I know I am not the only one, right?! . Multiple books on the go at once, wanting to make *all* the breads, exciting fermentation ideas pushing their way into every corner. . And then, trying to do it all, I realise that I’m exhausted, I’ve not sat and done nothing all week, I’m overloaded. . Having been through this cycle hundreds of times, I’ve learnt (kind of) to accept, breathe and know that not everything that bubbles about in my head can actually convert to practical bubbling in my kitchen and *that is OK*. . Here’s how I know I’m getting better: Sometimes I catch myself saying to Rob, “let’s not do grind those oats/make that bread/start some sauerkraut today, there’s enough going on”. Alison, letting something go, shock, horror! . Being passionate and wanting to do it all is just one of the things @farmandhearth and I talk about in today’s @ancestralkitchenpodcast – Kitchen Management and Avoiding Burnout. There’s also resource management, clarity, workgroups, routine, organisation and much more. . You can find the podcast by searching from Ancestral Kitchen in your podcast provider, or you can stream it from my site using the link in my profile. . And if you want to share some ‘doing too much’ stories, or tell me how you’re living with that part of yourself, I’d love to hear.

I know I am not the only one, right?!
.
Multiple books on the go at once, wanting to make *all* the breads, exciting fermentation ideas pushing their way into every corner.
.
And then, trying to do it all, I realise that I’m exhausted, I’ve not sat and done nothing all week, I’m overloaded.
.
Having been through this cycle hundreds of times, I’ve learnt (kind of) to accept, breathe and know that not everything that bubbles about in my head can actually convert to practical bubbling in my kitchen and *that is OK*.
.
Here’s how I know I’m getting better: Sometimes I catch myself saying to Rob, “let’s not do grind those oats/make that bread/start some sauerkraut today, there’s enough going on”. Alison, letting something go, shock, horror!
.
Being passionate and wanting to do it all is just one of the things @farmandhearth and I talk about in today’s @ancestralkitchenpodcast – Kitchen Management and Avoiding Burnout. There’s also resource management, clarity, workgroups, routine, organisation and much more.
.
You can find the podcast by searching from Ancestral Kitchen in your podcast provider, or you can stream it from my site using the link in my profile.
.
And if you want to share some ‘doing too much’ stories, or tell me how you’re living with that part of yourself, I’d love to hear.

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#8 – Kitchen Management & Avoiding Burnout

Everyone who’s passionate, creative and enthusiastic has experienced stress in the kitchen, right?! In this episode we deal with Kitchen Management and Burnout, giving them the attention and care they need. Listen in to feel met (we struggle too!) and hopefully pick up some ideas to take into your own kitchens.… Read More

Having an ancestrally-inspired kitchen is something I love. But it’s a lot of work. In order to stay sane and have time to get on with the rest of my life, I have several strategies. One of them is to involve my son wherever possible. It might take longer (especially the first few times!) but it shares the load and makes it more fun. . This morning, we’ve both been working on cacao processing. We roasted these beans at the temperature that has been shown to both preserve the medicinal qualities and create good flavour (much shorter than a ‘normal’ roast). Once cooled we poured them into a high-sided roasting tin and set about using gentle mallet strokes to crush them just enough to separate the shells. . Next will come the fun bit: going outside and using a hairdryer to blast off the shells. I put sunglasses on (the shells go everywhere) and my son has taken to wearing swimming goggles! . Then, after crushing the nibs, we might actually get to making some chocolate! . Tomorrow’s new podcast episode will be entitled ‘Kitchen Management and Avoiding Burnout’ – involving household members in tasks is one of the many things @farmandhearth and I will talk about. . And in more podcast and chocolate news, @nocturnalherbalist, who wrote the 700-page The Secret Life of Chocolate that is my cacao bible has agreed to an interview. I’m very excited about it.

