I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!
From Instagram
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Cakey, moreish, chompable, satisfyingly-squeezy, rich, comforting…soda bread it so very good. And with my guide, you can bake it easily whilst still ensuring it’s nutrient-dense. The link is in my profile…I’d love it if you’d cook along with me this month.

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Next week it is my birthday. I will be 45. And what is the ‘treat’ I’ve requested? I want to make Borscht – the Eastern European beet soup/stew – for the first time. I’ve been eyeing the recipe in the Russian cookbook from @darra.goldstein for months.
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So here’s the beet kvass, that I need to let ferment for at least 5 days before I can use it as one of the ingredients. The spice mix you can see in the jars with the beets (garlic, caraway seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seeds) was inspired by my Polish friend. I’ve only every made beet kvass with just beets before – but apparently this is how they do it where she comes from and the thought got me excited.
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We also need, among other things, a beef joint, a whole load more beet and a cabbage. I think it’ll take about 3 and a half hours.
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My kitchen apron is purple. It was meant to be ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Have you ever eaten off a table? I mean literally the food served directly on the table and no plates? I am totally in love with this ‘Polenta on the Table’ recipe from a @chef_valentina cookbook I picked up in a charity shop in the UK. The image she creates of everyone digging in and then forks chinking together at the end has me bouncing up and down wanting to cook and serve it.
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How would you feel eating food like this? Seriously….do you think I’m bonkers?!
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I have a thing about tables. Ours is chestnut wood. We bought it second-hand from an Italian lady – it was made my her husband. I love what Valentina says about tables:
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“The best kind of table is one that is much battle-scarred and imbued with flavours of a thousand and one meals prepared and eaten on it with love and care.”
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Sigh…

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From Instagram
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All rose petals are edible. Water kefir on a second ferment is a great place for them. They give a delicate floral flavour to the bubbles and make it look a shade like pink champagne.

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Is a pizza a pizza if it doesn’t have tomato or cheese? Perhaps it’s a focaccia (or as they are called in Tuscany, schiacciata)? This was supposed to be a Fitascetta, but it’s not as I couldn’t find red onions in the groovy local shop that I have fallen in love with since lockdown.
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Arghh…you know what (she says quietly considering she lives in Tuscany), I don’t really care what it is. Or if it breaks the ‘rules’. What I know that it tastes d.i.v.i.n.e. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Sourdough spelt dough, mixed by my 6-year old, topped with lard-fried onions, olives, olive oil, garlic and oregano from the garden. Every ingredients is organic. It took 5 minutes in our oven – that’s the quickest I’ve ever got a pizza done. It makes such a difference to the base and dough.
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We’ve got a huge wooden table in our kitchen. There’s extra space. I wish you could come and share…

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Are you cooking along with me this month?! The recipe is nutritionally-dense soda bread. You can cook it you way – choose your flour, choose your liquid, choose what yummies you add. And you can choose to do these scones – I added lemon zest and raisins to the dough. They are good. Proper good ๐Ÿ™‚
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All the details in the link on my bio.
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Give it a read, cook it up, eat it (the best bit) and then show and tell me what you’ve done.

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The best pizza dough maker in the house. Seriously, the dough he makes is far better than mine. I think it’s because he takes a loooong time over it so it gets super-worked.
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Looking forward to eating this tomorrow – it will go in the fridge tonight to long ferment. I think I’m going to make a Fitascetta, which is a dough (in this case wholegrain sourdough spelt) topped with an enormous quantity of fried red onions.

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Chicken stock. Today I am coming to the end of a fast. I love food and am a grumpy faster. But I appreciate what it brings me and very much believe it has an important place in the routine of our days and weeks.
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Eating is not just about fuel. And fasting brings with it much mental and emotional challenge. To not base my life around food. To see how much I do use it as an escape, despite years of self-work. To rest, truly rest – man, how hard is that?
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We fast as a family, together makes so much difference. Up till recently, it’s been ad-hoc, whenever a health challenge presented itself. But more and more we plan to work it into our weekly routine. The grumpy me doesn’t like that. but all the other parts of me think it’s a brilliant step.

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From Instagram
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Want to bake bread with me? This month’s @ancestralcookup is bread. Gorgeous, dense, cakey soda bread…but with a twist – made ancestrally so that it’s as nutrient-dense as it possibly can be.
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I’ve written up a template recipe that you can take and adapt to your kitchen, your supplies, your preferences. I’ve even included a method to make soda scones – trust me, they are delicious!
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Here’s how:
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Click the link in my profile.
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Adapt the recipe to suit you.
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Bake it sometime this month (or two or three times this month!).
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Share it here and tag me.
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Enjoy it! Fresh. Toasted. With stew. With butter. With cheese. In you PJs. However you like ๐Ÿ™‚

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Nutrient-Dense Soda Bread
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I love bread. And I love sharing it. In the real world, that’s not so easy right now, but in the online world I can fling my kitchen doors open and invite you to bake some soda bread with me … Read More