Thursday, February 05, 2009

My Grain of Thought

Thanks to my grist mill run back in November, I've had a good variety of grains to use in cooking this winter, resulting in some filling and delicious meals.

There are plenty of good reasons for that: not only are whole grains loaded with good nutrition and dietary fiber, they fill me up very well without too much effort.

In fact, because I love grains so much, I've fallen under the spell of others who advocate growing one's own grains, including "neighbor" blogger Emily at Eat Close to Home. But I've found more detailed information on growing grains in Gene Logsdon's book Small-Scale Grain Raising.

His first edition came out in the mid-1970s, and when I looked for a copy last fall, I felt fortunate to borrow a library copy because used copies were selling on Amazon for over $1000.

Happily, though, he has recently revised the book, and in the course of our email conversations he graciously invited me to read and review the manuscript of the second edition. Though the book won't be out until later this spring, you can find my review of it over at The Ethicurean. It's well worth a read if you're looking to take back control of more of your food supply because he makes grain-growing sound straightforward and even delightful.

Several recipes dot the landscape of the book, though it's hardly a cookbook, but they're worth trying. I sampled the cheese wheat germ biscuits (adding a bit of dried homegrown basil and a dash of black pepper) and enjoyed them with dinner last week.

Tonight I decided to celebrate other grains found in his book -- and in my pantry:

I used the last of a bag of frozen broccoli in a rich cheddar cheese grits soufflé, topped with leftover bread crumbs from Sunday's loaf.

And to accompany the soufflé, I made a batch of baking powder biscuits with local spelt flour -- a slightly gritty but light and flaky treat.

Though I don't plan to grow corn or spelt this year -- right now I have winter wheat and buckwheat seeds on hand and am still waiting for my oats -- the thought of using fresh grains from my own garden for some of these dishes fills me with excitement (as well as carbohydrates).

I can hardly wheat!

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