I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!

This is what excited oats look like! I came into the kitchen this morning to find this jar of oats and water had fermented it’s way up, and almost out, of the jar. . There is no starter here; the mix is just oats and water. The power of natural yeasts and bacteria never fails to astound me! . I stirred this jar, re-mixing the solids, then re-covered it and put it back to continue doing its thing. In a few days time from this I’ll have ‘sowans’ porridge and ‘swats’ probiotic drink. Both are traditional Scottish ferments. . This is my favourite way to ferment oats. I shared it in my video course over at @thefermentationschool. There’s a link to it in my story today if you want to take a look.

This is what excited oats look like! I came into the kitchen this morning to find this jar of oats and water had fermented it’s way up, and almost out, of the jar.
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There is no starter here; the mix is just oats and water. The power of natural yeasts and bacteria never fails to astound me!
.
I stirred this jar, re-mixing the solids, then re-covered it and put it back to continue doing its thing. In a few days time from this I’ll have ‘sowans’ porridge and ‘swats’ probiotic drink. Both are traditional Scottish ferments.
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This is my favourite way to ferment oats. I shared it in my video course over at @thefermentationschool. There’s a link to it in my story today if you want to take a look.

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I spent most of the long weekend on my feet in the kitchen (doing lots of things with pork fat and liver, pictures to follow!) so I wanted a quick and easy breakfast this morning. This took about 5 minutes: I cracked the goose egg (it was huge – check my story today!) in the pan. Whilst it was cooking, I spooned out some previously-cooked millet and heated up an (off camera) cup of pork stock. . Mid-morning I had a snack of pig skin crunchies (I filmed a video on how to make them which will go up soon) and some spelt sourdough and then for lunch I had spiced lentils cooked in stock with broccoli and lard-spread buckwheat sourdough. . This’ll all keep me going whilst I talk transatlantic to @farmandhearth this afternoon. We are excited to watch the community growing around @ancestralkitchenpodcast and want to create space where we can all go deeper, talk longer, share and learn more. Got to get ourselves organised to build what we want to see…I’m doing it lard, stock, egg and lentil fuelled :-)

I spent most of the long weekend on my feet in the kitchen (doing lots of things with pork fat and liver, pictures to follow!) so I wanted a quick and easy breakfast this morning.

This took about 5 minutes: I cracked the goose egg (it was huge – check my story today!) in the pan. Whilst it was cooking, I spooned out some previously-cooked millet and heated up an (off camera) cup of pork stock.
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Mid-morning I had a snack of pig skin crunchies (I filmed a video on how to make them which will go up soon) and some spelt sourdough and then for lunch I had spiced lentils cooked in stock with broccoli and lard-spread buckwheat sourdough.
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This’ll all keep me going whilst I talk transatlantic to @farmandhearth this afternoon. We are excited to watch the community growing around @ancestralkitchenpodcast and want to create space where we can all go deeper, talk longer, share and learn more. Got to get ourselves organised to build what we want to see…I’m doing it lard, stock, egg and lentil fuelled 🙂

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Joy-led kitchen creativity has consistently been the thing that keeps me going. It’s got me through the toughest times of my life. . When I started doing ‘weird things’ with food, I could barely see over the kitchen counter. Early in my life that passion gave itself to serving my sugar addiction (I was 240lbs/20 stone at 20 years old), but creativity also helped me lose the weight I’d piled on; I spent hours concocting ‘alternative’ dishes as I shed half my body weight. . Creating in the kitchen was what led me into eating vegan, and then raw vegan for two years (I wanted to make all the amazing-looking raw food deserts!). And then fermentation led me onwards to an ancestral diet which healed my 5-year-lack-of-a-cycle, enabling me to conceive naturally. . Now, 10 years into eating ancestrally, I couldn’t do my life any other way. I get so much joy from working with ingredients from people who care about what they are growing/raising and I love alchemising them in my tiny kitchen into fizzy ferments, yummy bread or simple, delicious meals. . And so, when I see that same passion in others I am magnetised to it. I love the life, enthusiasm and care that I see in their eyes and taste in their food. @ladivinapizzafirenze is a place that I get. Their pizza is sourdough and their ingredients locally-sourced. The deliciousness, the welcome, the pride and the joy – it is catching (as you can see from my smile!). . The slice in my hands is tomato, red onions previously cooked in chianti and gorgonzola. My other favourite was a pizza filled with slices of Tuscan soppressata (head cheese) which I really want to try and recreate here at home. . Thank you @ladivinapizzafirenze for having a restaurant that I am *really* happy to patronise. And for making the day of my 8 year old son (there are more pictures, including his huge pizza, in my story today).

