I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!

The staying power of broth: You know when you fill a bucket with water and then spin it around in a circle so it goes upside down over your head and the water magically (well, magically for us non-physicists!) stays put? . I *so* wanted to do that with this cauliflower soup. I would have laid money on it working. All thanks to the power of pork bone broth! . Bone broth is pure majesty – listen to @ancestralkitchenpodcast #26 to hear @farmandhearth and I give the low down on this amazing ancestral food that can be made for pennies (or cents…depending on where you are!). . In my story today you can be wowed by broth beauty. I jiggle it for you. Then I tip the soup up on video so you can marvel at it. Do go watch ;-) . BTW – the soup is from the great book Better Broths and Healing Tonics. We’ll have an interview with one of the creators of this bible of broth on the podcast later in the year. If you have questions on broth you’d like answered, let me know.

The staying power of broth: You know when you fill a bucket with water and then spin it around in a circle so it goes upside down over your head and the water magically (well, magically for us non-physicists!) stays put?
.
I *so* wanted to do that with this cauliflower soup. I would have laid money on it working. All thanks to the power of pork bone broth!
.
Bone broth is pure majesty – listen to @ancestralkitchenpodcast #26 to hear @farmandhearth and I give the low down on this amazing ancestral food that can be made for pennies (or cents…depending on where you are!).
.
In my story today you can be wowed by broth beauty. I jiggle it for you. Then I tip the soup up on video so you can marvel at it. Do go watch 😉
.
BTW – the soup is from the great book Better Broths and Healing Tonics. We’ll have an interview with one of the creators of this bible of broth on the podcast later in the year. If you have questions on broth you’d like answered, let me know.

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This might be the most beautiful of the breads that I’ve made with the spent grains from my ancestral beer. . You’ll see some husk – that’s from the oats I’m now consistently using (in addition to my staple ale grain, rye) in the brew. Oats were traditionally used in ale in the UK, and they make ours taste very good. . To malt oats ready for brewing, I must sprout them. And to sprout oats, I need the ‘naked’ variety (as standard oats are heat-treated during processing, therefore unsproutable). . There’s no way I’m throwing away the spent grain after brewing. And I don’t mind this husk in my bread at all. In fact, I like it. It reminds me of what my ingredients are – a grain, a grass, once a weed (as oats were). It reminds me of Sylvia at @lebarbarighe who grew the oats. It reminds me of what the oats have already given us; great ancestral ale. . And turns out our ancestors were used to having bits of husk in their food. Thank you to @harrigendall for sharing this quote (from The Gorse Glen by Evans) with me: . “There was always a considerable amount of husk left in the oatmeal ground in the old mills. It could be seen shining in the oatcake, like bran in wheaten bread. But say what you will, generation after generation of sturdy men and women were nurtured on oatcake in which a good deal of husk was mixed, men and women who were much longer lived than are the people of today, brought up on shop cake.” . ‘Nuff said. I wish you could come and spit out some grain at the table with me ;-))

This might be the most beautiful of the breads that I’ve made with the spent grains from my ancestral beer.
.
You’ll see some husk – that’s from the oats I’m now consistently using (in addition to my staple ale grain, rye) in the brew. Oats were traditionally used in ale in the UK, and they make ours taste very good.
.
To malt oats ready for brewing, I must sprout them. And to sprout oats, I need the ‘naked’ variety (as standard oats are heat-treated during processing, therefore unsproutable).
.
There’s no way I’m throwing away the spent grain after brewing. And I don’t mind this husk in my bread at all. In fact, I like it. It reminds me of what my ingredients are – a grain, a grass, once a weed (as oats were). It reminds me of Sylvia at @lebarbarighe who grew the oats. It reminds me of what the oats have already given us; great ancestral ale.
.
And turns out our ancestors were used to having bits of husk in their food. Thank you to @harrigendall for sharing this quote (from The Gorse Glen by Evans) with me:
.
“There was always a considerable amount of husk left in the oatmeal ground in the old mills. It could be seen shining in the oatcake, like bran in wheaten bread. But say what you will, generation after generation of sturdy men and women were nurtured on oatcake in which a good deal of husk was mixed, men and women who were much longer lived than are the people of today, brought up on shop cake.”
.
‘Nuff said. I wish you could come and spit out some grain at the table with me ;-))

