disappointing wheat experiments

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Last May in Egypt I bought an alabaster mortar and pestle, partly as a nice souvenir and partly because I thought it would help grind wheat in an emergency. Yesterday I put a handful of wheat in it and tried to grind it. After vigorous pounding, the wheat wasn't damaged at all. There's no way I could grind up enough wheat for a loaf of bread. So much for that idea. Last night I put some wheat, cinnamon, and sugar in a thermal carafe and added boiling water. I wanted to see if it would cook overnight and make a nice breakfast. The answer was NO. I found it acceptable, but my husband hated it. Maybe actually cooking it would have helped, but probably not much. My ultra-picky husband may have to change his ways.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (storestuff@home.now), October 06, 1999


I tried grinding some grain with a mortar and pestle once, and I am sure glad I have a grain mill. You might try boiling the wheat/water first, and then put the boiled mixture in the thermos overnight. Make sure you have extra room for the expanding grain.

-- Jim (jiminwis@yahoo.com), October 06, 1999.

Alabaster? Isn't that what a pharmacist might use? You're gonna need something a lot coarser and more robust for wheat, like a couple rocks.

Hey folks, if you don't know what to do with whole wheat, don't buy it! Just because some prep manual said you should get 50 lb bags and a grinder, it doesn't mean you really SHOULD! Prep manuals are general guides based on the personal world view of the writer, and they don't know you or how you eat.

We tell people to buy what they normally eat, just buy more of it. If you want wheat in some form, buy pasta. It's dense, stores well, easy to cook, and it's something your body probably is already used to. If you can't live without bread, get some 1.5 pint widemouth masons, cook bread in them and seal them up.

If there's something you won't be able to get in the future, start living without it NOW, and get used to it. We have Millennial Meals at our house regularly, made from only what we have stored. Good practice.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 06, 1999.


If hubby isn't used to whole grains - he will just have to get used to the firmer, chewier texture and fuller flavor. Perhaps a little salt (like making oatmeal) would have improved the thermos wheat. Good luck.

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), October 06, 1999.

In more primitive times I've soaked the
wheat overnight, pounded them flat with
a stone mortar and pestle, added salt and
sesame seeds, flattened into cakes, put on
a flat rock in the morning, turned over at
noon, and by dinner had a wonderful meal.

You can also allow them to partially germinate
first. This changes the taste somewhat.

-- spider (spider0@usa.net), October 06, 1999.

Here is what I plan to do with my wheat.

I bought a gal of wheat just for sprouting. The sprouts are very sweet and very easy to grow. I also planted some wheat in a flower pot and use the grass in salads. Just cut a few inches from the stalks with scissors when they are about 4-6 inches high.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), October 06, 1999.

Well, it is true that you can grind some wheat with the pestel you bought, but that does not mean that you would want to. Get a hand drined made for the job. The right tool for the right job is said for a reason. I would suggest slipping the sprouts and some good wheat bread in on hubby to get him used to the product and cook cracked wheat for breakfast. It does take a while to get used to.

-- smfdoc (smfdoc@aol.com), October 06, 1999.

I do have a Back to Basics grain mill, but I wanted to try other options also. We don't have a huge supply of wheat, but it's so versatile (flour, sprouts, wheatgrass, etc.) I wanted to have some in our emergency supplies.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (storestuff@home.now), October 07, 1999.

Pearlie, boil water and put in a thermos and add wheat. Leave it overnite and the next morning you got cooked wheat cereal!

-- freddie (freddie@thefreeloader.com), October 08, 1999.

Pearlie.. My husband hates whole wheat bread...the dark kind. I learned this year, after grinding and making bread for over 20 years, that Hard Red Winter wheat will give you heavy dark bread. Hard white wheat called Prairie gold gives white bread and is much lighter dough. I also mix in regular bread flour if I have some. If not he will still eat the bread made with the white wheat. I had always INSISTED on hard red winter wheat. Never too old to learn something new or unlearn something old.


-- Taz (Taz@aol.com), October 08, 1999.

Your mortar and pestle will probably work OK if you first parboil and then dry your wheat. You'll have bulgur wheat, which will cook up quickly.

-- Ron Schwarz (rs@clubvb.com.delete.this), October 08, 1999.

DON'T cook bread in a jar until you read http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Flats/1894/giftsjar3.html it could kill you if you don't keep it refrigerated.