Joy-led kitchen creativity has consistently been the thing that keeps me going. It’s got me through the toughest times of my life.
.
When I started doing ‘weird things’ with food, I could barely see over the kitchen counter. Early in my life that passion gave itself to serving my sugar addiction (I was 240lbs/20 stone at 20 years old), but creativity also helped me lose the weight I’d piled on; I spent hours concocting ‘alternative’ dishes as I shed half my body weight.
.
Creating in the kitchen was what led me into eating vegan, and then raw vegan for two years (I wanted to make all the amazing-looking raw food deserts!). And then fermentation led me onwards to an ancestral diet which healed my 5-year-lack-of-a-cycle, enabling me to conceive naturally.
.
Now, 10 years into eating ancestrally, I couldn’t do my life any other way. I get so much joy from working with ingredients from people who care about what they are growing/raising and I love alchemising them in my tiny kitchen into fizzy ferments, yummy bread or simple, delicious meals.
.
And so, when I see that same passion in others I am magnetised to it. I love the life, enthusiasm and care that I see in their eyes and taste in their food. @ladivinapizzafirenze is a place that I get. Their pizza is sourdough and their ingredients locally-sourced. The deliciousness, the welcome, the pride and the joy – it is catching (as you can see from my smile!).
.
The slice in my hands is tomato, red onions previously cooked in chianti and gorgonzola. My other favourite was a pizza filled with slices of Tuscan soppressata (head cheese) which I really want to try and recreate here at home.
.
Thank you @ladivinapizzafirenze for having a restaurant that I am *really* happy to patronise. And for making the day of my 8 year old son (there are more pictures, including his huge pizza, in my story today).

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Until last week, I’d always thought of ricotta as soft, fresh, non-salty and an eat-as-soon-as-you-can type of cheese. And then I came across this: ricotta secca, dried ricotta. . It’s hard and dense. It is very salty. It can last in the fridge for up to a year. And, extra bonus, this one is a raw cheese made from grass-fed, organically-raised, unpasteurised local cows milk. . So far, I’ve diced it into really small pieces and sprinkled over millet, as well as stirring some small cubes into cooked pasta. It’s good! . Are you a ricotta fan? Have you ever eaten it this way? . Shout out to @fontedeiserri whose beautiful grass fed products I’ve just discovered.

Until last week, I’d always thought of ricotta as soft, fresh, non-salty and an eat-as-soon-as-you-can type of cheese. And then I came across this: ricotta secca, dried ricotta.
.
It’s hard and dense. It is very salty. It can last in the fridge for up to a year. And, extra bonus, this one is a raw cheese made from grass-fed, organically-raised, unpasteurised local cows milk.
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So far, I’ve diced it into really small pieces and sprinkled over millet, as well as stirring some small cubes into cooked pasta. It’s good!
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Are you a ricotta fan? Have you ever eaten it this way?
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Shout out to @fontedeiserri whose beautiful grass fed products I’ve just discovered.

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After recording an @ancestralkitchenpodcast on stock, I decided to follow @farmandhearth’s advice and roast my bones before I put them in the slow cooker. What a game changer! . I never used to like pork stock, but this gem, from loved-piggies, with previously roasted bones is so good. I cook grains in it, I drink it, I use it in stews and I often poach an egg in it for breakfast. Obviously, upon getting it out of the fridge, I always jiggle it (check my story today for some jiggle-action!) :-) . If you think you don’t like pork stock, I challenge you to find the best pork you can, ask for some bones including trotters or legs and then roast them before making the stock. I think you’ll be won over!

After recording an @ancestralkitchenpodcast on stock, I decided to follow @farmandhearth’s advice and roast my bones before I put them in the slow cooker. What a game changer!
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I never used to like pork stock, but this gem, from loved-piggies, with previously roasted bones is so good. I cook grains in it, I drink it, I use it in stews and I often poach an egg in it for breakfast. Obviously, upon getting it out of the fridge, I always jiggle it (check my story today for some jiggle-action!) 🙂
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If you think you don’t like pork stock, I challenge you to find the best pork you can, ask for some bones including trotters or legs and then roast them before making the stock. I think you’ll be won over!

