I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!

When I read Rebecca Holden’s article about how she has become ‘one of the herd’ at the dairy farm she looks after, I was mesmerised and knew I wanted to bring her and her work to listeners of @ancestralkitchenpodcast. . Our chat touched me; I was left in awe of the daily life of @hafodcheese. I learnt much about the incredible sensitivity of the cows, how Rebecca communicates with them and what they’ve taught her. She showed me how it’s *all* interconnected – the landscape, the cows, the husbandry, the team, the milkings…they all create the beautiful raw cheese produced onsite (which I’m really hoping to try this summer!). . We also talked about another thing super-exciting to me: the heritage black oats that the farm is including in its rotation as part of the @thegaiafoundation revival project. . If you’re subscribed, the episode is in your feed. If not, find us on your podcast app (@farmandhearth and I are at Ancestral Kitchen Podcast) or you can stream/download from my site (link is in my profile)

When I read Rebecca Holden’s article about how she has become ‘one of the herd’ at the dairy farm she looks after, I was mesmerised and knew I wanted to bring her and her work to listeners of @ancestralkitchenpodcast.
.
Our chat touched me; I was left in awe of the daily life of @hafodcheese. I learnt much about the incredible sensitivity of the cows, how Rebecca communicates with them and what they’ve taught her. She showed me how it’s *all* interconnected – the landscape, the cows, the husbandry, the team, the milkings…they all create the beautiful raw cheese produced onsite (which I’m really hoping to try this summer!).
.
We also talked about another thing super-exciting to me: the heritage black oats that the farm is including in its rotation as part of the @thegaiafoundation revival project.
.
If you’re subscribed, the episode is in your feed. If not, find us on your podcast app (@farmandhearth and I are at Ancestral Kitchen Podcast) or you can stream/download from my site (link is in my profile)

Read More

#61 – Being ‘Part of the Herd’ on a Small Scale Organic Dairy Farm

Rebecca Holden looks after a large organic dairy herd in Wales in the United Kingdom and makes raw, cheddar-style cheese from their milk. What made us want to bring Rebecca to you is an article she wrote for the farm’s blog which she called ‘Part of the Herd’ where she talks about the farm being an interconnected community and how she herself communicates with the cows and has become part of the herd.… Read More

My 9-year-old son’s breakfast: . In the glass is Boza, the ancestral fermented drink made from millet that is traditional in Turkey and the Balkans (you can hear more about it in the latest @ancestralkitchenpodcast episode ‘What Fermented Drinks Can I Make?’). It’s fizzy, sweet, tangy and full of probiotics; my son loves it. . On the plate is apple and pecorino cheese (both from the local cooperative @vicaspontassieve) and a home-made bean-to-bar 95% cacao chocolate from my last batch. . It’s really important to me that I can put together my son’s breakfast quickly. He eats at 6.30am. This plate is flavourful, nutritious and, importantly, it only took me 5 minutes to put together. That means that not only could I get all his stuff ready for school and tend my ferments, but I also got an early morning cup of tea and a quiet sofa moment before the day was unleashed! . If you want to have a go at my son’s two favourites, video courses for Boza and Bean-to-Bar Chocolate are available in the ‘courses’ section of my website :-)

My 9-year-old son’s breakfast:
.
In the glass is Boza, the ancestral fermented drink made from millet that is traditional in Turkey and the Balkans (you can hear more about it in the latest @ancestralkitchenpodcast episode ‘What Fermented Drinks Can I Make?’). It’s fizzy, sweet, tangy and full of probiotics; my son loves it.
.
On the plate is apple and pecorino cheese (both from the local cooperative @vicaspontassieve) and a home-made bean-to-bar 95% cacao chocolate from my last batch.
.
It’s really important to me that I can put together my son’s breakfast quickly. He eats at 6.30am. This plate is flavourful, nutritious and, importantly, it only took me 5 minutes to put together. That means that not only could I get all his stuff ready for school and tend my ferments, but I also got an early morning cup of tea and a quiet sofa moment before the day was unleashed!
.
If you want to have a go at my son’s two favourites, video courses for Boza and Bean-to-Bar Chocolate are available in the ‘courses’ section of my website 🙂

