I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!
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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!
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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.
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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.
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@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.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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Thank you to @ancestralkitchenpodcast listener Kerstin who sent me the tongue recipe.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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On that note, give me some other spices to play with. What do you love ?

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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!
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I’d been wanting to try them for ages after having seen them on @mereleighfood’s feed. Here’s how it happened:
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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.
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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!
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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.

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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.
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I’m hoping to use the mead I’ve been making recently to ‘start’ my next beer batch. I’ll report back!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?!
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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.
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It’s gluten free, dairy free and lectin free and teeming with good bacteria.
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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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