I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!

My sous chef, fermentista-in-training, joy-infuser and part of the reason I have spent so much time focusing on health-giving food the last 7 years. . Happy new year from our kitchen (and all the ferments, including this ginger beer!) to yours. . Thank you. I look forward to more wonderful interaction next year.

My sous chef, fermentista-in-training, joy-infuser and part of the reason I have spent so much time focusing on health-giving food the last 7 years.
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Happy new year from our kitchen (and all the ferments, including this ginger beer!) to yours.
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Thank you. I look forward to more wonderful interaction next year.

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Slow-Cooked Beef Heart

Slow-cooked beef heart is a staple in our house. It’s simple, economical and can feed my family all week. Those three things in one dish feels like the holy grail to me! A lot of people feel intimidated by organ … Read More

Ancestral Kitchen Challenge 2022!

Want to move forward in your kitchen this year? Been meaning to try that new ferment? Find a bread recipe for your family? Tackle that recipe you’ve been avoiding?! Looking for ideas, support and encouragement? The Ancestral Kitchen Challenge is … Read More

Honey-fermented chestnuts enveloped in home-roasted 100% cacao chocolate. . I cannot believe my “I wonder what happens if you ferment chestnuts” rabbit hole resulted in these. The chestnut is sweet, smoky and squidgy and permeated by a spicy, mead-like liquor. Then the chocolate comes in and gives it all a dark, bitter, fortifying note. . They are *so* good. I wish you could taste. If you have chestnuts, put them in some 50/50 honey/water solution with some spices and ferment them! Then, in Jan, I’m going to do a bean-to-bar chocolate with no special equipment day. If you can save them till then, you can cover them in that deliciousness :-)

Honey-fermented chestnuts enveloped in home-roasted 100% cacao chocolate.
.
I cannot believe my “I wonder what happens if you ferment chestnuts” rabbit hole resulted in these. The chestnut is sweet, smoky and squidgy and permeated by a spicy, mead-like liquor. Then the chocolate comes in and gives it all a dark, bitter, fortifying note.
.
They are *so* good. I wish you could taste. If you have chestnuts, put them in some 50/50 honey/water solution with some spices and ferment them! Then, in Jan, I’m going to do a bean-to-bar chocolate with no special equipment day. If you can save them till then, you can cover them in that deliciousness 🙂

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I’ve been waiting so long to do this: Wassail! . In case you don’t know, wassailing was a traditional UK custom involving a warm, spiced alcoholic drink (which obviously would have been farmhouse-made) known as wassail. . It generally included apples (wild ones, much more tart than we’re used to now) and winter, immune-enhancing spices. . I did two versions. The first was with a home-made, non-flavoured rye ale (that had been bottled for 2 days). To this I added roasted apples and lots of warming spices. The second was with the same rye ale but from a bottle that had been second fermented with a wild apple and juniper paste that was made locally. I just added spices to this one, no extra fruit. . We’d just been for a long walk. Up a hill. In the rain. It felt amazing to cuddle up on the sofa and wrap our hands around this.

I’ve been waiting so long to do this: Wassail!
.
In case you don’t know, wassailing was a traditional UK custom involving a warm, spiced alcoholic drink (which obviously would have been farmhouse-made) known as wassail.
.
It generally included apples (wild ones, much more tart than we’re used to now) and winter, immune-enhancing spices.
.
I did two versions. The first was with a home-made, non-flavoured rye ale (that had been bottled for 2 days). To this I added roasted apples and lots of warming spices. The second was with the same rye ale but from a bottle that had been second fermented with a wild apple and juniper paste that was made locally. I just added spices to this one, no extra fruit.
.
We’d just been for a long walk. Up a hill. In the rain. It felt amazing to cuddle up on the sofa and wrap our hands around this.

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Alternative Shepherd’s Pie! . Pork mince cooked with onion, cabbage, garlic, coriander seeds and heart stock topped with 2-day fermented sweet potato mashed with lard, more stock and ground coriander. . We ate this for Christmas lunch together with Brussels sprouts and cauliflower roasted with my home-cured lardo (debut for this delight!). . As usual, there were leftovers. They’ve all gone now though! . Other Christmas/Boxing day food highlights were home-made chocolate covered fermented chestnuts, spent grain breakfast pancakes and mulled ancient ale. I’ve got lots of pictures to share with you over the coming week :-)

