I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!

These are ‘niblets’, named that by my 7 year-old. He loves them. So do I. . Niblets are the crunchy pieces of solid fat that are left-over after rendering lard in the slow-cooker all day. . I had them here for supper last night. I sprinkled them with salt and served with some #lectinfree millet and sorghum sourdough warmed gently in the cast iron pan and topped with #rawmilk Parmesan. Alongside was a sliced tomato from Irene at our local farmers’ market. . Eating real food, I consistently leave the table satisfied. My senses have been fed, my tummy’s been given something that it can digest and loves and my sanity and sense of economy knows that every penny spent on this meal went to places that I really want it to go. . I love that I can harness the power of my plate in this way.

These are ‘niblets’, named that by my 7 year-old. He loves them. So do I.
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Niblets are the crunchy pieces of solid fat that are left-over after rendering lard in the slow-cooker all day.
.
I had them here for supper last night. I sprinkled them with salt and served with some #lectinfree millet and sorghum sourdough warmed gently in the cast iron pan and topped with #rawmilk Parmesan. Alongside was a sliced tomato from Irene at our local farmers’ market.
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Eating real food, I consistently leave the table satisfied. My senses have been fed, my tummy’s been given something that it can digest and loves and my sanity and sense of economy knows that every penny spent on this meal went to places that I really want it to go.
.
I love that I can harness the power of my plate in this way.

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Freshly rolled oats are such a beautiful food. Oats are good whatever, right, but freshly rolled, they become a heaven-sent food. Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that they are high in fat and the freshness preserves that? Or perhaps it’s something more tangential, like the love that goes into them when you grind yourself? . These oats are destined for sourdough porridge. There’s a video linked in my profile if you want to see how it’s done. . Before I pop them in the porridge mix to ferment, I’ll put them in a sieve and agitate them over a large bowl. The ‘crumbs’ that fall into the bowl I’ll also be fermenting. These will become ‘Sowans’, the traditional Scottish oat ferment. . My head’s full of Sowans at the moment. I’ve just spent two consecutive Sunday afternoons filming a Sowans course for @thefermentationschool. In it, there will be full instructions on how to make this ferment whatever equipment you have in your kitchen. I am excited about releasing it next month!

Freshly rolled oats are such a beautiful food. Oats are good whatever, right, but freshly rolled, they become a heaven-sent food. Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that they are high in fat and the freshness preserves that? Or perhaps it’s something more tangential, like the love that goes into them when you grind yourself?
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These oats are destined for sourdough porridge. There’s a video linked in my profile if you want to see how it’s done.
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Before I pop them in the porridge mix to ferment, I’ll put them in a sieve and agitate them over a large bowl. The ‘crumbs’ that fall into the bowl I’ll also be fermenting. These will become ‘Sowans’, the traditional Scottish oat ferment.
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My head’s full of Sowans at the moment. I’ve just spent two consecutive Sunday afternoons filming a Sowans course for @thefermentationschool. In it, there will be full instructions on how to make this ferment whatever equipment you have in your kitchen. I am excited about releasing it next month!

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Rendering lard today with fat from @valledelsasso. We use lard as a cooking medium (for everything from pancakes to chard) and also as spread, much like butter. . It’s easy to render from back fat at home in a slow cooker. I get up early and put the slow cooker on low. I chop the fat into c. 2cm cubes (as you can see here) and then pop it in the cooker with the lid on. Every hour or so I tip the contents of the cooking pot into a metal sieve above a metal bowl. The liquid fat drains through and then I pop the solid fat back into the cooking pot. . The whole process usually takes about 9 hours. By tea-time we have warm, crunchy lard ‘niblets’ (as my son calls them) which are truly heavenly. I freeze 2/3rds of the fat and the supply (from 3kg back fat) will last us a month. . Do you render your own?

