I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!

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.
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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.
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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 cleaned the shelf where I hide my ferments. They looked so splendid on the table I’d thought I’d take a photo. And I remembered you haven’t seen me for a while ;-) . From left to right: banana skin vinegar – fermented garlic – bread kvass 1st ferment – ginger carrots – sauerkraut – water kefir 1st ferment – another water kefir 1st ferment – water kefir 2nd ferment with lemon and ginger – bread kvass 2nd ferment with mint (almost gone!) – water kefir 2nd ferment with strawberry (almost gone too!). . And off camera there’s a sourdough starter, some blended fermenting millet and some blended fermenting farro. . There are a lot of bubbles in my small kitchen.

I cleaned the shelf where I hide my ferments. They looked so splendid on the table I’d thought I’d take a photo. And I remembered you haven’t seen me for a while 😉
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From left to right:
banana skin vinegar – fermented garlic – bread kvass 1st ferment – ginger carrots – sauerkraut – water kefir 1st ferment – another water kefir 1st ferment – water kefir 2nd ferment with lemon and ginger – bread kvass 2nd ferment with mint (almost gone!) – water kefir 2nd ferment with strawberry (almost gone too!).
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And off camera there’s a sourdough starter, some blended fermenting millet and some blended fermenting farro.
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There are a lot of bubbles in my small kitchen.

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Fermenting garlic is easy. You need a lot of garlic, a glass jar, salt and some way of keeping the cloves under the brine you add – I use a bit of cabbage leaf cut to the shape of the jar and ‘pickle pebbles’. . Peel the cloves and chop large ones in two. Pop them in the sterilized jar. Make a brine using 5g of salt to every cup of non-chlorinated water. Pour this over the garlic so they are well-covered. Weigh them down so they stay under the liquid. Lid the jar and leave it covered somewhere warm. Wait. Wait. Wait. . It’s best after 6 weeks – the rawness mellows. Still, they pack an incredible punch and are well-documented as being one of the most potent anti-pretty-much-everything you can get naturally. . I have a chequered history with ferments. I can’t just eat them as I wish. I tried that and couldn’t sleep. It took me a while to realise what was happening. And then it took me a while to get the discipline of weighing out sauerkraut. I started, over 2 years ago with 1g a day! Slowly, slowly I’ve increased it and am now on 24g a day. I’ve done the same with water kefir and currently drink 2 egg-cups of it a day. . My biome needs extra care, I think, after abusing it so royally as a child with the over-eating which saw me twice the size I am now. Changing body ecology is not something I’ve been able to click my fingers and make happen. It’s made in every slow, conscious choice.

Fermenting garlic is easy. You need a lot of garlic, a glass jar, salt and some way of keeping the cloves under the brine you add – I use a bit of cabbage leaf cut to the shape of the jar and ‘pickle pebbles’.
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Peel the cloves and chop large ones in two. Pop them in the sterilized jar. Make a brine using 5g of salt to every cup of non-chlorinated water. Pour this over the garlic so they are well-covered. Weigh them down so they stay under the liquid. Lid the jar and leave it covered somewhere warm. Wait. Wait. Wait.
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It’s best after 6 weeks – the rawness mellows. Still, they pack an incredible punch and are well-documented as being one of the most potent anti-pretty-much-everything you can get naturally.
.
I have a chequered history with ferments. I can’t just eat them as I wish. I tried that and couldn’t sleep. It took me a while to realise what was happening. And then it took me a while to get the discipline of weighing out sauerkraut. I started, over 2 years ago with 1g a day! Slowly, slowly I’ve increased it and am now on 24g a day. I’ve done the same with water kefir and currently drink 2 egg-cups of it a day.
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My biome needs extra care, I think, after abusing it so royally as a child with the over-eating which saw me twice the size I am now. Changing body ecology is not something I’ve been able to click my fingers and make happen. It’s made in every slow, conscious choice.

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Two wonderful people, @farmandhearth and @forest.grace have taken part in the first #ancestralcookup – my slow-cooked beef and barley stew. Thank you so very much ladies. My heart is warmed and my feet dancing a little as I wander between fridge and oven. . We ate it again today here in my home. It’s sooo good – if you fancy giving it a go, check out the template recipe in my profile. I’m going to leave it there till we hit May. I have a new cook up coming for next month. I think you’re going to like it :-)

Two wonderful people, @farmandhearth and @forest.grace have taken part in the first #ancestralcookup – my slow-cooked beef and barley stew. Thank you so very much ladies. My heart is warmed and my feet dancing a little as I wander between fridge and oven.
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We ate it again today here in my home. It’s sooo good – if you fancy giving it a go, check out the template recipe in my profile. I’m going to leave it there till we hit May. I have a new cook up coming for next month. I think you’re going to like it 🙂

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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.
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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.
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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.
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Wish you were here for lunch 🙂