Alternative Shepherd’s Pie!
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Pork mince cooked with onion, cabbage, garlic, coriander seeds and heart stock topped with 2-day fermented sweet potato mashed with lard, more stock and ground coriander.
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We ate this for Christmas lunch together with Brussels sprouts and cauliflower roasted with my home-cured lardo (debut for this delight!).
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As usual, there were leftovers. They’ve all gone now though!
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Other Christmas/Boxing day food highlights were home-made chocolate covered fermented chestnuts, spent grain breakfast pancakes and mulled ancient ale. I’ve got lots of pictures to share with you over the coming week 🙂

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Every Christmas day, we eat something we’ve never eaten before. . This year, somewhat unusually, I’m creating a simple dish. I’ve started it this morning by putting this cooked, mashed sweet potato in a warm spot to ferment. Whey cubes from the freezer are in there to give it a kick-start. . Tomorrow, I’ll add some ginger left over from ginger beer and some spices. Then I’ll use it to top a mix of pork mince, onion, garlic, cabbage and spices. It’ll all go in the oven and we’ll eat with my favourite Brussels sprouts (which magically appeared from @radiciumane at our local market last night just in time!!) . It’ll be a warm, fermented, spicy alternative ‘shepherds pie’. Never done it before, but I’ve got high hopes! . I wrote an article for @thefermentationschool about our home-made Christmas tradition of eating a new dish every year. You can find the link to it in my linktr.ee (first link in the articles section). . Oh, and I finally got to covering the honey-fermented chestnuts in home-roasted 100% cacao chocolate this morning. Of course, we had to taste-test them. They are possibly the most delicious experiment to come out of my kitchen. Looking forward to snapping some pics and sharing them with you after the holidays. . Much love from my kitchen to yours. Enjoy every moment you can.

Every Christmas day, we eat something we’ve never eaten before.
.
This year, somewhat unusually, I’m creating a simple dish. I’ve started it this morning by putting this cooked, mashed sweet potato in a warm spot to ferment. Whey cubes from the freezer are in there to give it a kick-start.
.
Tomorrow, I’ll add some ginger left over from ginger beer and some spices. Then I’ll use it to top a mix of pork mince, onion, garlic, cabbage and spices. It’ll all go in the oven and we’ll eat with my favourite Brussels sprouts (which magically appeared from @radiciumane at our local market last night just in time!!)
.
It’ll be a warm, fermented, spicy alternative ‘shepherds pie’. Never done it before, but I’ve got high hopes!
.
I wrote an article for @thefermentationschool about our home-made Christmas tradition of eating a new dish every year. You can find the link to it in my linktr.ee (first link in the articles section).
.
Oh, and I finally got to covering the honey-fermented chestnuts in home-roasted 100% cacao chocolate this morning. Of course, we had to taste-test them. They are possibly the most delicious experiment to come out of my kitchen. Looking forward to snapping some pics and sharing them with you after the holidays.
.
Much love from my kitchen to yours. Enjoy every moment you can.

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Grass-fed mutton (thank you @valledelsasso) cooked in the cast iron skillet, accompanied by cavolo nero from #mercatointransizione and milk-kefir-risen spelt bread spread with home-rendered lard. . The kale was generously dolloped with a dressing made from sumac, local vinegar/oil and a lot of grated ginger that had previously made us ginger beer. . And always have a colourful plate at hand for grey days…

Grass-fed mutton (thank you @valledelsasso) cooked in the cast iron skillet, accompanied by cavolo nero from #mercatointransizione and milk-kefir-risen spelt bread spread with home-rendered lard.
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The kale was generously dolloped with a dressing made from sumac, local vinegar/oil and a lot of grated ginger that had previously made us ginger beer.
.
And always have a colourful plate at hand for grey days…

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Pumpernickel-style sourdough made with rye grains that had previously given me ancient ale! . I love that after sieving my rustically-fermented rye brew, I can use the ‘waste’ to create something more. Here, I dehydrated the spent grains and added rye sourdough starter, some chocolate barley malt, molasses and salt. After an overnight ferment, it baked up beautifully. . It’s delicious warm with melting butter (but what bread isn’t?!). More pictures in my story today.

Pumpernickel-style sourdough made with rye grains that had previously given me ancient ale!
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I love that after sieving my rustically-fermented rye brew, I can use the ‘waste’ to create something more. Here, I dehydrated the spent grains and added rye sourdough starter, some chocolate barley malt, molasses and salt. After an overnight ferment, it baked up beautifully.
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It’s delicious warm with melting butter (but what bread isn’t?!). More pictures in my story today.

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Fermented Gingerbread

I’ve been making a rye spice bread with sourdough discard for many years – I based my version on a recipe I found for Pain d’Epices, the historical French spice bread. After many years of baking this up, I decided … Read More