I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!
From Instagram
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Making ‘imperfect’ looking chocolate is so incredibly more satisfying for the taste buds and soul than buying bars at the store.
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This started life as a bag of raw cacao nibs. I roasted them, cracked them, shelled them, ground them and then mixed them with a small amount of melted cacao butter and coconut oil to make chocolate!
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The result is rustic…one might say stone-ground. The flavour, however, is amazing. It’s so much deeper, more nuanced, more zingy and more satisfying than anything I’ve eaten from a wrapper.
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And like all the foods we prepare with love in our kitchens there is some undescribable life in it *because* I gave it care and attention.
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I’ve been making chocolate this way since I read the 700-page The Secret Life of Chocolate by @nocturnalherbalist and I can’t go back. There’s a set of videos that will walk you through how to do it yourself on the courses page of www.ancestralkitchen.com.
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Fancy having a go?!

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From Instagram
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After a while using ground linseed, I’ve gone back to using psyllium husk to help gel my #glutenfreesourdough breads.
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This is sorghum and millet, both ground at home, with a teaspoon of psyllium, some salt and my millet sourdough starter. It is so good fresh from the oven.
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It’s both gluten and lectin free and much lighter than my other sourdoughs (which are spelt and rye). I like to eat it at supper, with butter and a boiled egg ๐Ÿ™‚
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There’s a link to the recipe in my profile. Nestled in that recipe you’ll find a link to an article on how I create a glutenfree sourdough starter.

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From Instagram
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Lard and bread. They are so good together!
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Here’s my recipe for Pane con Ciccioli a.k.a. lard crackling bread. It’s inspired by the litany of bread recipes that see the left over crunchy bits from lard-rendering cushioned in soft carby pillows.
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Because I’m a sourdough girl, I make mine with wild yeast and because I adore spelt, that’s what I’ve used here. I thought I’d have a bit of fun by making a rolled up, strudel-style loaf and added some garlic and rosemary for an additional pep.
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You can find a link to the recipe in my profile.
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I know Italians have been combining lard and bread for a looong time and I’ve recently learnt about a crackling bread sold by street vendors in Argentina. I get access to so many cultures here on IG, anyone else got a lard crackling bread they want to share with me? ๐Ÿ™‚

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From Instagram
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Sourdough pancakes for lunch today!
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I spent the morning filming the ‘what to do with your sourdough discard’ section of my upcoming rye sourdough course for @thefermentationschool. No sooner had I switched off the camera than I slipped this 100% wholegrain pancake out of the pan and onto my lunch plate! I topped it with leftover spicy lentils (cooked yesterday) and local salad.
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I like to fold it up and see if I can bite into one end without the filling all falling out of the other ๐Ÿ™‚

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From Instagram
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If my terrified-of-fat 30-year-old self could see this bowl of crunchy pig skin I’ve just made, she’d have thought that I was making a terrible choice for my health and that I’d pile weight on.
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How pervasive is the lie that fat makes us fat and when will it die?
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Following on from yesterday’s post about the latest @ancestralkitchenpodcast episode where I talk about my 140lb weight loss, I wanted to celebrate my love of all things pig by making these again today.
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Processed (and the new ultra-processed) foods are the enemy of our society’s future, not locally-sourced, nutritious fat.
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I’m hoping to make a video of how to make these ancestral-popcorn style yummies out of pig skin soon. In the meantime I’ll keep practising and munching.
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Thank you for the feedback on the podcast episode we’ve had – it’s challenging to be open and it makes a difference for me to hear such wonderful comments. If you’ve not listened yet, you can find us on your podcast app as @ancestralkitchenpodcast or download/stream from the link in my profile.

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From Instagram
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It’s easy to think, when you see someone, that they have always been that way.
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Yet so many of us hold stories of change.
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People who I meet these days can barely imagine that I’ve looked any different to how I do now. When they find out that I used to carry twice the weight I do now, they can’t believe it.
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After over a year of podcasting, @farmandhearth and I decided it was time to talk about my 140lb/10 stone/65kg weight loss. It wasn’t easy to distill a childhood of being the fat kid, the 18-month journey to lose the weight, the decade of determination and fat avoidance lest I regain and the embracing of ancestral foods that has seen my need for restraint ending. But we tried!!
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I sincerely hope that, whatever your own relationship with food, my sharing inspires, softens and informs you. And that it strengthens your belief in the possible.
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You can subscribe to the podcast by searching for @ancestralkitchenpodcast in your app, or you can listen via the link in my profile.
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Please do let me know what you think. And please do share this episode with anyone you think would enjoy listening. ๐Ÿ™‚

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From Instagram
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Making lardo using what’s around me, as those who walked this land before me would have done for many, many years.
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Bay leaves, a present from our veg grower. Juniper berries, long-used in Italian curing. Garlic, locally-grown. Rosemary from the garden. Salt from Sardinia. Pig back fat from Flavio @valledelsasso.
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The only thing that’s not Italian, but has been coming here via spice routes for centuries, is the black pepper
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I use the @rivercottagehq recipe from @lambposts’s book. Instead of wrapping the fat in plastic, I use baking paper. Once covered in the cure, the fat will go into the meat drawer in my fridge (I have no place to hang) with water-filled olive oil bottles on top of it to weigh it down. It’ll stay there for months – last time it was about 3…this time I might go for more.
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Another pic in my story today and I’ve got a highlight titled ‘curing’ if you want to see more.

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Pane con Ciccioli – Lard Crackling Sourdough Bread
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There’s a wealth of fat-enriched breads in many cuisines because we’ve known, for a very long time, that fat and bread are so good together. The Italian recipe litany, where this bread originates, is no exception! Fat-enriched breads were particularly … Read More