Having said that, I will probably cook some up, keep it in the fridge until the power goes out in Y2K...then store it in the unheated room which is cold as an icebox in winter...and eat it then so I won't have the smell of cooking food coming out of my house until after the major part of the die off is over.

-- Dennis Law (PaulLaw@aol.com), October 12, 1999.

Ron- Seeing as how you have info on how to make bulgur, can you give any leads on how to create couscous from wheat? (There are lots of recipes for couscous out on the net.)

-- Dennis Law (PaulLaw@aol.com), October 13, 1999.

I knew I had this somewhere in the documents I've copied from the www. The below tells how to cook wheat in a thermos. -Dennis

THE PERFECT 3.3 CENT BREAKFAST By Kurt Saxon A while back some Mormons visited me and told me of a friend who had been suckered into paying $12,000 for a year's supply of "Survival Food" for his family of five. The seller had given him a break by not charging anything for the baby. The only good thing one can say about most commercial survival foods is that they won't taste any worse in ten years than they do now. The worst that can be said for them, aside from their lack of nutrition from over processing, is that they cost an average of three times that of food from your local supermarket.

A year's supply of food would be nice and you should go for it. But be practical. Buy what you normally eat and like. Learn basic food processing so you can buy foods cheaply and in bulk.

Of course, we all use canned and processed food on a regular basis and they should always be bought by the case. You should figure how much of a certain product you will buy over the next year and buy it all at once by the case from your supermarket.

The economy is obvious. First, the supermarket manager will deduct at least 5%, since his people won't have to unpack it and put it on the shelves. Second, since food prices do nothing but rise, you will probably pay at least 25% more for the same products in a few months.

You can do even better by trading at the discount food stores like Sam's. Their prices average 10% above dealer's prices on most items.

Although food in cans, jars and dried packaged foods easily keep from three to five years if they are stored in a dry place, you can insure freshness by rotating. Say you bought ten cases of canned peas. Just mark the cases from 1 to 10. Use from case 1 and when that is emptied, buy another and label it 11. Then start on case 2, buy another and label it 12 and so on. That way none of the food will ever be less than fresh.

When you incorporate grains into your diet you will see your food costs plummet. Buy a hand grain grinder and bake your own bread. You will save several dollars a month. It will also taste better and be more nourishing. You can even sell it to neighbors and even to local health food stores.

Grain grinders should be steel-burred, not stone. Stone grinders are a fraud. They are touted as causing less heat than steel. But hand grinding does not create the amount of heat objected to in the commercial milling of grains. So buy the much cheaper and more durable steel-burred grinder. Atlan sells the Corona Grain Mill for $48.00 delivered in the continental United States (foreign please request additional shipping charges). It is the best for the price of any on the market and should last a lifetime.

The Survivor Vol 1 and Poor Man's James Bond Strikes Again video tape will give you an excellent grounding on the processing of inexpensive and nutritious foods. Through them you will learn that high food costs, and especially the need for commercial survival foods, are the results of ignorance. You may soon have to abandon the luxury of such ignorance.

But now to get to the main subject; the perfect 3.3 cent breakfast. This is just one example of a food which is easy to process, nourishing, energy and health giving and costs practically nothing.

It is simply four ounces of wheat, sprouted for 48 hours, cooked overnight in your thermos and put in your blender. This makes a large bowl of breakfast cereal which tastes wonderful and will give you more energy than you can imagine.

There are several steps to processing this food but it takes only a few minutes in all as you bustle about in your daily routine.

You probably already have most of what you need but you should equip yourself with what you lack.

First, look up your local feed and seed store, even in a city, and call them. Ask if they have, or can order, 50 to 60 pounds of hard red winter wheat, untreated (treated seed is strictly for planting). There is no reason they should not be able to provide it.

It will cost between $7.00 and $8.00, depending on your location. Say it costs $8.00 for 60 pounds or 13 cents per pound. You will use 4 ounce portions. That is 4 times 60 or 240 breakfasts or 3.3 cents for each breakfast.

One thing you will need is a Stanley Aladdin narrow-mouthed thermos bottle. These cost $19.00 at Wal-Mart, are almost unbreakable and will last a lifetime. Don't be tempted to get a wide-mouthed thermos, if you mean to cook in it. It holds 3/4 cup less than you need. Also, the cap has a wider surface, which keeps it from holding the heat of the near boiling water needed for actual cooking.

