I can't say my stress level has decreased much since yesterday, but I am trying to move forward.
It helped when my 7-year-old said to me, on our walk to school this morning:
"We learned about government in social studies yesterday."
"Oh, really? What did you learn?"
"All about the branches. Like the excusative branch, the legilosatative branch, and especially the jujitsu branch."
Maybe that's what we've been missing. A jujitsu branch.
OK, back to food. I'm working on your requests. Please don't think I've forgotten about you. I've got a cilantro dish in the works, then will turn to chicken, then apples and cheddar. I just... need... more... time.
So can we talk about wheat berries now?
After my macaroni and cheese bender on Saturday night, I felt an urge to make something sensible. So I boiled up a huge pot of wheat berries.
Now bear with me. Please. Wheat berries are not scary health food. Yes, they're very good for you (fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron), but that's almost beside the point. They're nutty, toothsome, and filling. Perfect for adding to a huge variety of comforting autumn dishes with surprisingly little effort. They're not hard to make, don't taste like cardboard, and won't eat a hole in your wallet. Their only flaw, perhaps, is that you'll need access to a Whole Foods (bulk aisle) or natural foods store to find them.
BUT, once you have them, you can cook up a huge pot, let them cool, and freeze them in little freezer-bags. Then you just pop them, whenever you want, into soups, stews, chili, or oatmeal.
Why, you ask, should you bother exploring wheat berries when you already know about brown rice and barley and other whole grains? Um, why do you eat apples when you can also eat pears and bananas?
Do me a favor: go spend your 65 cents a pound on a bag of wheat berries, then take them home and cook them up and cool them. Keep half in the fridge (I'll tell you what to do with them tomorrow), and freeze the other half in 1- or 2-cup servings in small ziplocs.
Have I lost you?
Recipe for Cooked Wheat Berries
There's no excuse for preparing a small batch when you can freeze the cooked grains, saving you oodles of time in the future. Once you drain and rinse the wheat berries, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet to finish cooling, and pat dry with paper towels. Pop half in the fridge (in a covered container) for this week, and freeze the rest in small batches for later.
2 cups wheat berries (I prefer the hard red winter wheat variety)
7 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt
Sort through the wheat berries and discard any debris or wayward stones. Set in a strainer and rinse well. Place in a large soup pot with water and salt.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a very low simmer and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until plumped and al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water. Follow instructions above for storage.