Having an ancestrally-inspired kitchen is something I love. But it’s a lot of work. In order to stay sane and have time to get on with the rest of my life, I have several strategies. One of them is to involve my son wherever possible. It might take longer (especially the first few times!) but it shares the load and makes it more fun.
.
This morning, we’ve both been working on cacao processing. We roasted these beans at the temperature that has been shown to both preserve the medicinal qualities and create good flavour (much shorter than a ‘normal’ roast). Once cooled we poured them into a high-sided roasting tin and set about using gentle mallet strokes to crush them just enough to separate the shells.
.
Next will come the fun bit: going outside and using a hairdryer to blast off the shells. I put sunglasses on (the shells go everywhere) and my son has taken to wearing swimming goggles!
.
Then, after crushing the nibs, we might actually get to making some chocolate!
.
Tomorrow’s new podcast episode will be entitled ‘Kitchen Management and Avoiding Burnout’ – involving household members in tasks is one of the many things @farmandhearth and I will talk about.
.
And in more podcast and chocolate news, @nocturnalherbalist, who wrote the 700-page The Secret Life of Chocolate that is my cacao bible has agreed to an interview. I’m very excited about it.

Read More

Happy Saturday from a grain-laden smiling me! We just got a delivery of 5kg barley, 5kg rye and 5kg of millet. It’s from @spaccio_bio_molinorosso, and awesome company who only sell organic, Italian grain. . We’ll keep all the millet out, for Boza, fermented porridges and plain-old cooked millet. We eat it so quickly. (Millet was a staple grain for so much of the world before wheat and corn got a look in, why do so many regard it as animal food now?!) . We’ll freeze the rye and take it out at intervals for freshly ground sourdough. . A portion of the barley is already tagged for beer and subsequent bread (it’ll be first go at barley beer, I’ve only done spelt up to now). The rest will also go in the freezer to keep super-fresh. . Buying grain, instead of flour, is better from a packaging, cost, health and taste perspective. But it requires a lot more time than pre-ground flour. Until recently, I’ve not had the space in my life for it. But slowly, priorities are shifting, we’re feeling more settled (no more moving *please*!) and I’ve a feeling this might become our new ‘normal’ pretty soon. . @farmandhearth and I often talk on @ancestralkitchenpodcast about how new normals take t.i.m.e. I’d love to hear what’s shifting in your life and kitchen, if you want to share.

Happy Saturday from a grain-laden smiling me! We just got a delivery of 5kg barley, 5kg rye and 5kg of millet. It’s from @spaccio_bio_molinorosso, and awesome company who only sell organic, Italian grain.
.
We’ll keep all the millet out, for Boza, fermented porridges and plain-old cooked millet. We eat it so quickly. (Millet was a staple grain for so much of the world before wheat and corn got a look in, why do so many regard it as animal food now?!)
.
We’ll freeze the rye and take it out at intervals for freshly ground sourdough.
.
A portion of the barley is already tagged for beer and subsequent bread (it’ll be first go at barley beer, I’ve only done spelt up to now). The rest will also go in the freezer to keep super-fresh.
.
Buying grain, instead of flour, is better from a packaging, cost, health and taste perspective. But it requires a lot more time than pre-ground flour. Until recently, I’ve not had the space in my life for it. But slowly, priorities are shifting, we’re feeling more settled (no more moving *please*!) and I’ve a feeling this might become our new ‘normal’ pretty soon.
.
@farmandhearth and I often talk on @ancestralkitchenpodcast about how new normals take t.i.m.e. I’d love to hear what’s shifting in your life and kitchen, if you want to share.

Read More

Have you eaten lungs before? This was my first time (and my son’s too!). Here we have goat offal – heart, lungs and liver – for three (and also, coincidentally, for free!). It was carried down the hill, from @aziendaagricolapodereruggeri but my hubby, Rob. I cooked it in lard with onion, fresh garlic, sage and a little meat stock. . We ate it with sourdough rye made from grains ground in our hand-crank mill, topped with home-rendered lard from pigs raised by @valledelsasso. . And there’s a salad with lettuce from @radiciumane at our local contadini market, #mercatointransizione . It was good. Why isn’t goat a more widespread?! I’ve got the flesh to cook too – planning a roast for the ribs and then a stew for the other cuts. . And if you’re curious, the lungs were light and fluffy with a delicate flavour. My 7-year-old approved. I’ll definitely cook them again. . More (raw and cooked) pictures in my story today and saved to nose-to-tail highlight.

