I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!

My nearly eight year old man-handling the ancestral beer! . This one is wild fermented local spelt grain with Italian heather added. The spent grain has already been used to make bread. . I’m hoping to use the mead I’ve been making recently to ‘start’ my next beer batch. I’ll report back! . My son drinks this beer (though not in the quantity he is pouring here). He loves the flavour and it’s so low alcohol. It feels like a celebration every time we brew and I love sharing that with my family.

My nearly eight year old man-handling the ancestral beer!
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This one is wild fermented local spelt grain with Italian heather added. The spent grain has already been used to make bread.
.
I’m hoping to use the mead I’ve been making recently to ‘start’ my next beer batch. I’ll report back!
.
My son drinks this beer (though not in the quantity he is pouring here). He loves the flavour and it’s so low alcohol. It feels like a celebration every time we brew and I love sharing that with my family.

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For a long time I’ve read that it’s important to watch proofing rye breads like a hawk. And I didn’t really get why, because my rye breads appeared to work whether I watched them or whether I got involved in something else completely and only remembered them at tea time. . But the last few months, I’ve given myself to sourdough rye bread in a super-deep way as I’m creating a course, Getting Started with Rye Sourdough, for @thefermentationschool. And now I *get* why it’s important to watch your rye. . This loaf, which is 100% wholegrain sourdough rye, rose immensely in the oven. When it went in it was level with the tin. I’d never seen anything like it. It did this because I watched it whilst it proofed and I got it into the oven *just* when I started to see little holes appearing on its surface. That meant that the crumb structure was still able to hold gas, and because of that it held the gas that was released in the first few minutes of baking. . Sourdough baking is a haven for the curious, and rye sourdough baking, especially at 100% wholegrain, is even more delightful. I’m going to enjoy squeezing this loaf when it’s cool :-)

For a long time I’ve read that it’s important to watch proofing rye breads like a hawk. And I didn’t really get why, because my rye breads appeared to work whether I watched them or whether I got involved in something else completely and only remembered them at tea time.
.
But the last few months, I’ve given myself to sourdough rye bread in a super-deep way as I’m creating a course, Getting Started with Rye Sourdough, for @thefermentationschool. And now I *get* why it’s important to watch your rye.
.
This loaf, which is 100% wholegrain sourdough rye, rose immensely in the oven. When it went in it was level with the tin. I’d never seen anything like it. It did this because I watched it whilst it proofed and I got it into the oven *just* when I started to see little holes appearing on its surface. That meant that the crumb structure was still able to hold gas, and because of that it held the gas that was released in the first few minutes of baking.
.
Sourdough baking is a haven for the curious, and rye sourdough baking, especially at 100% wholegrain, is even more delightful. I’m going to enjoy squeezing this loaf when it’s cool 🙂

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Yesterday I met the lovely @leah_learns_to_cook and fed her my fermented millet drink, Boza. . She was super-excited to try it because she loves ferments but also because she had read about how it’s historically been a main-stay in Turkey through the book, A Strangeness in My Mind, by Orhan Pamuk. . It’s a story of a Boza seller, Mevlut who plies the streets of Istanbul. And I want to read it…maybe whilst drinking some Boza?! . This is the ferment on day one. When it’s done, it’ll be sweet, fizzy, a little sour and really moreish. I’ll drink it straight and use it as the base for smoothies. . It’s gluten free, dairy free and lectin free and teeming with good bacteria. . If you want to have a go (maybe whilst reading the book?!) I have a set of videos that’ll talk you through it. Click on the linktr.ee and scroll down to courses to see the details.

Yesterday I met the lovely @leah_learns_to_cook and fed her my fermented millet drink, Boza.
.
She was super-excited to try it because she loves ferments but also because she had read about how it’s historically been a main-stay in Turkey through the book, A Strangeness in My Mind, by Orhan Pamuk.
.
It’s a story of a Boza seller, Mevlut who plies the streets of Istanbul. And I want to read it…maybe whilst drinking some Boza?!
.
This is the ferment on day one. When it’s done, it’ll be sweet, fizzy, a little sour and really moreish. I’ll drink it straight and use it as the base for smoothies.
.
It’s gluten free, dairy free and lectin free and teeming with good bacteria.
.
If you want to have a go (maybe whilst reading the book?!) I have a set of videos that’ll talk you through it. Click on the linktr.ee and scroll down to courses to see the details.

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In a year of recording podcasts with @farmandhearth, I have been astounded so many times by wisdom she’s *just*picked*up* by coming from a large family. . She honed her kitchen skills early, becoming the cook her for siblings and parents aged 13. She saw babies bring born and held them all through her early years. She has an embodied knowledge of how a community can share and work together in a way that creates more than the individuals could alone. . And finally, I got her to talk about it with the red record button on! Check out the latest podcast ‘Raising a large family the ancestral way’ by looking for Ancestral Kitchen in your podcast app, or streaming/downloading from the site (link in profile). . We really appreciate all the love for the podcast. Thank you. Our downloads are going up (we’re over 800 for the recent episode on stock) and we’re loving the recordings. Watch out for more goodies coming to the Patreon feed soon – we just can’t stop :-)

