This is what a whole cow’s heart looks like after a day in the slow cooker. I picked up this from my #farmerman Flavio @valledelsasso, washed it, then put it straight into the stock pot with water, a large carrot and an onion. . It cooked overnight. It is meltingly-soft and will slice really easily. I know from previous experience that it freezes well too. . This heart, from a cow treated amazingly, weighed 2.3kg. It’ll feed my family for over a week. It cost 15 Euros (13 Pounds/18 Dollars). . Food good for us, our community and the environment is not expensive and does not require tonnes of prep. . If you’re thinking of cooking heart but are unsure, let me know. I want you to, and if I can help, I will.

This is what a whole cow’s heart looks like after a day in the slow cooker. I picked up this from my #farmerman Flavio @valledelsasso, washed it, then put it straight into the stock pot with water, a large carrot and an onion.
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It cooked overnight. It is meltingly-soft and will slice really easily. I know from previous experience that it freezes well too.
.
This heart, from a cow treated amazingly, weighed 2.3kg. It’ll feed my family for over a week. It cost 15 Euros (13 Pounds/18 Dollars).
.
Food good for us, our community and the environment is not expensive and does not require tonnes of prep.
.
If you’re thinking of cooking heart but are unsure, let me know. I want you to, and if I can help, I will.

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I got bought a bread bin! And how beautiful is it?! . Despite baking my socks off for several years, I’ve never quite found the right bread bin…and kinda thought they were a luxury when I’ve a lot of food storage containers hanging around. . Obviously, I was waiting for this @larsnysom_official gift from the wonderful @barbaralovito, who I’ve known since long before my son was born. Thank you, Barbara! . It’s beautiful and fits perfectly in the spot where I keep our breads. It’s got a bamboo lid with slicing guide (that I don’t want to mess up!) and little holes in the metal sides for optimum air flow. . A vid in my stories :-) . What do you keep your bread in?

I got bought a bread bin! And how beautiful is it?!
.
Despite baking my socks off for several years, I’ve never quite found the right bread bin…and kinda thought they were a luxury when I’ve a lot of food storage containers hanging around.
.
Obviously, I was waiting for this @larsnysom_official gift from the wonderful @barbaralovito, who I’ve known since long before my son was born. Thank you, Barbara!
.
It’s beautiful and fits perfectly in the spot where I keep our breads. It’s got a bamboo lid with slicing guide (that I don’t want to mess up!) and little holes in the metal sides for optimum air flow.
.
A vid in my stories 🙂
.
What do you keep your bread in?

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If you love sourdough (whether you’re a wannabe, part-time or full-on baker), you’ll enjoy the latest @ancestralkitchenpodcast: It’s dedicated to the wonder that is wild yeast bread. . We talk the whys, the history, recipes, methods, starters, support and much more. . You can find us by searching for Ancestral Kitchen in your podcast provider or stream the episode from my site (link in profile)

If you love sourdough (whether you’re a wannabe, part-time or full-on baker), you’ll enjoy the latest @ancestralkitchenpodcast: It’s dedicated to the wonder that is wild yeast bread.
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We talk the whys, the history, recipes, methods, starters, support and much more.
.
You can find us by searching for Ancestral Kitchen in your podcast provider or stream the episode from my site (link in profile)

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Three-day fermented, home-nixtamalised corn served warm with a generous lump of 100% cacao melted in, topped with my favourite nut – Brazils. . There are several main varieties of cacao bean, and each has different properties, both in taste and in nutrient profile. A lot of the beans I’ve been able to access as a small-quantity purchaser have been a variety called `Criollo´. I noticed that the chocolate I made from these beans affected my sleep and it mystified me for a while as previously eating the same quantity of Lindt wouldn’t. . Turns out Criollo beans can have up to four times more caffeine than other varieties. . That sent me on a hunt for ethical non-Criollo beans I could buy in small quantities. The variety in the delicious breakfast you see are called Nacional Arriba, and grow only in Ecuador. . And they taste divine :-)

Three-day fermented, home-nixtamalised corn served warm with a generous lump of 100% cacao melted in, topped with my favourite nut – Brazils.
.
There are several main varieties of cacao bean, and each has different properties, both in taste and in nutrient profile. A lot of the beans I’ve been able to access as a small-quantity purchaser have been a variety called `Criollo´. I noticed that the chocolate I made from these beans affected my sleep and it mystified me for a while as previously eating the same quantity of Lindt wouldn’t.
.
Turns out Criollo beans can have up to four times more caffeine than other varieties.
.
That sent me on a hunt for ethical non-Criollo beans I could buy in small quantities. The variety in the delicious breakfast you see are called Nacional Arriba, and grow only in Ecuador.
.
And they taste divine 🙂

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Garlic on the left ready for a 6-week stay on my fermenting shelf. Garlic on the right, having done its lacto-fermentation time, on its way to the fridge to be dipped into for our daily cloves. . We are garlics fans in the house. I’ve been astounded reading just how much medicinal power this unassuming bulb has, and how, before the onset of our pharmaceuticals-or-nothing culture it was prescribed by physicians world-wide for so many ills. . There’s a post on my site about all things garlic, including it chocolate-covered. Click on the link in my profile to have a read.

Garlic on the left ready for a 6-week stay on my fermenting shelf. Garlic on the right, having done its lacto-fermentation time, on its way to the fridge to be dipped into for our daily cloves.
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We are garlics fans in the house. I’ve been astounded reading just how much medicinal power this unassuming bulb has, and how, before the onset of our pharmaceuticals-or-nothing culture it was prescribed by physicians world-wide for so many ills.
.
There’s a post on my site about all things garlic, including it chocolate-covered. Click on the link in my profile to have a read.