Have you eaten lungs before? This was my first time (and my son’s too!). Here we have goat offal – heart, lungs and liver – for three (and also, coincidentally, for free!). It was carried down the hill, from @aziendaagricolapodereruggeri but my hubby, Rob. I cooked it in lard with onion, fresh garlic, sage and a little meat stock.
.
We ate it with sourdough rye made from grains ground in our hand-crank mill, topped with home-rendered lard from pigs raised by @valledelsasso.
.
And there’s a salad with lettuce from @radiciumane at our local contadini market, #mercatointransizione
.
It was good. Why isn’t goat a more widespread?! I’ve got the flesh to cook too – planning a roast for the ribs and then a stew for the other cuts.
.
And if you’re curious, the lungs were light and fluffy with a delicate flavour. My 7-year-old approved. I’ll definitely cook them again.
.
More (raw and cooked) pictures in my story today and saved to nose-to-tail highlight.

Read More

It’s getting warm here. Summer’s arrived. Still the oven’s up high for pizza. I can’t go a whole Italian summer without it! . This is a sourdough spelt base, cooked on a pizza stone. The recipe’s in my profile and includes videos on how to stretch and fold and how to shape. . The recipe has been called “the best pizza I’ve ever eaten” by an IG friend. If you make it, let me know how it goes!

It’s getting warm here. Summer’s arrived. Still the oven’s up high for pizza. I can’t go a whole Italian summer without it!
.
This is a sourdough spelt base, cooked on a pizza stone. The recipe’s in my profile and includes videos on how to stretch and fold and how to shape.
.
The recipe has been called “the best pizza I’ve ever eaten” by an IG friend. If you make it, let me know how it goes!

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See those little holes in the mixture before I stir? They’re a sure sign there are plenty of probiotic bacteria in this millet ferment, Boza. . Another day or so and this’ll be delicious to drink. Once it’s done I’ll keep it in the fridge and it’ll last us a week that way. A week of tangy, tasty, fizzy Boza. . Course on this coming soon!

See those little holes in the mixture before I stir? They’re a sure sign there are plenty of probiotic bacteria in this millet ferment, Boza.
.
Another day or so and this’ll be delicious to drink. Once it’s done I’ll keep it in the fridge and it’ll last us a week that way. A week of tangy, tasty, fizzy Boza.
.
Course on this coming soon!

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Lard on spent beer grain bread. . The lard was home-rendered with fat from @valledelsasso. The grains in the bread (which previously made beer) are organic, Italian, from @spaccio_bio_molinorosso. . The love, devotion and craft that’s gone into growing/raising these food stuffs, into the selling of them, into their kitchen processing elevates them to something more than food. . And that something nourishes us. We know it’s come from cared-for land and animals, through hands of those that give a damn, paid over-the-odds for by a family who don’t have spare cash, and then been part of a creative, manual process. . This feeds our souls just as much as the nutrients feed our cells. . Thank you Flavio for the fat. Thank you all at Molino Rosso for the grains. Thank you WAPF for starting me on this journey. Thank you Sandor Kraut for the beer recipe. And thank you, my reader, for encouraging me to share my little kitchen here.

