Published November 22, 2011
Tags: diet, food, localvore
After reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, I’ve been choosing wheat grains over my preferred indulgences of white bread and rice. Thanks to friends’ suggestions I’ve tried wheat berries for the first time a few weeks ago and, more recently, local emmer grain, sold by the Flour City Pasta folks (who also make an emmer pasta) at the CNY Regional Market.
Emmer from Flour City -- only $5
So what is emmer? Although it’s an ancient grain still popular in Tuscany, I hadn’t heard of it until I read the most recent issue of Edible Finger Lakes. According to them, emmer is a low-yield crop that’s easy to grow in CNY but difficult to process, which is why we don’t see it offered at scale. The Flour City fellas recommended an overnight soak because the kernel is so tough. After soaking a batch, I noticed several leftover husks had floated to the top, proof that processing isn’t neat and clean. Folks argue that extra effort is worth it and I agree; emmer is more tasty than other grains and supposedly has more protein. I haven’t tried many recipes with it, but I’ve been tweaking a brown rice porridge recipe I found on allrecipes.com. Best of all? The kiddo likes it. Makes me want to try other porridges.
- 1 cup cooked emmer (soak emmer overnight)
- 1 cup milk or plain soy milk
- 2 tablespoons dried raisins (or other dried fruit)
- 1 dash cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon NYS grade A amber maple syrup, agave, or honey
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Combine the cooked emmer, milk, raisins, cinnamon, and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Beat the egg and temper it by whisking in some of the hot emmer, a tablespoon at a time until you have incorporated about 6 tablespoons.
- Stir the egg into the emmer with the vanilla and butter, and continue cooking over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken.
Not the best image, but here's the end result.
Published June 21, 2011
Tags: canada, fish, food, reflection
The fam and I spent last week cabin camping and fishing on Wolf Lake in Westport, Ontario. We’ve been going for four years now and the friends who initially invited us have always aptly captured the event with one word, all caps: CANADA. Since Westport is only 100 miles north of Syracuse, it’s a short enough away to minimize travel, but cosmopolitan enough to feel like an actual vacation (eh?). Plus it’s so ridiculously cheap that we can spend money on the important stuff: Canadian beer and food. This year our 1.5 million calories came from the usual suspects, but also some new ones (*’d):
- apple pie, sausage rolls and tarts from the Westport Bakery
- 4 cast iron pizzas (amazing)*
- 2 logs of peameal bacon
- 2 dozen CNY farm eggs
- blood sausage*
- 750 ml of 1800 (blanco)
- 2 cases of Molson Brador (malty!), 1 case of Alex Keith’s White* (great with an orange), 12 bottles of Mill Street Wit*, and 12 bottles of Steam Whistle Pils*
- Haley’s homemade granola*
The only thing missing from this list? Walleye. Despite fishing every day for at least 5 hours, we only caught lots of angry pike (hell’s pickerel), dopy smallmouth and rock bass, various panfish and a few little perch. Not even a tug from heaven’s pickerel. Adding insult to injury, as we packed up the car to leave on Saturday morning, the newly arrived campers next door — some of whom had been coming to that lake for 61 years — were motoring in from their first morning outing. The stringer was loaded with at least four full and fleshy walleye, which they cut on our site’s dusty gutting table.
Aside from catching no fish, the other downer was that AM fell from a couch in the cabin on Monday and broke her collarbone. Aside from the initial pain, which was intense, she recovered quickly and after spending two days visiting doctors in the States (it was $500 just to start getting seen in Ontario), we were back to vacationing in no time. The bone should heal on its own in six weeks time and she’s already back to her hyperactive self.
All in all another great year and weather-wise we could not have asked for a better week.