Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mystery Grain

Hi friends! Hope you had a great weekend! Now it's back to the daily grind.  
My weekend was filled with activities while visiting Laura in Champaign where she attends grad school at University of Illinois.  Being in a college town never fails to make me feel like a college kid again.  I party at bars and sleep in all hours of the mornings.  We still managed to hit up the farmer's market, an apple orchard and a pumpkin patch, go for a 5 mile run, shop at the mall, attend a potluck and play games, chat while sipping coffee, and take a short walking tour of campus.  I really enjoyed the weekend and seeing her again. I'm glad she goes to school so close to me, since her other top pick for grad school was USC.  Not that I would have minded visiting her in Cali, but it probably would have happened a lot less.  
Her friends seemed like a great group of people.  I'm a little jealous that she's found so many friends already because I wish I could meet some new people where I live.  I guess it is a little easier when your whole class is new and looking for friends.  Oh well I'm sure I will meet some new people eventually.
I'm really here tonight for some help.
You see, I found this bag of grain in my cupboard when I moved out of my apartment in Iowa City.


It was a neglected bag of grain that I received in my CSA (community supported agriculture) bag in summer 2010.  I didn't know what it was then or what to do with it so into the cupboard it went, and I promptly forgot about it.

Side note: Does spelling cupboard out feel weird to anyone else? I never say cup-board, but rather something more along the lines of cuh-birds. And I think it should be spelled cubburbs or something like that.

Since I've been living in my new place, I've been trying to determine both what they are and what to do with them.  I've tried putting it into overnight oats, but they didn't soften up any and were quite tough to eat.  They seem to have quite the tough shell.  


My search to identify this grain has turned up nothing.  But the other night I thought I would give boiling them a try sort of similar to preparing rice.  I just threw about a 1/2 cup into some water and let the pot boil for about 12 minutes.  The grain seemed to puff up a bit.


The result was a soft but chewy rice-like substance.  


The grain by itself was sort of blah so I spiced it up a bit.  I chopped up a tomato and a green onion and tossed them into the dish along with a bit of olive oil.  The olive oil came out faster than I expected so poured on too much...oops.  


The result wasn't too bad and it was filling.  I still have no idea what I was eating.

And now for your viewing pleasure.  I found these capsules in a plastic Easter egg while I was cleaning.


Danielle sent these to me a while ago but they somehow got lost in my stuff.  (I'm not surprised because sometimes I can be kind of unorganized.)

The directions said to put them in a bowl of warm water and wait.


At first nothing seemed to be happening.


But I helped the process along by peeling off the weird outer capsule part.  

The result


A triceratops and a T-rex.   Aren't they cute?

Does any one know what this grain is?
Have you ever eating something without knowing what it is or how to eat it?

My mom once called me to tell me she was eating a pomegranate for the first time.  According to her it tasted terrible and was very bitter.  Turns out she was eating the white part.  Blech.  Don't worry I set her straight and told her to eat the colorful seeds.  She liked that part a lot better.

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