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For me, there are few books that entertain, move, educate and shock me all in one. This book, Chewing the Fat, by @historicalitalianfood did it all in spades. . The prose is full of such depth of information, as well as being super-readable. The revelations – like those of widespread lard use (rather than olive oil) and the real story of how pizza conquered the world – held me amazed. Hearing the sometimes excrutiatingly difficult journeys of the women Karima interviewed often brought me to tears. . @farmandhearth and I were so excited to interview Karima on the podcast. We asked her all about what *real* Italian food has been and also about what interviewing dozens of women aged 90+ about their life and food was like. . I personally am so grateful that Karima did the work to get these women’s stories down in print before their generation and all they lived disappears. . If you have not read the book, I would totally recommend it. If you want to know more, give the podcast episode a listen. You can find us on your favourite podcast player as @ancestralkitchenpodcast or stream/download any episode from the link in my profile.

For me, there are few books that entertain, move, educate and shock me all in one. This book, Chewing the Fat, by @historicalitalianfood did it all in spades.
.
The prose is full of such depth of information, as well as being super-readable. The revelations – like those of widespread lard use (rather than olive oil) and the real story of how pizza conquered the world – held me amazed. Hearing the sometimes excrutiatingly difficult journeys of the women Karima interviewed often brought me to tears.
.
@farmandhearth and I were so excited to interview Karima on the podcast. We asked her all about what *real* Italian food has been and also about what interviewing dozens of women aged 90+ about their life and food was like.
.
I personally am so grateful that Karima did the work to get these women’s stories down in print before their generation and all they lived disappears.
.
If you have not read the book, I would totally recommend it. If you want to know more, give the podcast episode a listen. You can find us on your favourite podcast player as @ancestralkitchenpodcast or stream/download any episode from the link in my profile.

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Beef tongue marinated in the spice blend I talked about a couple of posts back then slow-cooked for 7 hours. It’s hard to slice fresh, but once cooled and refrigerated it makes the most amazing sliceable sandwich filler that’ll last for days and days. . Here served with raw grated carrot, Brussels sprouts and sourdough rye generously spread with home-rendered lard. I dressed the carrots with olive oil that I had put some fresh rosemary in for a few months (rosemary oil and carrot are a combo I’d recommend). . It’s a close thing whether a prefer beef tongue or beef heart. Both are so easy to slow-cook, so delicious and give you food for days. . Thank you to @ancestralkitchenpodcast listener Kerstin who sent me the tongue recipe. . Next on the one-cook-to-last-all-week list is beef liver pate. Hoping to use @almostbananas recipe for this one.

Beef tongue marinated in the spice blend I talked about a couple of posts back then slow-cooked for 7 hours. It’s hard to slice fresh, but once cooled and refrigerated it makes the most amazing sliceable sandwich filler that’ll last for days and days.
.
Here served with raw grated carrot, Brussels sprouts and sourdough rye generously spread with home-rendered lard. I dressed the carrots with olive oil that I had put some fresh rosemary in for a few months (rosemary oil and carrot are a combo I’d recommend).
.
It’s a close thing whether a prefer beef tongue or beef heart. Both are so easy to slow-cook, so delicious and give you food for days.
.
Thank you to @ancestralkitchenpodcast listener Kerstin who sent me the tongue recipe.
.
Next on the one-cook-to-last-all-week list is beef liver pate. Hoping to use @almostbananas recipe for this one.

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Today is my son’s 8th birthday. To celebrate he wanted pizza. As he’s the pizzaiolo in the house, I handed him the bowl and he mixed the dough. When he gave it back to me, he’d made this shape. . It does not seem 8 years ago today that I was in a big pool of warm water in my mother-in-law’s front room in labour. So much has happened. Not only with my son – who’s been on an incredible health journey – but also with me, his Mum, and his Dad, Rob, the man I love. . We’ve moved countless times, to the coast of Cornwall in the UK and then back to my soul’s home, Italy. Eight years ago I had a life-coaching business. Letting it go, I picked up a paintbrush and a few years later found myself running workshops on how to create with natural pigments and paint. The walls around me are filled with the colours I created. . Then, a couple of years back, the food joy that’s been with me all my life called to be shared beyond our four walls. Instagram and the podcast have helped me feel the wonder of a community who get and like what you do! . And I’m almost at 5k followers, which has all been a bit sudden. Thank you for the interactions. I’ve got to get to doing one of those “this is me” posts soon…in the meantime, I’ve got pizza to enjoy. . Recipe (it’s sourdough spelt) in my linktr.ee.