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Let me talk to you about bread pans :-) . Here we have four rye breads, ready to proof, in four different pans. . From closest to furthest away: . A metal non-stick pullman-style pan (which has a lid): This bakes amazing wholegrain rye (and it’s the tin that I talk about most in my rye course) because it’s narrow yet high, conducts heat well and keeps steam in. Loaves cooked in it rise beautifully and look like they came out of a top-notch kitchen (which sometimes, mine is ;-)). I just wish it wasn’t non-stick… . A long ceramic pan: This is called a ‘plum cake’ pan here in Italy (one day I will understand the Italian obsession with plum cake!). It used to have a lid, but my son, Gabriel ‘helped’ with tidying up earlier this year and it got smashed! Now I tent it with foil during proofing and baking. It’s slower at baking due to being ceramic, but the loaves are good. . A bog-standard metal non-stick pan: I’ve had this 2kg tin years. Most times I use it, I line it (because of the non-stick). For rye, I always tent it with foil. It cooks bread quickly, but the resulting loaf can look a bit boring. . My pride and joy. My baby. My Emile Henry ceramic pan with lid: This has two holes in both the base and the lid that help circulate a small amount of air. For best results it needs to go in a non-fan oven. It does something to the crust of my rye and spelt breads that is just heavenly and I also feel so homely using it. . Ridiculourly detailed instructions on how to make this 100% wholegrain rye sourdough loaf (which, as you can see, is a staple in my home!) plus another three wholegrain rye recipes are in my course over at @thefermentationschool. There’s a link in my profile. . What bread tin do you use?

Let me talk to you about bread pans 🙂
.
Here we have four rye breads, ready to proof, in four different pans.
.
From closest to furthest away:
.
A metal non-stick pullman-style pan (which has a lid): This bakes amazing wholegrain rye (and it’s the tin that I talk about most in my rye course) because it’s narrow yet high, conducts heat well and keeps steam in. Loaves cooked in it rise beautifully and look like they came out of a top-notch kitchen (which sometimes, mine is ;-)). I just wish it wasn’t non-stick…
.
A long ceramic pan: This is called a ‘plum cake’ pan here in Italy (one day I will understand the Italian obsession with plum cake!). It used to have a lid, but my son, Gabriel ‘helped’ with tidying up earlier this year and it got smashed! Now I tent it with foil during proofing and baking. It’s slower at baking due to being ceramic, but the loaves are good.
.
A bog-standard metal non-stick pan: I’ve had this 2kg tin years. Most times I use it, I line it (because of the non-stick). For rye, I always tent it with foil. It cooks bread quickly, but the resulting loaf can look a bit boring.
.
My pride and joy. My baby. My Emile Henry ceramic pan with lid: This has two holes in both the base and the lid that help circulate a small amount of air. For best results it needs to go in a non-fan oven. It does something to the crust of my rye and spelt breads that is just heavenly and I also feel so homely using it.
.
Ridiculourly detailed instructions on how to make this 100% wholegrain rye sourdough loaf (which, as you can see, is a staple in my home!) plus another three wholegrain rye recipes are in my course over at @thefermentationschool. There’s a link in my profile.
.
What bread tin do you use?

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So many people I chat to on here don’t realise I’m British. If you listen me on @ancestralkitchenpodcast you’ll hear my voice. I was born in southern England and my Mum is half Welsh. . Wales (in case you’re one of the 90% of my followers who lives outside the United Kingdom and doesn’t know) is a separate country to England, but part of Great Britain. It’s halfway between England and Ireland geographically. . It is such a diverse land. Despite being smaller than Vermont, it has a huge coastline, mountains and stunning green pastures. And, as I learnt when interviewing Carwyn Graves, author of the book pictured here, Welsh Food Stories, that geographic diversity is so wonderfully reflected in its traditional food. . In the latest episode of @ancestralkitchenpodcast, we talk about food born from landscape, sustainability, women as the holders of ancestral heritage, fermentation, bread and much more. . There is so much to dive into in this rich, fascinating and beautiful conversation. I hope you’ll listen. . Find Ancestral Kitchen Podcast wherever you get your podcasts or stream/download the episode from the link in my profile.

