I'd like regular ancestral cooking emails!

This is a 7-year-old’s view of my sourdough pizza. This one is Italian spelt grain, topped with pesto made from garden basil, local garlic and soaked, roasted walnuts and then decorated with the abundance of small onions I’m getting every week from #mercatointrasizione. . It’s not always easy to keep my 7-year-old, Gabriel, calm while I’m photographing. And considering he’s the dough mixer, he’s getting a bigger claim on our pizzas as time goes on! . This week @elliemarkovich told me about some smoked spelt flour. I really want to find some locally (or build a smoker) so I could try it out in my pizzas and breads. Have you ever tried smoked flours? . (Recipe for the pizza is linked in my profile)

This is a 7-year-old’s view of my sourdough pizza. This one is Italian spelt grain, topped with pesto made from garden basil, local garlic and soaked, roasted walnuts and then decorated with the abundance of small onions I’m getting every week from #mercatointrasizione.
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It’s not always easy to keep my 7-year-old, Gabriel, calm while I’m photographing. And considering he’s the dough mixer, he’s getting a bigger claim on our pizzas as time goes on!
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This week @elliemarkovich told me about some smoked spelt flour. I really want to find some locally (or build a smoker) so I could try it out in my pizzas and breads. Have you ever tried smoked flours?
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(Recipe for the pizza is linked in my profile)

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Chocolate has a secret life. . One where, instead of being formed into industrial bars, women combine it by hand with local herbs to make drinks. One where it is a healer, not a creator of addiction. One where it’s revered – held so sacred that it’s used in ceremony and as currency, not bought for a few pennies, wrapper discarded. One where it’s bitter, potent and intense, not sweet and sickly. And one where nobody feels guilt when they imbibe it. . Today’s podcast is all about that secret life. Andrea and I had a fascinating, insightful, educating and entertaining with conversation with Marcos Patchett @nocturnalherbalist, who’s written a 700-page book on chocolate. A book that I’ve read from cover-to-cover and has completely rocked my world! . Download the episode from your app or stream/download from my site (link in profile) and settle in (perhaps, may I add, with your favourite bean-to-bar by your side :-))

Chocolate has a secret life.
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One where, instead of being formed into industrial bars, women combine it by hand with local herbs to make drinks. One where it is a healer, not a creator of addiction. One where it’s revered – held so sacred that it’s used in ceremony and as currency, not bought for a few pennies, wrapper discarded. One where it’s bitter, potent and intense, not sweet and sickly. And one where nobody feels guilt when they imbibe it.
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Today’s podcast is all about that secret life. Andrea and I had a fascinating, insightful, educating and entertaining with conversation with Marcos Patchett @nocturnalherbalist, who’s written a 700-page book on chocolate. A book that I’ve read from cover-to-cover and has completely rocked my world!
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Download the episode from your app or stream/download from my site (link in profile) and settle in (perhaps, may I add, with your favourite bean-to-bar by your side :-))

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#13 – The Secret Life of Chocolate

Chocolate has a secret life. And learning about it will change your view of this food forever! Join us as we interview Marcos Patchett, author of the 700-page The Secret Life of Chocolate, about the ancestral, medicinal, cultural, psychological and mythological secrets of the cacao bean.… Read More

Raw goat milk whey ice cubes. Andrea @farmandhearth turned me on to freezing whey in cubes. These will stay, conveniently, in my freezer and I’ll take a couple out at a time and use the microbes to ferment up some goodies. . I want to have a go at root beer. Traditionally made with sassafras in the US (a plant that, until a month ago, I’d never heard of), I’ll have to find an alternative here. I’m wondering about carrot, maybe with some spices added like ginger and possibly licorice. . Suggestions from root beer makers would be much appreciated!

Raw goat milk whey ice cubes. Andrea @farmandhearth turned me on to freezing whey in cubes. These will stay, conveniently, in my freezer and I’ll take a couple out at a time and use the microbes to ferment up some goodies.
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I want to have a go at root beer. Traditionally made with sassafras in the US (a plant that, until a month ago, I’d never heard of), I’ll have to find an alternative here. I’m wondering about carrot, maybe with some spices added like ginger and possibly licorice.
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Suggestions from root beer makers would be much appreciated!

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We have so much basil. Twelve plants that are going it like I’ve never seen before! We’ve had pesto, the leaves in kefir, it chopped up with strawberries….but today I decided to make a dressing, so I whizzed up a huge bunch of basil with lemon, olive oil and a little salt/pepper, then drenched my tomatoes in it. . In a less-starring-role, but just as amazing, on my plate you can see liver from Flavio @valledelsasso, spent grain (from beer) sourdough, home-rendered lard (the fat was from Flavio too), salad from #mercatointransizione down the road and chives from the garden. . I love liver, I love ‘waste’ sourdough, I love saturated fat *and* I love my basil. . Anyone wanna give me some more ideas on what to do with it? I think I can actually see the plants growing back as I type….

We have so much basil. Twelve plants that are going it like I’ve never seen before! We’ve had pesto, the leaves in kefir, it chopped up with strawberries….but today I decided to make a dressing, so I whizzed up a huge bunch of basil with lemon, olive oil and a little salt/pepper, then drenched my tomatoes in it.
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In a less-starring-role, but just as amazing, on my plate you can see liver from Flavio @valledelsasso, spent grain (from beer) sourdough, home-rendered lard (the fat was from Flavio too), salad from #mercatointransizione down the road and chives from the garden.
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I love liver, I love ‘waste’ sourdough, I love saturated fat *and* I love my basil.
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Anyone wanna give me some more ideas on what to do with it? I think I can actually see the plants growing back as I type….