Next you need two quart jars. Mayonnaise jars or similar will do. To cover them get some nylon window screen from the hardware store and cut two six inch by six inch squares. Put four ounces of wheat in each jar. Put the screens over the jars and hold them in place with large rubber bands. Fill one jar one-third with water and set it near the sink overnight.

Next morning pour out the soak water and drink it. It is vitamin-rich and a good morning tonic. Upend the jar in the sink to drain. After the first draining, flood the wheat about every four hours before bedtime and drain it. The idea is to keep the wheat moist.

At the last flooding the first day, just before bedtime, flood the second jar and let it set overnight like the first. Next day, drink the water and treat the second as the first, flooding both every four hours or so.

On the second evening the first jar of wheat will show sprouts protruding from the ends of the grains. Now it is ready. It is part grain and part fresh vegetable. Its protein and vitamin content is higher and it is altogether a more complete food, rich and amazingly nutritious and, again, a complete meal for less than 4 cents.

Empty the sprouted grains into a two cup measure and put four more ounces of wheat in the jar, flood and set aside overnight as before. Now you have a perpetual routine taking up no real time and producing a fantastic amount of food for little cost.

With the sprouted grain in the two cup measure fill it with water to the two cup mark. Then pour it into a saucepan on the stove and add two more cups of water and a few shakes of salt to keep it from tasting flat. Heat it to a boil, which takes about five minutes.

You will need a funnel to pour the water and the grain into the thermos. Take a gallon plastic bottle; milk, bleach, vegetable oil, etc. and cut it in half. Use the top half for the funnel.

Fill your thermos with hot water to preheat it and then pour out just before filling with the grain. While the grain is still boiling, empty the pan into the funnel and so into the thermos. You will have to use a spoon to push part of the grain from the funnel into the thermos, as well as some of the grain from the pan. At any rate, do it quickly so you can cap the thermos to contain the heat.

Cap then shake the thermos and lay it on its side so its contents don't bunch up, and leave it overnight. Next morning, pour the contents into a blender and pour out part of the liquid into a cup. Drink the liquid as it is rich in vitamins.

With just enough liquid to cover the grain, turn on the blender at low. Then increase the speed until the grain is all ground to the consistency of oatmeal. You can add cinnamon or any other flavoring if you like but you will find it has a delicious taste of its own.

You do not need much sweetener as the sprouting has created quite a bit of wheat sugar. You can add cream if you like, but I like mine plain. In fact, I just blend the wheat with all the liquid and drink it.

You will be surprised at the energy you feel even a few minutes after eating. Not only will it enable you to be more energetic and alert until lunch time but it will also be an excellent weight adjuster.

For instance, if you are overweight, that energy will make you more active and you will lose weight. If you are underweight, its carbohydrates will be burned up as energy and that same energy will activate and increase your musculature.

There is one possible drawback to this 3.3 cent breakfast. If you are active, no problem. But if you live a sedentary lifestyle and are sluggish, you may get the runs. Not chronic, just loose. However, this would only last a few days. After all, this is whole wheat, with all the bran. People have been eating roughly ground whole wheat for thousands of years. Up until about eighty years ago only the very rich ever ate white bread. Sluggish intestines were a rarity except among the wealthy.

Consequently, only the rich got colon cancer. Colon cancer is caused by the buildup of carcinogens on intestinal linings. The rough bran from whole wheat and coarsely ground corn kept the intestines of common folk free from any such buildup.

The same goes for oatmeal, which has recently been touted as the perfect bran food. It is a staple of the Scots and is high in protein. But what with the bran craze its price has risen much higher than its nutritive value.

So back to the wheat bran and its unsettling effects on the innards of sluggards. This is only temporary. Any radical, even beneficial, change in the diet will cause a reaction. The intestines are not harmed, any more than unused muscles are harmed after a first day of horseback riding. The nether quarters doth protest but they soon get used to it. No need to overdo it to bowleggedness though.

So I am not suggesting this to be your whole breakfast permanently or that you make whole wheat your staple food. What I would suggest, however, is that you challenge yourself to make it your whole breakfast for two weeks.

You will save money. You will experience fantastic energy. You will lose/gain weight. You will even get cleaned out and regular and will realize that you will never really need a laxative, even Metamucel, from then on if you eat only one serving each day. You will lower you risk of colon cancer. And you will never fear starvation as long as you have sense enough to buy whole grains in bulk.

-- Dennis Law (PaulLaw@aol.com), October 18, 1999.

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