Today is my son’s 8th birthday. To celebrate he wanted pizza. As he’s the pizzaiolo in the house, I handed him the bowl and he mixed the dough. When he gave it back to me, he’d made this shape.
.
It does not seem 8 years ago today that I was in a big pool of warm water in my mother-in-law’s front room in labour. So much has happened. Not only with my son – who’s been on an incredible health journey – but also with me, his Mum, and his Dad, Rob, the man I love.
.
We’ve moved countless times, to the coast of Cornwall in the UK and then back to my soul’s home, Italy. Eight years ago I had a life-coaching business. Letting it go, I picked up a paintbrush and a few years later found myself running workshops on how to create with natural pigments and paint. The walls around me are filled with the colours I created.
.
Then, a couple of years back, the food joy that’s been with me all my life called to be shared beyond our four walls. Instagram and the podcast have helped me feel the wonder of a community who get and like what you do!
.
And I’m almost at 5k followers, which has all been a bit sudden. Thank you for the interactions. I’ve got to get to doing one of those “this is me” posts soon…in the meantime, I’ve got pizza to enjoy.
.
Recipe (it’s sourdough spelt) in my linktr.ee.

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The best way to feel confident using spices is not to follow someone else’s recipe, but to play with them. . This is a blend of whole spices (including all-spice, juniper, bay, cinnamon, coriander seeds and cloves) which I ground and am using to marinate a beef tongue overnight before slow-cooking it all day. . I may have been a bit heavy on the juniper (I only found it last year and we are still at the honeymoon phase), but I will only know, really know for myself, until I try it and see. . It’s like other kitchen skills we can often be intimidated by – sourdough, cooking fish, starting to ferment. The best way to embody the knowledge that we want is to try and try and try. . On that note, give me some other spices to play with. What do you love ?

The best way to feel confident using spices is not to follow someone else’s recipe, but to play with them.
.
This is a blend of whole spices (including all-spice, juniper, bay, cinnamon, coriander seeds and cloves) which I ground and am using to marinate a beef tongue overnight before slow-cooking it all day.
.
I may have been a bit heavy on the juniper (I only found it last year and we are still at the honeymoon phase), but I will only know, really know for myself, until I try it and see.
.
It’s like other kitchen skills we can often be intimidated by – sourdough, cooking fish, starting to ferment. The best way to embody the knowledge that we want is to try and try and try.
.
On that note, give me some other spices to play with. What do you love ?

Read More

These pig skin cracklings are out-of-this-world good. Crispy, crunchy, light and airy. Sprinkled with salt they are a delightful, decadent-feeling and sensation-providing treat! . I’d been wanting to try them for ages after having seen them on @mereleighfood’s feed. Here’s how it happened: . I got some pork skin from Flavio, my farmer @valledelsasso, scraped it, chopped it, boiled it, dehydrated it and then finally got to deep fry it in lard. This was the stage that got me: I gently dropped these hard, dry bits of skin in the fat and then pow – suddenly they airified (I’m making that a word!) and puffed up. I had been skeptical it was going to work and I was like a child at Christmas watching the transformation. . A lot of work, but totally worth it. I’m guessing this pig skin would have been thrown away if I hadn’t asked for it. Instead of the bin, it ended up as these gorgeous little things! . If you can get good quality pig skin and you have lard and a sense of adventure, I’d totally recommend having a go. More pics in my story today.

These pig skin cracklings are out-of-this-world good. Crispy, crunchy, light and airy. Sprinkled with salt they are a delightful, decadent-feeling and sensation-providing treat!
.
I’d been wanting to try them for ages after having seen them on @mereleighfood’s feed. Here’s how it happened:
.
I got some pork skin from Flavio, my farmer @valledelsasso, scraped it, chopped it, boiled it, dehydrated it and then finally got to deep fry it in lard. This was the stage that got me: I gently dropped these hard, dry bits of skin in the fat and then pow – suddenly they airified (I’m making that a word!) and puffed up. I had been skeptical it was going to work and I was like a child at Christmas watching the transformation.
.
A lot of work, but totally worth it. I’m guessing this pig skin would have been thrown away if I hadn’t asked for it. Instead of the bin, it ended up as these gorgeous little things!
.
If you can get good quality pig skin and you have lard and a sense of adventure, I’d totally recommend having a go. More pics in my story today.

Read More