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This is a spelt bread risen solely with the power of the liquid that’s created when I wild ferment oats into the Scottish Sowans. . I mixed up my oat residue (check my Sowans story highlight if you’ve not seen this in my feed before) with ample water and left the bacteria and yeasts on the grain to do their thing. Once it tasted tart (7 days) I used the water – botanical liquid – to, over 2 days, build a ‘starter’. . I’m pretty impressed that my Sowans managed to raise a 50% wholegrain spelt loaf all by itself.

This is a spelt bread risen solely with the power of the liquid that’s created when I wild ferment oats into the Scottish Sowans.
.
I mixed up my oat residue (check my Sowans story highlight if you’ve not seen this in my feed before) with ample water and left the bacteria and yeasts on the grain to do their thing. Once it tasted tart (7 days) I used the water – botanical liquid – to, over 2 days, build a ‘starter’.
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I’m pretty impressed that my Sowans managed to raise a 50% wholegrain spelt loaf all by itself.

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I have just started reading a book by the (as I am finding out, amazing) Stephen Harrod Buhner called Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers. . Who’d put the words ‘healing’ and ‘beer’ together? Not me, certainly, until just a few months ago. The beer I grew up with, as I am learning, is *so* far removed from beer as it was just a few centuries ago. . Then it was made at home, mostly by women. . Then it was the drink of both kings and paupers. . Then it was made from local grains. . Then, very often, the leftovers were used to make bread (you can see mine here in the background). . Then, herbs were expertly added, knowledge of just what healing they could bring bound up in the blood and bones of the communities who made it. . And now? Would anyone in the mainstream even imagine that this used to be the norm? . I can feel another mission coming on!

I have just started reading a book by the (as I am finding out, amazing) Stephen Harrod Buhner called Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers.
.
Who’d put the words ‘healing’ and ‘beer’ together? Not me, certainly, until just a few months ago. The beer I grew up with, as I am learning, is *so* far removed from beer as it was just a few centuries ago.
.
Then it was made at home, mostly by women.
.
Then it was the drink of both kings and paupers.
.
Then it was made from local grains.
.
Then, very often, the leftovers were used to make bread (you can see mine here in the background).
.
Then, herbs were expertly added, knowledge of just what healing they could bring bound up in the blood and bones of the communities who made it.
.
And now? Would anyone in the mainstream even imagine that this used to be the norm?
.
I can feel another mission coming on!

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Cold roast pork belly from @valledelsasso. We’ve been to the farm where these animals live and I’m proud to support Flavio in the work that he does. . Sourdough bread made from left-over spelt grain that I previously used to ferment beer. It’s spread with the onion-scented fat/dripping mix from the bottom of the roast pork pan. . Salad from leaves bought at our local farmers’ market, jazzed up with herbs from the garden: Mint, parsley, tarragon, wild fennel, oregano and pineapple sage (I’m nurturing quite a collection!). . Off camera: small glass of spelt beer (made to a 5,000-year old process) . Behind the camera: a very grateful and contented Mumma.

Cold roast pork belly from @valledelsasso. We’ve been to the farm where these animals live and I’m proud to support Flavio in the work that he does.
.
Sourdough bread made from left-over spelt grain that I previously used to ferment beer. It’s spread with the onion-scented fat/dripping mix from the bottom of the roast pork pan.
.
Salad from leaves bought at our local farmers’ market, jazzed up with herbs from the garden: Mint, parsley, tarragon, wild fennel, oregano and pineapple sage (I’m nurturing quite a collection!).
.
Off camera: small glass of spelt beer (made to a 5,000-year old process)
.
Behind the camera: a very grateful and contented Mumma.

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I did it! I made my first authentic mesoamerican ancestral cacao drink, from scratch! . This is Pozol. It’s corn that I nixtamalised and ground, then fermented for 2 days. I mixed that with cacao that I sourced from a family-run co-operative in Ecuador. . My husband, who tries all my experiments truly loved this. He described it as ‘fantastic’. The corn lends it sweetness, a floral taste and thickness; the cacao such depth, bitterness and kick. . The mesoamerican original cultivators and worshippers of these two amazing plants – corn and cacao – knew what they were doing with this drink! . So grateful for the rabbit-hole that the 700-page ‘The Secret Life of Chocolate’ has sent me down. Leaning about how indigenous new world communities interacted with corn and cacao is enriching my life greatly. . If you want to know more about the book, I talk about it on the latest @ancestralkitchenpodcast with @farmandhearth. And I’m thinking we need a whole episode dedicated to chocolate in the future! . There will be some more pictures of my process in my story today – saved to my Chocolate highlight if you’re here later.

I did it! I made my first authentic mesoamerican ancestral cacao drink, from scratch!
.
This is Pozol. It’s corn that I nixtamalised and ground, then fermented for 2 days. I mixed that with cacao that I sourced from a family-run co-operative in Ecuador.
.
My husband, who tries all my experiments truly loved this. He described it as ‘fantastic’. The corn lends it sweetness, a floral taste and thickness; the cacao such depth, bitterness and kick.
.
The mesoamerican original cultivators and worshippers of these two amazing plants – corn and cacao – knew what they were doing with this drink!
.
So grateful for the rabbit-hole that the 700-page ‘The Secret Life of Chocolate’ has sent me down. Leaning about how indigenous new world communities interacted with corn and cacao is enriching my life greatly.
.
If you want to know more about the book, I talk about it on the latest @ancestralkitchenpodcast with @farmandhearth. And I’m thinking we need a whole episode dedicated to chocolate in the future!
.
There will be some more pictures of my process in my story today – saved to my Chocolate highlight if you’re here later.

Read More