I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!
From Instagram
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Ancestral ale made with Italian rye and my own ale yeast!
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I’m so excited to get back to traditional ale-making. I’ve used quite a few starters in the eighteen months I’ve been playing with this – sourdough, mead, boza…yet I knew I wanted to have a go at making my own dedicated starter from scratch.
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What I needed was a yeast (not bacteria) dominant starter. Reading about Norwegian techniques I knew I could use flour and water, but that I also needed something to suppress potential bacteria. I didn’t want to use hops – they only came into ale/beer in the 1500s. I plumped for the locally-abundant anti-bacterial rosemary and boiled the herb in the water I used for every refresh.
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Along with rosemary, I also use bacteria-inhibiting salt and yeast-encouraging sugar. After 10 days I had a strong yeasty starter (pic in my story) which I then used with grain I’d malted myself to make this ale.
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Pictured here are three bottles about to go into a second ferment, one flavoured with cloves, another fennel seeds and the last elderflower and rosehip.
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I’m reading all about how women dominated brewing in England until the commercialisation that happened after the Black Death. Every page I read and every experiment I do connects me to those who came before me, whose DNA is in my own.
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I’ll put more details and pictures in my story today. There is an ‘ancestral ale’ highlight if you want to follow along in my journey.

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From Instagram
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Beets grown in fermented kitchen waste!
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Bokashi is a Japanese fermentation technique that for me, in my tiny kitchen/container garden, has helped me:
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A – recycle virtually all of my kitchen scraps
B – make compost with no outside space needed
C – avoid buying new bags of compost this year, and
D – make my vegetables pretty amazing!
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I’m so excited about it, that I’m lining up an expert to come and explain all on the podcast. Watch out for interview later in the year.
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If you bokashi, I’d love to hear how you use it.
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More pictures of happy gardeners and veg in my story today!

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From Instagram
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Can you imagine a school canteen serving beet kvass, organ meats, bone broth and raw fermented dairy?! 26,000 meals like that in their first year?!
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When Hilary Boynton of @school_of_lunch_ saw the food at her kids school going downhill, she went in and took over, and boy, how she took over…transforming the kitchen into an ancestral food heaven.
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In today’s @ancestralkitchenpodcast, @farmandhearth
and I pin the amazingness that is Hilary down. We talk about how she has and continues to do it, what changes she’s seen in the children and families around her, how she’s taking her teaching global and how she stays healthy herself (did I mention she’s written a book and cares for six children too?!)
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Hilary is a true trailblazer – there was no model for what she did, and despite the prevailing profit-driven food crisis she gets up everyday and does what she can with bells on!
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She’s a total inspiration to me. I’m getting goosebumps just writing this!! Thank you Hilary ๐Ÿ™‚
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You can find the episode by searching for Ancestral Kitchen Podcast in your podcast app or you can stream/download from my site, the link’s in my profile.

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From Instagram
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This is the historic, probiotic drink Boza made and deliciously photographed by student of my course @bigbank2riverbank
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I drink my Boza straight, sometimes heated, often with cinnamon and also in smoothies, but I’ve not yet grated dark chocolate on the top as Mary has done here.
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Boza hails from Turkey and has been made for centuries. Like kombucha, it’s slightly alcoholic, and before harder forms of alcohol came to Turkey, it was a drink enjoyed widely. There used to be hundreds of Boza bars in Istanbul and men wandered the street at night selling the freshly-made drink from pails they hung from their necks.
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I make a big jar of this every week at home. The flavour is sweet, tart and it fizzes on your tongue. It’s a wonderful gluten-free and dairy-free probiotic and it’s such fun to drink.
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If you fancy bringing this into your world, my video course will walk you through. The link is in my profile.
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More beautiful pictures going in my story today ๐Ÿ™‚

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From Instagram
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Making lardo, the traditional Italian pork fat cure, using local fat, garden herbs and Sicilian salt.
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I don’t have space to hang cures, but there’s no need here – this will sit in my fridge, covered and weighted for weeks doing its thing.
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And then I’ll slice it as thinly as I can and fry it super-crispy for a crunch, put it on pizzas and let its fat soak into the dough, wrap bits of fruit in it and eat raw…all the things!
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Can’t wait.
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@farmandhearth and I had an interesting discussion on whether pork is healthy (and why some people chose not to eat it) in the latest Kitchen Table Chat podcast, recorded for patrons of @ancestralkitchenpodcast. If you love our podcast and want more, becoming a patron it might be for you. You can go to patreon.com/ancestralkitchenpodcast for all the details.

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From Instagram
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This week was my seventh wedding anniversary. When we married, Gabriel, our son, had just returned home from life-saving surgery. In fact, we cancelled and rescheduled the wedding because of what happened. Instead, we spent the day in the hospital with him.
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After recovering together (I have such love and compassion for any parent trying to live alongside an ill child) we married and moved to Cornwall in the UK. I tried to live there, but things bigger than me had other ideas and I got quite ill.
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Hastened by Brexit (both my husband, Rob, and I feel more European than we do British), we decided to move back to where we lived before Gabriel was born, Italy.
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We’ve lived in many places since landing back here three years ago. But I’m hoping the latest one, a tiny flat with a little garden, on the outskirts of Florence, will stick. I want to be here a while. I want to enjoy my family and build our future.
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Seven years of marriage feels kinda like a lifetime. In a good way!! I can’t remember my ex-husband, I feel far away from the ‘old’ me. I feel more and more comfortable with the woman I am now, whom both these amazing men have helped shape.
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We celebrated at home. With spelt sourdough pizza topped with red wine braised onions, tomatoes and two types of local cheese. I’ll post a pic soon ๐Ÿ™‚
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Thank you for reading this far! I wish you love today, in all its beautiful forms.

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