Read More

Do you love liver like I love liver? . Or is liver a food you can’t stand? . I’ve rarely come across such a divisive food. I love it and I know lot of people who do. But I also hear from many @ancestralkitchenpodcast listeners who *really* want to love it, but just can’t. . If you want to love liver, but aren’t there yet, here are my suggestions: . 1/ Start with chicken liver, it’s the mildest 2/ Make pate (@almostbananas has an amazing beef liver pate recipe that doesn’t taste like beef liver!) 3/ Combine it with muscle meat (I make a burger that is 3:1 ground beef to pork liver – you can also add it (and other offal) to meatloaf and lasagna) 4/ Learn different ways of cooking it (Janine at @offallygoodcooking has a veritable encyclopedia of offal recipes on her website) . And if all fails, or whilst you’re weaning yourself on (because you want to be weaning yourself on – liver is the most nutrient-dense meat there is) you can opt for liver capsules. @one_earth_health, current sponsors of the podcast, have a 5% discount for listeners – check the show notes of our recent episodes. . And, before I go, if you’re a liver-lover, how about a raw liver tonic?! @offallygoodcooking makes one and talked about it in the recent two-parter interview she did with @fornutrientssake and @nourishthelittles of @modernancestralmamas. The episodes, a deep dive into all things offal, were so informative – go listen! @farmandhearth and I are hoping we can get Janine to you on Ancestral Kitchen Podcast soon :-) . p.s. On the plate: Pig liver from @valledelsasso, home-made spelt sourdough (book coming soon!) spread with home-rendered lard, local salad and, in the espresso cup, 24g of sauerkraut (yes, I measure my sauerkraut…that’s for another post!)

Do you love liver like I love liver?
.
Or is liver a food you can’t stand?
.
I’ve rarely come across such a divisive food. I love it and I know lot of people who do. But I also hear from many @ancestralkitchenpodcast listeners who *really* want to love it, but just can’t.
.
If you want to love liver, but aren’t there yet, here are my suggestions:
.
1/ Start with chicken liver, it’s the mildest
2/ Make pate (@almostbananas has an amazing beef liver pate recipe that doesn’t taste like beef liver!)
3/ Combine it with muscle meat (I make a burger that is 3:1 ground beef to pork liver – you can also add it (and other offal) to meatloaf and lasagna)
4/ Learn different ways of cooking it (Janine at @offallygoodcooking has a veritable encyclopedia of offal recipes on her website)
.
And if all fails, or whilst you’re weaning yourself on (because you want to be weaning yourself on – liver is the most nutrient-dense meat there is) you can opt for liver capsules. @one_earth_health, current sponsors of the podcast, have a 5% discount for listeners – check the show notes of our recent episodes.
.
And, before I go, if you’re a liver-lover, how about a raw liver tonic?! @offallygoodcooking makes one and talked about it in the recent two-parter interview she did with @fornutrientssake and @nourishthelittles of @modernancestralmamas. The episodes, a deep dive into all things offal, were so informative – go listen! @farmandhearth and I are hoping we can get Janine to you on Ancestral Kitchen Podcast soon 🙂
.
p.s. On the plate: Pig liver from @valledelsasso, home-made spelt sourdough (book coming soon!) spread with home-rendered lard, local salad and, in the espresso cup, 24g of sauerkraut (yes, I measure my sauerkraut…that’s for another post!)

Read More

Rye sourdough breads work so much better if they are made with with a large portion of pre-fermented dough. That means, instead of making a starter with 10% of the flour weight (which is what I do with my spelt breads), I will most often preferment around 30% of the flour. . Here’s a rye preferment that’s been rising overnight. It’s about to go into a mix with more rye, some salt, some water and a touch of honey. . Making rye bread like this means the yeasts and bacteria which rise my bread will have a chance to do their job without being degraded by a ‘nasty’ enzyme in rye which can ruin the whole show – the acidic environment created by the large preferent protects them! . I’ve posted a video in my stories today showing the ready-to-use preferment. It’s a clip from my course at @thefermentationschool Rye Sourdough Bread: Mastering The Basics. . If you’ve been think of trying your hand at rye sourdough this course is for you. It’ll walk you through creating a wholegrain rye starter, two breads, a cake and pancakes, even if you’re completely new to sourdough baking.

