I just bought the beautiful cook book Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce and I am in love with it. First I just admired the photography, and then I began reading each of the recipes and falling for not just the recipes but the language too. The way she describes each recipe brings personal warmth and respect to food and the art of cooking. I am a bit of a voyeur, and something about reading about another persons' kitchen always sets me right off the deep end.
I am obsessively learning about wine these days because I am suddenly in charge of the list at the restaurant I work at- a big undertaking. I have so much to learn! One of my favorite parts of the process is learning how to describe what I am tasting. This requires me to slow down and actually think while drinking- a challenge. I am not usually a slow-down kind of girl. But in learning to taste wine, I am learning to taste everything. It's obvious, but each ingredient in a dish is there for a reason. Being a speed-eater, I am guilty of not even tasting half of what I eat. This is sad and must stop. In Good to the Grain, Kim Boyce describes the flavors of each grain and what they can do for a dish. She uses words like "nutty", "milky" and "grassy". I love these words. I want to taste them. Maybe if I slow down, I will.
On Sunday, I decided to try one of her recipes. I used a different fruit filling than she did, but I am mostly interested in how she's using all these nutty grains anyhow. I made corn flour galettes filled with blueberries and raspberries from the yard. The corn flour added a wonderfully gritty (in a good way) texture and a sweet, earthy flavor. I was so happy with the result. Had it been my usual a.p. flour crust, I might have skipped thinking about what it actually tasted like until I got to the fruit, but with the corn crust I stopped to consider what I was tasting. Today I made waffles and threw in some spelt flour, just to see what would happen. They were golden brown in color, still crisp and light, but also had a malty, honey flavor. Grains! They don't have to make food heavy and taste like cardboard.
I'm hooked. Next I will be trying her quinoa porridge, perfect for freezing Portland summer mornings.