Rendering lard today with fat from @valledelsasso. We use lard as a cooking medium (for everything from pancakes to chard) and also as spread, much like butter.
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It’s easy to render from back fat at home in a slow cooker. I get up early and put the slow cooker on low. I chop the fat into c. 2cm cubes (as you can see here) and then pop it in the cooker with the lid on. Every hour or so I tip the contents of the cooking pot into a metal sieve above a metal bowl. The liquid fat drains through and then I pop the solid fat back into the cooking pot.
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The whole process usually takes about 9 hours. By tea-time we have warm, crunchy lard ‘niblets’ (as my son calls them) which are truly heavenly. I freeze 2/3rds of the fat and the supply (from 3kg back fat) will last us a month.
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Do you render your own?

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Breakfast fit for a king (well, my 7 year-old thinks he *is* The King, at least in our house!): Sourdough spelt pancake, local watermelon, ‘waste’ water kefir grains, ground linseed and soaked and dehydrated crunchy almonds. . He then gets to be in charge of the olive oil bottle, liberally dousing the goodies. . We usually eat a incidentally vegan breakfast. I wholeheartedly believe that any sustainable agricultural process needs animals at its core, but it doesn’t mean we eat their produce with every meal. This plate will be devoured by a little man who eats animal produce (including offal and lots of fat) at other meals and – importantly for me – everything on the dish comes from Italy, most of it from Tuscany. . I’d love to hear whether ancestral eating for you means animal produce at every meal and how you feel about the non-animal foods that you have available locally.

Breakfast fit for a king (well, my 7 year-old thinks he *is* The King, at least in our house!): Sourdough spelt pancake, local watermelon, ‘waste’ water kefir grains, ground linseed and soaked and dehydrated crunchy almonds.
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He then gets to be in charge of the olive oil bottle, liberally dousing the goodies.
.
We usually eat a incidentally vegan breakfast. I wholeheartedly believe that any sustainable agricultural process needs animals at its core, but it doesn’t mean we eat their produce with every meal. This plate will be devoured by a little man who eats animal produce (including offal and lots of fat) at other meals and – importantly for me – everything on the dish comes from Italy, most of it from Tuscany.
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I’d love to hear whether ancestral eating for you means animal produce at every meal and how you feel about the non-animal foods that you have available locally.

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Spelt sourdough with left-over oat porridge mixed in before the fermentation. This is such an easy way to give a spelt loaf a softer crumb and to make it last longer…let alone the lovely oat tang you get. . If you want to try this, there’s a recipe linked in my profile for Spelt Sourdough with a ‘scald’. Just replace the scald bit with the same weight of cold porridge. Works a treat. . And if you are a porridge fan, do check out my fermented oats video (also linked in my profile) where I talk you through how to make a breaky that’s super tasty and super-healthy!

Spelt sourdough with left-over oat porridge mixed in before the fermentation. This is such an easy way to give a spelt loaf a softer crumb and to make it last longer…let alone the lovely oat tang you get.
.
If you want to try this, there’s a recipe linked in my profile for Spelt Sourdough with a ‘scald’. Just replace the scald bit with the same weight of cold porridge. Works a treat.
.
And if you are a porridge fan, do check out my fermented oats video (also linked in my profile) where I talk you through how to make a breaky that’s super tasty and super-healthy!

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Gabriel, my 7 year-old son, loves being in the kitchen…but ideally he wants to be there on *his* terms. That means Mum has no say over what the ingredients are and what is done with them, she’s just there to reach/do the things he can’t. . Sometimes this produces ‘interesting’ results, but I like to let him do it. Because I want him to feel creatively expressed, because it’s fun and because I actually learn so much from him. (And Dadda can usually be relied on to eat whatever comes of the session!) . This morning was a winner. He took some local plums, chopped and cooked them on the hob, adding cinnamon. He then stirred in some of my fermented oat drink, swats. It ended up as a tart, sweet and warm fruit jam. Then he cut up some apple slices and served the dish as part of our lunch. . He ate almost all of it. I think that’s well-deserved! . Picture of the chef with his creation in my story today.