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When we make ancestral beer, rye sediment builds up at the bottom of the ferment. We strain that out before bottling. I use the larger bits (mixed with some spelt flour) to make a chunky loaf. There are also some really small rye ‘crumbs’, I usually make these into a porridge, but this time I decided to try them in a ‘porridge bread’. . This is the result. A sourdough spelt loaf which includes a porridge made from super-fermented rye crumbs. The porridge makes the crumb really soft and spongy and adds a sour taste that I really like. . Nearly all of my breads these days have some ‘pre-used’ grains in. It feels like the right thing to do. Why should kitchen processes have waste? Fruit scrap vinegar and shrubs, stock from bones and vegetable ends, tea from cacao bean husks and bread from beer left-overs. Surely this is the way forward?! It is, at least, in this kitchen :-)

When we make ancestral beer, rye sediment builds up at the bottom of the ferment. We strain that out before bottling. I use the larger bits (mixed with some spelt flour) to make a chunky loaf. There are also some really small rye ‘crumbs’, I usually make these into a porridge, but this time I decided to try them in a ‘porridge bread’.
.
This is the result. A sourdough spelt loaf which includes a porridge made from super-fermented rye crumbs. The porridge makes the crumb really soft and spongy and adds a sour taste that I really like.
.
Nearly all of my breads these days have some ‘pre-used’ grains in. It feels like the right thing to do. Why should kitchen processes have waste? Fruit scrap vinegar and shrubs, stock from bones and vegetable ends, tea from cacao bean husks and bread from beer left-overs. Surely this is the way forward?! It is, at least, in this kitchen 🙂

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I made my ginger beer super-strong and it is *so* refreshing. It’s fizzed nicely too, thanks to my swing top bottle. . The bug is in the fridge now. I’ll pull it out the night before I want to make the next batch and feed it some fresh sugar and ginger. . What with sourdough starters, beer yeasts, my boza starter, this bug, sourdough porridges, sauerkraut and fermented garlic it’s sometimes getting hard to get ‘normal’ food into my fridge! . @farmandhearth and I just recorded an @ancestralkitchenpodcast episode which is all about what’s in our fridges. It’ll be out at the end of the month, in case you’re curious!

I made my ginger beer super-strong and it is *so* refreshing. It’s fizzed nicely too, thanks to my swing top bottle.
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The bug is in the fridge now. I’ll pull it out the night before I want to make the next batch and feed it some fresh sugar and ginger.
.
What with sourdough starters, beer yeasts, my boza starter, this bug, sourdough porridges, sauerkraut and fermented garlic it’s sometimes getting hard to get ‘normal’ food into my fridge!
.
@farmandhearth and I just recorded an @ancestralkitchenpodcast episode which is all about what’s in our fridges. It’ll be out at the end of the month, in case you’re curious!

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Ancestral chocolate for breakfast! . This is a mix of Nicaraguan cacao beans that I roasted, shelled and ground and left-over millet grain that has been through the wild beer-making process. . I cooked the millet up on the stove like porridge. It was full of probiotic yeasts and bacteria when it went in the pot…and the benefits weren’t all cooked out when I heated it (check my profile-linked article on postbiotics and paraprobiotics if you want to know more). . Once it was done I stirred in some cinnamon and plopped in the home-processed 100% cacao tablets. Watching them melt was gorgeous! After a taste I could tell that coconut would work well, so I found the packet at the back of our cupboard and liberally sprinkled. . Most ancestral cacao drinks (i.e. drinks made in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica) use corn. My son cannot eat corn, so I’ve been dreaming up alternatives like this. Using the ‘spent’ millet grain feels so satisfying, as it’s taking something that has been ‘pre-loved’ (in our beer) and using it again! . Chocolate podcast is coming a week today :-)

Ancestral chocolate for breakfast!
.
This is a mix of Nicaraguan cacao beans that I roasted, shelled and ground and left-over millet grain that has been through the wild beer-making process.
.
I cooked the millet up on the stove like porridge. It was full of probiotic yeasts and bacteria when it went in the pot…and the benefits weren’t all cooked out when I heated it (check my profile-linked article on postbiotics and paraprobiotics if you want to know more).
.
Once it was done I stirred in some cinnamon and plopped in the home-processed 100% cacao tablets. Watching them melt was gorgeous! After a taste I could tell that coconut would work well, so I found the packet at the back of our cupboard and liberally sprinkled.
.
Most ancestral cacao drinks (i.e. drinks made in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica) use corn. My son cannot eat corn, so I’ve been dreaming up alternatives like this. Using the ‘spent’ millet grain feels so satisfying, as it’s taking something that has been ‘pre-loved’ (in our beer) and using it again!
.
Chocolate podcast is coming a week today 🙂

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First beetroot harvest. And they are better than my first try last year. Container grown on our tiny patio, from seed. The greens are just as impressive as the roots – delicate and tasty. . I’ll boil the green for 5 minutes, but there’s a bit of a recipe jam for the beets; Beet Kvass? Roasted Beet? Grated with parsley and sesame seeds in a salad? . What’s your favourite?

First beetroot harvest. And they are better than my first try last year. Container grown on our tiny patio, from seed. The greens are just as impressive as the roots – delicate and tasty.
.
I’ll boil the green for 5 minutes, but there’s a bit of a recipe jam for the beets; Beet Kvass? Roasted Beet? Grated with parsley and sesame seeds in a salad?
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What’s your favourite?

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