In a year of recording podcasts with @farmandhearth, I have been astounded so many times by wisdom she’s *just*picked*up* by coming from a large family.
.
She honed her kitchen skills early, becoming the cook her for siblings and parents aged 13. She saw babies bring born and held them all through her early years. She has an embodied knowledge of how a community can share and work together in a way that creates more than the individuals could alone.
.
And finally, I got her to talk about it with the red record button on! Check out the latest podcast ‘Raising a large family the ancestral way’ by looking for Ancestral Kitchen in your podcast app, or streaming/downloading from the site (link in profile).
.
We really appreciate all the love for the podcast. Thank you. Our downloads are going up (we’re over 800 for the recent episode on stock) and we’re loving the recordings. Watch out for more goodies coming to the Patreon feed soon – we just can’t stop 🙂

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Alison in Pictures

My life, body and eating habits have changed dramatically through the years. Here I share with you some pictures which hopefully help instill the idea that change is totally possible and by altering what we eat and how we live … Read More

There are some videos of this bread, steaming from the oven, in my story today. I could *not* leave it until cold. I’ve got pretty good self-control…but this was just too much! . It’s my latest lard bread experiment – rolled up sourdough spelt with cracklings left over from rendering lard inside. . Breads like this – with left over lard bits – have been made in Italy (and throughout the world) ancestrally. And tasting it, you’d know why. . If you want to have a go, use my sourdough spelt pizza base recipe (linked in profile) and follow the pictures in my story, sprinkling and rolling up. Then support in a loaf tin and cook at a temperature a little lower than you would a normal loaf. . Tell me if you make, or remember your family making breads with cracklings. I’d love to hear of other traditions.

There are some videos of this bread, steaming from the oven, in my story today. I could *not* leave it until cold. I’ve got pretty good self-control…but this was just too much!
.
It’s my latest lard bread experiment – rolled up sourdough spelt with cracklings left over from rendering lard inside.
.
Breads like this – with left over lard bits – have been made in Italy (and throughout the world) ancestrally. And tasting it, you’d know why.
.
If you want to have a go, use my sourdough spelt pizza base recipe (linked in profile) and follow the pictures in my story, sprinkling and rolling up. Then support in a loaf tin and cook at a temperature a little lower than you would a normal loaf.
.
Tell me if you make, or remember your family making breads with cracklings. I’d love to hear of other traditions.

Read More

The most common response I’ve had to people trying my slow-cooked beef heart recipe is, “It tastes like roast beef”. . It’s a shock. And it was for me the first time I tried it. Beef heart is delicious, and I just wasn’t expecting that! . My recipe, which is seriously hands-off, is up on the WAPF website. There’s a link to it in my profile. . Here’s today’s lunch: slices of the slow-cooked heart (bought from my #farmerman, Flavio @valledelsasso), steamed cauliflower (bought from Massi at @radiciumane) and slices of spelt sourdough (recipe also in my profile), spread generously with home-rendered lard.

The most common response I’ve had to people trying my slow-cooked beef heart recipe is, “It tastes like roast beef”.
.
It’s a shock. And it was for me the first time I tried it. Beef heart is delicious, and I just wasn’t expecting that!
.
My recipe, which is seriously hands-off, is up on the WAPF website. There’s a link to it in my profile.
.
Here’s today’s lunch: slices of the slow-cooked heart (bought from my #farmerman, Flavio @valledelsasso), steamed cauliflower (bought from Massi at @radiciumane) and slices of spelt sourdough (recipe also in my profile), spread generously with home-rendered lard.

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As you probably know, I’m obsessed with fermented porridge. But eating the same thing every day, even if I love it, isn’t the best thing for my soul. . It’s easy for me to get stuck, or sucked into ruts, food-wise; sometimes I have to be dragged kicking and screaming out of them! I’ve always been this way; I was like it when I was twice the weight I am now, and I’m like it now, even though my food and life have seen a 180-degree change. . But I know when I let go of my ‘must-have’ and change it up, I see (and taste!) things I couldn’t when I was down in the rut and I emerge a little smarter with my foods. . This morning I had previously-cooked millet, heated in some gelatinous pork stock, miso stirred in, an egg poached in it and some fresh coriander chopped onto the top. Plus black pepper, as I don’t seem to be able to eat egg without black pepper! . I’m not the only one who gets stuck in (sometimes glorious!) food ruts, right??! I’d love to feel your solidarity! Go ahead and share :-) . If you don’t happen to know about my fermented porridge check out the free video series linked in my profile. Or if it’s the gelatinous pork stock that catches you instead, go to @ancestralkitchenpodcast and listen to our last but one episode on stock.

As you probably know, I’m obsessed with fermented porridge. But eating the same thing every day, even if I love it, isn’t the best thing for my soul.
.
It’s easy for me to get stuck, or sucked into ruts, food-wise; sometimes I have to be dragged kicking and screaming out of them! I’ve always been this way; I was like it when I was twice the weight I am now, and I’m like it now, even though my food and life have seen a 180-degree change.
.
But I know when I let go of my ‘must-have’ and change it up, I see (and taste!) things I couldn’t when I was down in the rut and I emerge a little smarter with my foods.
.
This morning I had previously-cooked millet, heated in some gelatinous pork stock, miso stirred in, an egg poached in it and some fresh coriander chopped onto the top. Plus black pepper, as I don’t seem to be able to eat egg without black pepper!
.
I’m not the only one who gets stuck in (sometimes glorious!) food ruts, right??! I’d love to feel your solidarity! Go ahead and share 🙂
.
If you don’t happen to know about my fermented porridge check out the free video series linked in my profile. Or if it’s the gelatinous pork stock that catches you instead, go to @ancestralkitchenpodcast and listen to our last but one episode on stock.

Read More