Gabriel, my 7 year-old son, loves being in the kitchen…but ideally he wants to be there on *his* terms. That means Mum has no say over what the ingredients are and what is done with them, she’s just there to reach/do the things he can’t.
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Sometimes this produces ‘interesting’ results, but I like to let him do it. Because I want him to feel creatively expressed, because it’s fun and because I actually learn so much from him. (And Dadda can usually be relied on to eat whatever comes of the session!)
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This morning was a winner. He took some local plums, chopped and cooked them on the hob, adding cinnamon. He then stirred in some of my fermented oat drink, swats. It ended up as a tart, sweet and warm fruit jam. Then he cut up some apple slices and served the dish as part of our lunch.
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He ate almost all of it. I think that’s well-deserved!
.
Picture of the chef with his creation in my story today.

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Cooking three meals a day from scratch, fermenting and baking bread – they all require kitchen equipment. But how much of it is actually essential? What’s really useful, and how do you manage it in a small space? . Andrea and I tackle this topic in today’s podcast episode. We talk about the equipment we have, how we use it and what we couldn’t live without. . I’d love to hear what you use in your home. What are your top 3 kitchen tools? . You can find @ancestralkitchenpodcast in all the usual places, or download/stream it from the link in my profile.

Cooking three meals a day from scratch, fermenting and baking bread – they all require kitchen equipment. But how much of it is actually essential? What’s really useful, and how do you manage it in a small space?
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Andrea and I tackle this topic in today’s podcast episode. We talk about the equipment we have, how we use it and what we couldn’t live without.
.
I’d love to hear what you use in your home. What are your top 3 kitchen tools?
.
You can find @ancestralkitchenpodcast in all the usual places, or download/stream it from the link in my profile.

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Following on the success of my garden basil fermentation, I decided to do the same with my three abundant chive plants. After giving them all a hair cut, I pounded the stems with 3% salt and pushed them into this jar with a little topping of olive oil. . After almost a week on the counter, it’s got that gorgeous ‘roasted onion’ smell. It’s my hubby’s birthday soon and I’m thinking of saving this till then and letting him have the first go at spreading it on some freshly-baked spelt sourdough focaccia.

Following on the success of my garden basil fermentation, I decided to do the same with my three abundant chive plants. After giving them all a hair cut, I pounded the stems with 3% salt and pushed them into this jar with a little topping of olive oil.
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After almost a week on the counter, it’s got that gorgeous ‘roasted onion’ smell. It’s my hubby’s birthday soon and I’m thinking of saving this till then and letting him have the first go at spreading it on some freshly-baked spelt sourdough focaccia.

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Want to ferment your grains in a simple and easy process? I’ll walk you through it in my series of 3 videos! . Check my homepage www.ancestralkitchen.com for the first one, which is all about sourdough porridge. That’ll lead you on to another showing you how to make sourdough polenta out of *any* grain and then a third that’ll walk you through my favourite: sourdough polenta bread! . I’m so happy to get this info out there. And feedback is my lifeblood, so let me know what you think and share the vids with anyone who you think will like them. Thank you!

Want to ferment your grains in a simple and easy process? I’ll walk you through it in my series of 3 videos!
.
Check my homepage www.ancestralkitchen.com for the first one, which is all about sourdough porridge. That’ll lead you on to another showing you how to make sourdough polenta out of *any* grain and then a third that’ll walk you through my favourite: sourdough polenta bread!
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I’m so happy to get this info out there. And feedback is my lifeblood, so let me know what you think and share the vids with anyone who you think will like them. Thank you!

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The finished carrot root beer! It’s fizzy, thanks to the microbes in the whey I used as a starter and has a really deep flavour (I included molasses and caraway seeds in the mixture). . @farmandhearth inspired me to make root beer – she demoed it on the Nourishing Traditions cook-up we did for our podcast patrons earlier in the summer. I had never drunk (let alone made) it before then! . If you have the cookbook Nourishing Traditions, do check out the beverages chapter – it’s a goldmine!

The finished carrot root beer! It’s fizzy, thanks to the microbes in the whey I used as a starter and has a really deep flavour (I included molasses and caraway seeds in the mixture).
.
@farmandhearth inspired me to make root beer – she demoed it on the Nourishing Traditions cook-up we did for our podcast patrons earlier in the summer. I had never drunk (let alone made) it before then!
.
If you have the cookbook Nourishing Traditions, do check out the beverages chapter – it’s a goldmine!

Read More