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The knife, in my right hand, hovers above a vastness of smooth, deep red. My left hand, spread wide, comes down onto this mass – a whole beef liver – to hold it steady while I slice thin strips. The … Read More

This is soppressata toscana. It is made with ‘waste’; the parts of a pig which, these days, most people don’t eat. It came to us from Francesca, who runs the organic farm up the hill with her husband. . It tastes delicious. . I adore the fact that I live in a place where nose-to-tail traditions are very much alive. . And I want to learn how to make this :-)

This is soppressata toscana. It is made with ‘waste’; the parts of a pig which, these days, most people don’t eat. It came to us from Francesca, who runs the organic farm up the hill with her husband.
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It tastes delicious.
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I adore the fact that I live in a place where nose-to-tail traditions are very much alive.
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And I want to learn how to make this 🙂

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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 :-) . All the details in the link on my bio. . Give it a read, cook it up, eat it (the best bit) and then show and tell me what you’ve done.

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 🙂
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All the details in the link on my bio.
.
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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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. . 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! . Here’s how: . Click the link in my profile. . Adapt the recipe to suit you. . Bake it sometime this month (or two or three times this month!). . Share it here and tag me. . Enjoy it! Fresh. Toasted. With stew. With butter. With cheese. In you PJs. However you like :-)

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.
.
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!
.
Here’s how:
.
Click the link in my profile.
.
Adapt the recipe to suit you.
.
Bake it sometime this month (or two or three times this month!).
.
Share it here and tag me.
.
Enjoy it! Fresh. Toasted. With stew. With butter. With cheese. In you PJs. However you like 🙂

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We’ve an organic farm a few miles uphill from our place. Last time my husband ran there he came back with an absolutely huge piece of beef fat. We used the slow cooker to render this – tallow. . Tallow is good for a lot of reasons. It’s a saturated fat with naturally-occurring A, D, E and K. The reason I love it so much though is that it’s very stable at high temperatures, which means I can use it in my super-hot cast iron pan for frying without worrying. . We got this beef fat for literally pennies (they throw it away) and from it have rendered bowls of tallow that, with the other fats I use (lard, olive oil and coconut oil) will last us several months.

We’ve an organic farm a few miles uphill from our place. Last time my husband ran there he came back with an absolutely huge piece of beef fat. We used the slow cooker to render this – tallow.
.
Tallow is good for a lot of reasons. It’s a saturated fat with naturally-occurring A, D, E and K. The reason I love it so much though is that it’s very stable at high temperatures, which means I can use it in my super-hot cast iron pan for frying without worrying.
.
We got this beef fat for literally pennies (they throw it away) and from it have rendered bowls of tallow that, with the other fats I use (lard, olive oil and coconut oil) will last us several months.

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I managed to find wholegrain spelt flour again and am back to baking my favourite 100% wholegrain spelt sourdough loaf. The experience of eating it makes me realise just how much I prefer wholegrain hands-down to white or semi-white flour. Its texture and taste pleases me so much. And, thanks to the @smallfoodbakery post about milling waste the other day, I realise just how much it is an environmentally and socially good choice too. . After experimenting with sourdough wholegrain spelt loaves for a while and finding that they went stale quite soon, I tried adding a ‘scald’ to the dough. That is a portion of flour that is made into a roux beforehand and added into the mixing bowl with my flour, salt, starter and water. It makes such a difference – the loaf is softer, more sliceable and ages better. . At some point, I’ll write it up. In fact, at some point, I’ll get to documenting a whole load about wholegrain sourdough. It is magic. . Wish you were here for lunch :-)

I managed to find wholegrain spelt flour again and am back to baking my favourite 100% wholegrain spelt sourdough loaf. The experience of eating it makes me realise just how much I prefer wholegrain hands-down to white or semi-white flour. Its texture and taste pleases me so much. And, thanks to the @smallfoodbakery post about milling waste the other day, I realise just how much it is an environmentally and socially good choice too.
.
After experimenting with sourdough wholegrain spelt loaves for a while and finding that they went stale quite soon, I tried adding a ‘scald’ to the dough. That is a portion of flour that is made into a roux beforehand and added into the mixing bowl with my flour, salt, starter and water. It makes such a difference – the loaf is softer, more sliceable and ages better.
.
At some point, I’ll write it up. In fact, at some point, I’ll get to documenting a whole load about wholegrain sourdough. It is magic.
.
Wish you were here for lunch 🙂

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This is a milestone in our house. Fresh liver from a local organic farm. The first we’ve sourced since moving to Italy. My husband ran up a hill for an hour with a slip that explained what he was doing outside the house in his pocket. . It is from a Cinta Senese pig – a variety that is highly prized here. We bought the whole liver – it was huge. It is so delicious, mild, soft and melt in the mouth. . Eating local liver again makes me feel empowered – to be making use of a part of the animal that is usually shunned, to be feeding my two boys serious amounts of vitamins A, D, E and K, to be supporting a local farm who care for these animals.

This is a milestone in our house. Fresh liver from a local organic farm. The first we’ve sourced since moving to Italy. My husband ran up a hill for an hour with a slip that explained what he was doing outside the house in his pocket.
.
It is from a Cinta Senese pig – a variety that is highly prized here. We bought the whole liver – it was huge. It is so delicious, mild, soft and melt in the mouth.
.
Eating local liver again makes me feel empowered – to be making use of a part of the animal that is usually shunned, to be feeding my two boys serious amounts of vitamins A, D, E and K, to be supporting a local farm who care for these animals.

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Have you ever cooked with wholegrain (i.e. brown) millet? I didn’t even know you could buy it with the hulls on until I saw it at a healthfood store here in Italy. I got very excited and promptly bought two packets! . Researching told me it’s most often used in Asian cuisine to make dumplings, but it does have a history here in Italy, where millet, often brown, as flour was added to bread mixes. . I love fermenting grains and got exploring. This is what I came up with. Here you see the two grains about to be soaked. I do this for at least a day as the brown millet is hard. Then I drain and rinse and leave to sprout. The tiny tails on the little grains as so cute! Then I food process for a long time with a little starter and leave for another day or two to ferment. It takes on a cheesey funk that is gorgeous. Then I either make porridge with it or bake it into cakes. . I’ll snap some pics the next day or two to show you the outcome. . Can you buy it in your part of the world? Have you used it? What do you do? I’d love to meet another brown millet fermenting geek :-)

Have you ever cooked with wholegrain (i.e. brown) millet? I didn’t even know you could buy it with the hulls on until I saw it at a healthfood store here in Italy. I got very excited and promptly bought two packets! .
Researching told me it’s most often used in Asian cuisine to make dumplings, but it does have a history here in Italy, where millet, often brown, as flour was added to bread mixes.
.
I love fermenting grains and got exploring. This is what I came up with. Here you see the two grains about to be soaked. I do this for at least a day as the brown millet is hard. Then I drain and rinse and leave to sprout. The tiny tails on the little grains as so cute! Then I food process for a long time with a little starter and leave for another day or two to ferment. It takes on a cheesey funk that is gorgeous. Then I either make porridge with it or bake it into cakes.
.
I’ll snap some pics the next day or two to show you the outcome.
.
Can you buy it in your part of the world? Have you used it? What do you do? I’d love to meet another brown millet fermenting geek 🙂

Read More