So many people I chat to on here don’t realise I’m British. If you listen me on @ancestralkitchenpodcast you’ll hear my voice. I was born in southern England and my Mum is half Welsh.
.
Wales (in case you’re one of the 90% of my followers who lives outside the United Kingdom and doesn’t know) is a separate country to England, but part of Great Britain. It’s halfway between England and Ireland geographically.
.
It is such a diverse land. Despite being smaller than Vermont, it has a huge coastline, mountains and stunning green pastures. And, as I learnt when interviewing Carwyn Graves, author of the book pictured here, Welsh Food Stories, that geographic diversity is so wonderfully reflected in its traditional food.
.
In the latest episode of @ancestralkitchenpodcast, we talk about food born from landscape, sustainability, women as the holders of ancestral heritage, fermentation, bread and much more.
.
There is so much to dive into in this rich, fascinating and beautiful conversation. I hope you’ll listen.
.
Find Ancestral Kitchen Podcast wherever you get your podcasts or stream/download the episode from the link in my profile.

Read More

#57 – Celebrating the Ancestral Food of Wales

In this episode, Alison talks to Carwyn Graves, author of Welsh Food Stories, a beautiful chronicle of the ancestral food of Wales. They talk about food born from landscape, sustainability, women as the holders of ancestral heritage, fermentation, bread and much much more…… Read More

This is what 25kg (55 pounds) of wholegrain spelt flour looks like! . And if you want to know what the same amount of sorghum looks like, check behind the sofa! . Seriously, I have things tucked in places you would not believe! Buying in bulk (here from @tibiona.italia) plus living in a small flat means I have to be resourceful. . This spelt will be portioned into six. One bag will go into the cupboard, one into the fridge and the other four into the freezer (they’ll take up a third of my freezer space, I had to plan!). . Do you keep flour under the bed? Ferments in an airing cupboard? Seeds behind the sofa? I’d love to know :-)

This is what 25kg (55 pounds) of wholegrain spelt flour looks like!
.
And if you want to know what the same amount of sorghum looks like, check behind the sofa!
.
Seriously, I have things tucked in places you would not believe! Buying in bulk (here from @tibiona.italia) plus living in a small flat means I have to be resourceful.
.
This spelt will be portioned into six. One bag will go into the cupboard, one into the fridge and the other four into the freezer (they’ll take up a third of my freezer space, I had to plan!).
.
Do you keep flour under the bed? Ferments in an airing cupboard? Seeds behind the sofa? I’d love to know 🙂

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Most of my meals aren’t dreamy instagrammable shots. They are simple, the work of previous days, repeatable and hopefully as local and nutrient-dense as I can get them. . Here’s pig’s liver from @valledelsasso (choose pigs liver over beef liver if you find the strong flavour difficult – it’s milder). I try to eat liver twice a week – sometimes simply fried like this in the cast iron pan, sometimes mixed with ground beef in meatballs or bolognese. . We’re eating it with the last of the Brussels sprouts from @radiciumane (I’m so sad when Brussels sprouts finish, they are one of the best things about winter!). Plus there’s sourdough bread made from the spent grain from my home-made ale topped with home-rendered lard. . The three cups have the actual rye/oat ancestral ale in them (yes, my 9-year old drinks our ale). It’s low in alcohol, isn’t bitter and feel like a digestive tonic. . @farmandhearth and I are super-excited to announce our @ancestralkitchenpodcast cookbook…coming tomorrow. It includes 20 meals from our kitchens that you can take into yours play with and enjoy!

Most of my meals aren’t dreamy instagrammable shots. They are simple, the work of previous days, repeatable and hopefully as local and nutrient-dense as I can get them.
.
Here’s pig’s liver from @valledelsasso (choose pigs liver over beef liver if you find the strong flavour difficult – it’s milder). I try to eat liver twice a week – sometimes simply fried like this in the cast iron pan, sometimes mixed with ground beef in meatballs or bolognese.
.
We’re eating it with the last of the Brussels sprouts from @radiciumane (I’m so sad when Brussels sprouts finish, they are one of the best things about winter!). Plus there’s sourdough bread made from the spent grain from my home-made ale topped with home-rendered lard.
.
The three cups have the actual rye/oat ancestral ale in them (yes, my 9-year old drinks our ale). It’s low in alcohol, isn’t bitter and feel like a digestive tonic.
.
@farmandhearth and I are super-excited to announce our @ancestralkitchenpodcast cookbook…coming tomorrow. It includes 20 meals from our kitchens that you can take into yours play with and enjoy!

Read More