Rye sourdough breads work so much better if they are made with with a large portion of pre-fermented dough. That means, instead of making a starter with 10% of the flour weight (which is what I do with my spelt breads), I will most often preferment around 30% of the flour.
.
Here’s a rye preferment that’s been rising overnight. It’s about to go into a mix with more rye, some salt, some water and a touch of honey.
.
Making rye bread like this means the yeasts and bacteria which rise my bread will have a chance to do their job without being degraded by a ‘nasty’ enzyme in rye which can ruin the whole show – the acidic environment created by the large preferent protects them!
.
I’ve posted a video in my stories today showing the ready-to-use preferment. It’s a clip from my course at @thefermentationschool Rye Sourdough Bread: Mastering The Basics.
.
If you’ve been think of trying your hand at rye sourdough this course is for you. It’ll walk you through creating a wholegrain rye starter, two breads, a cake and pancakes, even if you’re completely new to sourdough baking.

Read More

I first read about Rutherglen Sour Cakes in F. Marian McNeill’s book ‘The Scot’s Kitchen’. Her description was short, but intriguing: There was an ‘elaborate ritual’ around their preparation which was ‘clearly from a pagan source’. When I then saw that they were wild fermented, I knew I had to find out more. . Rutherglen Sour Cakes were prepared in Rutherglen, close to Glasgow, Scotland, to celebrate St Luke’s day (October 18th). 8-10 days before this, oats and water were mixed up into a dough and left to sour. The eve before the fair, a group of women would gather to prepare the sour cakes. They’d sit in a previously-chalked semi-circle in front of the fire. Sugar and aniseed or caraway would be added to the now fermented dough. Each woman (ceremonially, they were called ‘Maidens’) would hold a wooden board and beater on their lap. A piece of dough would then be passed between them in an east/west direction, each lady batting the oat dough down on their board. By the time the cake got to the end of the semi-circle and was handed to the designated baker, called ”The Queen’, it would be ‘as thin as paper’. . This ceremony was last witnessed in 1854, as far as I know. And, at least online, no-one has tried to re-make Rutherglen Sour Cakes as an authentic wild ferment. . This picture is my fourth attempt. I’m getting used to wild souring the dough – it’s easy to tell when it’s ready using your nose. The shaping is best done using a board and a rolling pin. I don’t think I’ve got mine paper-thin yet, but I’m not doing badly! . Rolling them out, alone in my kitchen, brings so many emotions. This process was once so tied to place, to women, to ritual. I feel the weight of what I, what we, have lost: community, sacredness, ceremony, connection, seasonality. At the same time I feel immense gratitude for the path life has shown me, my family that supports me and the beautiful souls that I have connected with (a lot of them here) that *get* it. . And I remember food is never solely about feeding ourselves. . (Check my story for more pics and some historical sources.)

I first read about Rutherglen Sour Cakes in F. Marian McNeill’s book ‘The Scot’s Kitchen’. Her description was short, but intriguing: There was an ‘elaborate ritual’ around their preparation which was ‘clearly from a pagan source’. When I then saw that they were wild fermented, I knew I had to find out more.
.
Rutherglen Sour Cakes were prepared in Rutherglen, close to Glasgow, Scotland, to celebrate St Luke’s day (October 18th). 8-10 days before this, oats and water were mixed up into a dough and left to sour. The eve before the fair, a group of women would gather to prepare the sour cakes. They’d sit in a previously-chalked semi-circle in front of the fire. Sugar and aniseed or caraway would be added to the now fermented dough. Each woman (ceremonially, they were called ‘Maidens’) would hold a wooden board and beater on their lap. A piece of dough would then be passed between them in an east/west direction, each lady batting the oat dough down on their board. By the time the cake got to the end of the semi-circle and was handed to the designated baker, called ”The Queen’, it would be ‘as thin as paper’.
.
This ceremony was last witnessed in 1854, as far as I know. And, at least online, no-one has tried to re-make Rutherglen Sour Cakes as an authentic wild ferment.
.
This picture is my fourth attempt. I’m getting used to wild souring the dough – it’s easy to tell when it’s ready using your nose. The shaping is best done using a board and a rolling pin. I don’t think I’ve got mine paper-thin yet, but I’m not doing badly!
.
Rolling them out, alone in my kitchen, brings so many emotions. This process was once so tied to place, to women, to ritual. I feel the weight of what I, what we, have lost: community, sacredness, ceremony, connection, seasonality. At the same time I feel immense gratitude for the path life has shown me, my family that supports me and the beautiful souls that I have connected with (a lot of them here) that *get* it.
.
And I remember food is never solely about feeding ourselves.
.
(Check my story for more pics and some historical sources.)

