I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!

My first ever home-cured lardo with local back fat from @valledelsasso! . If you’ve not tried lardo, look out for it; it’s amazing. Traditionally-cured in marble basins for months, it’s mouth-melting and so flavourful. . I don’t have a marble basin (or a hanging shed) so I played with process a bit, using baking paper and weighing it down with water-filled olive oil bottles! . The cure was rosemary, juniper, salt and sugar. I left it on for a few weeks (not sure exactly how long, gotta write down what I do next time!), and then rinsed off, re-wrapped and left for a couple of months. . Having tasted some raw (yum!), we’re going to cover one of my spelt pizza doughs in it today and let all that deliciousness soak into the crust as it cooks.

My first ever home-cured lardo with local back fat from @valledelsasso!
.
If you’ve not tried lardo, look out for it; it’s amazing. Traditionally-cured in marble basins for months, it’s mouth-melting and so flavourful.
.
I don’t have a marble basin (or a hanging shed) so I played with process a bit, using baking paper and weighing it down with water-filled olive oil bottles!
.
The cure was rosemary, juniper, salt and sugar. I left it on for a few weeks (not sure exactly how long, gotta write down what I do next time!), and then rinsed off, re-wrapped and left for a couple of months.
.
Having tasted some raw (yum!), we’re going to cover one of my spelt pizza doughs in it today and let all that deliciousness soak into the crust as it cooks.

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How many books do you have on the go at the moment? . Want some more?! . I’m reading four right now and holding myself back from many more! . The four I’ve got on the go are: . @historicalitalianfood’s Chewing the Fat (top in the stack!) The Essential Herbal Medicine by Simon Mills How to Brew by John Palmer Contadino 2.0 featuring Flavio at @valledelsasso (in Italian, started this *ages* ago and am determined to finish it!) . Lined up for after these, I have Defending Beef by Nicolette Hahn Niman, Eating to Extinction by @dan.saladino, Wild Brews by Jeff Sparrow and ValdiSieve e Lode (again in Italian, again featuring my farmer!) . After even these, there are two or three more I definitely want to get to – including Nourishing Fats by @sallyfallonmorell and Taste and the TV chef by @foodgillysmith. . Will there be time for *anything* else this year?! After recording today’s podcast with @farmandhearth and hearing all the books she is diving into, I’m not sure. . What are you reading? . What do you want to read this year? . Inspire me some more!

How many books do you have on the go at the moment?
.
Want some more?!
.
I’m reading four right now and holding myself back from many more!
.
The four I’ve got on the go are:
.
@historicalitalianfood’s Chewing the Fat (top in the stack!)
The Essential Herbal Medicine by Simon Mills
How to Brew by John Palmer
Contadino 2.0 featuring Flavio at @valledelsasso (in Italian, started this *ages* ago and am determined to finish it!)
.
Lined up for after these, I have Defending Beef by Nicolette Hahn Niman, Eating to Extinction by @dan.saladino, Wild Brews by Jeff Sparrow and ValdiSieve e Lode (again in Italian, again featuring my farmer!)
.
After even these, there are two or three more I definitely want to get to – including Nourishing Fats by @sallyfallonmorell and Taste and the TV chef by @foodgillysmith.
.
Will there be time for *anything* else this year?! After recording today’s podcast with @farmandhearth and hearing all the books she is diving into, I’m not sure.
.
What are you reading?
.
What do you want to read this year?
.
Inspire me some more!

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#22 – Book Stacks for the New Year

“Find who inspired the person who inspired you.” – Andrea We got together to share our book stacks for 2022 with each other and both our lists got longer in the process! Alison dived in depth with a few titles … Read More

My sous chef, fermentista-in-training, joy-infuser and part of the reason I have spent so much time focusing on health-giving food the last 7 years. . Happy new year from our kitchen (and all the ferments, including this ginger beer!) to yours. . Thank you. I look forward to more wonderful interaction next year.

My sous chef, fermentista-in-training, joy-infuser and part of the reason I have spent so much time focusing on health-giving food the last 7 years.
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Happy new year from our kitchen (and all the ferments, including this ginger beer!) to yours.
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Thank you. I look forward to more wonderful interaction next year.