Lard on spent beer grain bread.
.
The lard was home-rendered with fat from @valledelsasso. The grains in the bread (which previously made beer) are organic, Italian, from @spaccio_bio_molinorosso.
.
The love, devotion and craft that’s gone into growing/raising these food stuffs, into the selling of them, into their kitchen processing elevates them to something more than food.
.
And that something nourishes us. We know it’s come from cared-for land and animals, through hands of those that give a damn, paid over-the-odds for by a family who don’t have spare cash, and then been part of a creative, manual process.
.
This feeds our souls just as much as the nutrients feed our cells.
.
Thank you Flavio for the fat. Thank you all at Molino Rosso for the grains. Thank you WAPF for starting me on this journey. Thank you Sandor Kraut for the beer recipe. And thank you, my reader, for encouraging me to share my little kitchen here.

Read More

I used to be a big drinker. In my 20s. I’d just ‘escaped’ from the prison of being grossly overweight and living as a square peg in a round hole. I swung onto the big job, snazzy car, expensive wine etc path. . Luckily, it didn’t satisfy for too long, and I grew desperate to find something more meaningful. . That journey involved taking responsibility for my health. It wasn’t something I imposed on myself, however. It grew out of my creativity; it was part of wanting to feel better so I could actually do the things I was passionate about. . I remember buying a bottle of Verve Cliquot for a New Year and then leaving it untouched. Wow. After that, 10 years went by and I didn’t drink. . Finding ancient beer is proving an amazing education. It feels so right to be making it. With local grains, sourdough and lots of love. Then using the leftovers to make bread. What else could I do, other than drink some? It tastes unlike any drink I’ve ever had. It makes my meals go down better. And, until some measuring equipment proves me wrong, I’m going to say it’s not very alcoholic. . Every so often, the last year or so, my hubby has bought a local bottle of wine to drink. Since I’ve been making the beer, he’s not thought about it once. Even my 7-year old loves his tiny sips. . Here’s the latest three bottles ready for their second fermentation. They’ll rest for a day or so like this until we gently pour some beer out, careful not to disturb the spelt sediment at the bottom, which I’ll later cook up as porridge. . I’ll never be a big drinker again. But I don’t think l’ll stop making or drinking this either :-)

I used to be a big drinker. In my 20s. I’d just ‘escaped’ from the prison of being grossly overweight and living as a square peg in a round hole. I swung onto the big job, snazzy car, expensive wine etc path.
.
Luckily, it didn’t satisfy for too long, and I grew desperate to find something more meaningful.
.
That journey involved taking responsibility for my health. It wasn’t something I imposed on myself, however. It grew out of my creativity; it was part of wanting to feel better so I could actually do the things I was passionate about.
.
I remember buying a bottle of Verve Cliquot for a New Year and then leaving it untouched. Wow. After that, 10 years went by and I didn’t drink.
.
Finding ancient beer is proving an amazing education. It feels so right to be making it. With local grains, sourdough and lots of love. Then using the leftovers to make bread. What else could I do, other than drink some? It tastes unlike any drink I’ve ever had. It makes my meals go down better. And, until some measuring equipment proves me wrong, I’m going to say it’s not very alcoholic.
.
Every so often, the last year or so, my hubby has bought a local bottle of wine to drink. Since I’ve been making the beer, he’s not thought about it once. Even my 7-year old loves his tiny sips.
.
Here’s the latest three bottles ready for their second fermentation. They’ll rest for a day or so like this until we gently pour some beer out, careful not to disturb the spelt sediment at the bottom, which I’ll later cook up as porridge.
.
I’ll never be a big drinker again. But I don’t think l’ll stop making or drinking this either 🙂

Read More

Does it get much more beautiful than bread crust? . Especially not when it’s fresh from the oven in your own home. . This is home-made, wild fermented, local grain – spelt and chestnut flours. Mixed and encouraged by my own hands; baking smell filling my kitchen. . I hope I’m still baking in my last days. . More pics and some videos in my stories.

Does it get much more beautiful than bread crust?
.
Especially not when it’s fresh from the oven in your own home.
.
This is home-made, wild fermented, local grain – spelt and chestnut flours. Mixed and encouraged by my own hands; baking smell filling my kitchen.
.
I hope I’m still baking in my last days.
.
More pics and some videos in my stories.

Read More