Flour was the pantry choice today and such a historic item. Hunting was the main source of food supply until around 16-17 thousand years ago when man changed the tools around and moved towards a more civilized method of food production and turned to agriculture.
Amazing to read just how innovative people from this time were and with such limited information and resource. From using a simple stick to plant a grain to sowing the seeds as the ancient Egyptians by spreading the seed directly into the mud left by the annual floods and then driving the cattle over the area to trample and plant the seeds for them. Broadcasting the seed by hand was also used and a skilled man could plant out an acre of land in 90 minutes. From using sickles to thrashers to stone grinders all the basic implements provided the necessary tools to harvest and extract the grains and make the flour.
After reading Dark Emu I was even more amazed how the history of grain and flour is sitting right on our doorstep and yet never entered into most easily sourced information. Bruce Pascoe shares a great history of our Indigenous Australians and brings to light how a grinding stone of an amazing age of around 36,000 years was recently discovered in New South Wales. This brings evidence of seed collectors and seed grindering, which in part widens our understanding of how the Indigenous Australians farmed.
In 1845 Charles Sturt wrote in his journals about coming across a village of approximately 400 Indigenous Australians who treated them to roasted duck and some cake. Charles Sturt and Thomas Mitchell also documented in the 19th century of various examples of women cultivating yellow-flower daisy yams, people growing grain and men fishing in elaborate and ancient aquaculture systems.
What I found most amazing was kangaroo grass the most common used for flour and is gluten free as well as providing a pro-biotic interaction with the gut. Well worth the effort in finding this book and reading a little more about our local and ancient grains along with the history of farming and storage of foods.
Lets hope being the country that invented bread will sit alongside our other accolades 🙂
THE KIDS KITCHEN
Lots of recipe ideas in the Recipe section today – getting the children involved in creating some wonderful baked oven trays for dinner with the chance of a few leftovers for the lunchbox the next day, or maybe even the start of a soup or casserole for the next family dinner.
THE FAMILY TABLE
Mince is the fav of the day and a simple recipe for Cheats Beef Wellington using beef mince but lots of ideas to create a warm and tasty meal for the cold nights ahead.