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Slow-Cooked Beef Heart

Slow-cooked beef heart is a staple in our house. It’s simple, economical and can feed my family all week. Those three things in one dish feels like the holy grail to me! A lot of people feel intimidated by organ … Read More

Ancestral Kitchen Challenge 2022!

Want to move forward in your kitchen this year? Been meaning to try that new ferment? Find a bread recipe for your family? Tackle that recipe you’ve been avoiding?! Looking for ideas, support and encouragement? The Ancestral Kitchen Challenge is … Read More

Honey-fermented chestnuts enveloped in home-roasted 100% cacao chocolate. . I cannot believe my “I wonder what happens if you ferment chestnuts” rabbit hole resulted in these. The chestnut is sweet, smoky and squidgy and permeated by a spicy, mead-like liquor. Then the chocolate comes in and gives it all a dark, bitter, fortifying note. . They are *so* good. I wish you could taste. If you have chestnuts, put them in some 50/50 honey/water solution with some spices and ferment them! Then, in Jan, I’m going to do a bean-to-bar chocolate with no special equipment day. If you can save them till then, you can cover them in that deliciousness :-)

Honey-fermented chestnuts enveloped in home-roasted 100% cacao chocolate.
.
I cannot believe my “I wonder what happens if you ferment chestnuts” rabbit hole resulted in these. The chestnut is sweet, smoky and squidgy and permeated by a spicy, mead-like liquor. Then the chocolate comes in and gives it all a dark, bitter, fortifying note.
.
They are *so* good. I wish you could taste. If you have chestnuts, put them in some 50/50 honey/water solution with some spices and ferment them! Then, in Jan, I’m going to do a bean-to-bar chocolate with no special equipment day. If you can save them till then, you can cover them in that deliciousness 🙂

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I’ve been waiting so long to do this: Wassail! . In case you don’t know, wassailing was a traditional UK custom involving a warm, spiced alcoholic drink (which obviously would have been farmhouse-made) known as wassail. . It generally included apples (wild ones, much more tart than we’re used to now) and winter, immune-enhancing spices. . I did two versions. The first was with a home-made, non-flavoured rye ale (that had been bottled for 2 days). To this I added roasted apples and lots of warming spices. The second was with the same rye ale but from a bottle that had been second fermented with a wild apple and juniper paste that was made locally. I just added spices to this one, no extra fruit. . We’d just been for a long walk. Up a hill. In the rain. It felt amazing to cuddle up on the sofa and wrap our hands around this.

I’ve been waiting so long to do this: Wassail!
.
In case you don’t know, wassailing was a traditional UK custom involving a warm, spiced alcoholic drink (which obviously would have been farmhouse-made) known as wassail.
.
It generally included apples (wild ones, much more tart than we’re used to now) and winter, immune-enhancing spices.
.
I did two versions. The first was with a home-made, non-flavoured rye ale (that had been bottled for 2 days). To this I added roasted apples and lots of warming spices. The second was with the same rye ale but from a bottle that had been second fermented with a wild apple and juniper paste that was made locally. I just added spices to this one, no extra fruit.
.
We’d just been for a long walk. Up a hill. In the rain. It felt amazing to cuddle up on the sofa and wrap our hands around this.

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Alternative Shepherd’s Pie! . Pork mince cooked with onion, cabbage, garlic, coriander seeds and heart stock topped with 2-day fermented sweet potato mashed with lard, more stock and ground coriander. . We ate this for Christmas lunch together with Brussels sprouts and cauliflower roasted with my home-cured lardo (debut for this delight!). . As usual, there were leftovers. They’ve all gone now though! . Other Christmas/Boxing day food highlights were home-made chocolate covered fermented chestnuts, spent grain breakfast pancakes and mulled ancient ale. I’ve got lots of pictures to share with you over the coming week :-)

Alternative Shepherd’s Pie!
.
Pork mince cooked with onion, cabbage, garlic, coriander seeds and heart stock topped with 2-day fermented sweet potato mashed with lard, more stock and ground coriander.
.
We ate this for Christmas lunch together with Brussels sprouts and cauliflower roasted with my home-cured lardo (debut for this delight!).
.
As usual, there were leftovers. They’ve all gone now though!
.
Other Christmas/Boxing day food highlights were home-made chocolate covered fermented chestnuts, spent grain breakfast pancakes and mulled ancient ale. I’ve got lots of pictures to share with you over the coming week 🙂

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