmeg and cloves. I would never have thought of putting these flavours in a savoury soup. It added to the roundness and warmth.
.
This one isn’t going anywhere. I already have plans to make it again and when I’ve got my favourite version, to write it up. If you’re looking for discard uses, keep watching.
.
And that’s Russian Black Salt on the top in case you’re wondering…there’s a highlight on my profile for process pics of it.
.
I’ll go back to my Polish soup induced warm haze now 🙂

Read More