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The banana skin rabbit hole deepens! This is Banana Skin Curry – a concept I stumbled on after having a go at banana skin vinegar (picture a while back – it’s still fermenting). And man, it works! . You’ve got to scrape the inside of the skins and then soak them for a while. Once I’d done that, I bloomed a mix of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, nigella seeds and cardamoms in some coconut oil. Then I added some chopped onion, ginger and garlic, ground tumeric, ground coriander and black pepper. After that came 3 cauliflower florets, chopped small, and the 3 banana skins, diced. Lastly a small can of creamed coconut. 20 minutes and it’s soft. . We had some left-over rice and I managed to get hold of some fresh coriander. It’s a bit of a coriander-fest in the picture, but you can see the dark brown pieces of banana skin there too! . Thank you @soilassociation for posting about @abelandcole’s recipe. I didn’t have the ingredients to follow it, but it inspired me greatly to make up my own version. . Having waxed lyrical about this, I do have misgivings. Something doesn’t feel right in my gut (and I don’t mean physically) when I use banana. Although they are grown in Sicily, these ones are from the other side of the world. My son loves them. 95% of what we eat is Italian, and most of that local…but what about that 5%? Is it OK to have the odd ‘treat’? Bananas for my son, coffee for my husband, chocolate for me, spices for us all? It’s a question I am not at peace with yet. . I love that my kitchen and my ethics are changeable and that I listen when I feel that ikkiness inside, rather than pushing it away. Opening a dialogue is the most important thing, I think. Speaking of dialogue, I’d love to hear if you feel something similar…

The banana skin rabbit hole deepens! This is Banana Skin Curry – a concept I stumbled on after having a go at banana skin vinegar (picture a while back – it’s still fermenting). And man, it works!
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You’ve got to scrape the inside of the skins and then soak them for a while. Once I’d done that, I bloomed a mix of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, nigella seeds and cardamoms in some coconut oil. Then I added some chopped onion, ginger and garlic, ground tumeric, ground coriander and black pepper. After that came 3 cauliflower florets, chopped small, and the 3 banana skins, diced. Lastly a small can of creamed coconut. 20 minutes and it’s soft.
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We had some left-over rice and I managed to get hold of some fresh coriander. It’s a bit of a coriander-fest in the picture, but you can see the dark brown pieces of banana skin there too!
.
Thank you @soilassociation for posting about @abelandcole’s recipe. I didn’t have the ingredients to follow it, but it inspired me greatly to make up my own version.
.
Having waxed lyrical about this, I do have misgivings. Something doesn’t feel right in my gut (and I don’t mean physically) when I use banana. Although they are grown in Sicily, these ones are from the other side of the world. My son loves them. 95% of what we eat is Italian, and most of that local…but what about that 5%? Is it OK to have the odd ‘treat’? Bananas for my son, coffee for my husband, chocolate for me, spices for us all? It’s a question I am not at peace with yet.
.
I love that my kitchen and my ethics are changeable and that I listen when I feel that ikkiness inside, rather than pushing it away. Opening a dialogue is the most important thing, I think. Speaking of dialogue, I’d love to hear if you feel something similar…

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Oven-baked fermented semi-wholegrain millet cakes. They are easier to eat than to say! 4 days in the making, but it’s mostly hands off. Still, it makes me sound like a pro so here we go ;-) This is what I did with the millet (there’s a pic a few posts back of it straight from the shop): Soaked, rinsed, sprouted, blended, fermented, dolloped (the technical term) and then baked. . They really do not keep and are best, as here, straight from the oven. . Looking at the long description above, I can see how absurd this might seem to one who takes a slice of bread from a packet. But I love it. We eat these often. . You can also use the fermented mix to make porridge. It is very good. . A few days left of April to have a go at the #ancestralcookup Beef & Barley stew. We are doing it again tomorrow here. I’d love to see your pictures if you do – the recipe template is in my bio.

Oven-baked fermented semi-wholegrain millet cakes. They are easier to eat than to say! 4 days in the making, but it’s mostly hands off. Still, it makes me sound like a pro so here we go 😉 This is what I did with the millet (there’s a pic a few posts back of it straight from the shop): Soaked, rinsed, sprouted, blended, fermented, dolloped (the technical term) and then baked.
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They really do not keep and are best, as here, straight from the oven. .
Looking at the long description above, I can see how absurd this might seem to one who takes a slice of bread from a packet. But I love it. We eat these often.
.
You can also use the fermented mix to make porridge. It is very good.
.
A few days left of April to have a go at the #ancestralcookup Beef & Barley stew. We are doing it again tomorrow here. I’d love to see your pictures if you do – the recipe template is in my bio.

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My newest batch of #breadkvass going in for its second ferment. I used mint from our little garden as, thanks to @forest.grace I know it’s traditional. It’s a great combination. . I’m finding the kvass so very sweet. Perhaps it is that I am used to making my #waterkefir on the not-sweet side? Perhaps it is because it is supposed to be this sweet? My hubby, who can handle much more sweet than me, is drinking most of it. He’s happy :-)

My newest batch of #breadkvass going in for its second ferment. I used mint from our little garden as, thanks to @forest.grace I know it’s traditional. It’s a great combination. .
I’m finding the kvass so very sweet. Perhaps it is that I am used to making my #waterkefir on the not-sweet side? Perhaps it is because it is supposed to be this sweet? My hubby, who can handle much more sweet than me, is drinking most of it. He’s happy 🙂

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