Read More

If you’ve ever asked ‘What fermented drinks can I make?’, today’s @ancestralkitchenpodcast is for you. We cover over 20 fermented drinks – all of which, between us, @farmandhearth and I have made at home. We’ll tell you what they are, where they come from, how they are made and why we love them! . You’ll come away super-informed and inspired; ready to start fermenting (and loving) your next drink :-) . You can subscribe to Ancestral Kitchen Podcast on your app, or stream/download from the link in my profile.

If you’ve ever asked ‘What fermented drinks can I make?’, today’s @ancestralkitchenpodcast is for you. We cover over 20 fermented drinks – all of which, between us, @farmandhearth and I have made at home. We’ll tell you what they are, where they come from, how they are made and why we love them!
.
You’ll come away super-informed and inspired; ready to start fermenting (and loving) your next drink 🙂
.
You can subscribe to Ancestral Kitchen Podcast on your app, or stream/download from the link in my profile.

Read More

#60 – What Fermented Drinks Can I Make?

Today’s episode is dedicated to covering the wide world of fermented drinks – all accessible to you, makeable in your own kitchen, right now. We talk about over 20 different fermented drinks, including scoby ferments, whey ferments, grain ferments, wild ferments and we tell you how you can incorporate these super-health-giving, delicious foods into your life.… Read More

Making nutrient-dense food for a children’s party can seem like a tall order. Yes, my son will eat virtually all of the ancestral food I make at home, but this is different: . 1 – It’s really special day and I want to mark that by giving him out of the ordinary food, and 2 – There are going to be 15 other kids there who are used to eating ‘normal’ food. I really want them, for my son’s sake, to like the food. . Here’s the chocolate cake I developed for Gabriel’s 9th birthday. It’s made of spelt flour, has no refined sugar, is risen by the power of sourdough and is egg and dairy free. . In the tests, my son, Gabriel and husband, Rob, loved it…but I was still nervous on the big day! . Thankfully, it went down brilliantly. Every little one there finished their piece and I saw some of them come up and raid the plate for stray crumbs! . Job done. Phew! . @farmandhearth and I are putting together a spelt sourdough cookbook for @ancestralkitchenpodcast (it’ll be our second cookbook!) and this recipe will go in there :-) You don’t have to have a children’s party imminent in order to make it!!

Making nutrient-dense food for a children’s party can seem like a tall order. Yes, my son will eat virtually all of the ancestral food I make at home, but this is different:
.
1 – It’s really special day and I want to mark that by giving him out of the ordinary food, and
2 – There are going to be 15 other kids there who are used to eating ‘normal’ food. I really want them, for my son’s sake, to like the food.
.
Here’s the chocolate cake I developed for Gabriel’s 9th birthday. It’s made of spelt flour, has no refined sugar, is risen by the power of sourdough and is egg and dairy free.
.
In the tests, my son, Gabriel and husband, Rob, loved it…but I was still nervous on the big day!
.
Thankfully, it went down brilliantly. Every little one there finished their piece and I saw some of them come up and raid the plate for stray crumbs!
.
Job done. Phew!
.
@farmandhearth and I are putting together a spelt sourdough cookbook for @ancestralkitchenpodcast (it’ll be our second cookbook!) and this recipe will go in there 🙂 You don’t have to have a children’s party imminent in order to make it!!

Read More