Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sorghum Experiment #1

I had a lot of committments in September and October. Not much time to play with my food. The last event on my schedule was Tuesday night. It's done! They're all done! I finally had a free evening!

So I gathered up my bouquets of sorghum and tried to figure out how to proceed. I was pleased with my first sorghum harvest, but it wasn't really edible yet.

I pulled some of the grains off the stems. Each grain was surrounded by husk or chaff. I needed to remove the chaff and separate it from the grains. So I rubbed the grains between the palms of my hands and had a little bowl of kernels and husks. Hmmm. I could pick all the kernels out by hand, wearing the strong reading glasses I keep in the bathroom to use when plucking my eyebrows.

I was sure there must be an easier way, so I called my mom. She said to stand outside on a windy day and toss the grains and chaff in a pie pan. The wind would carry the chaff away and the grains would fall back into the pan. She said that's how they winnowed grains in the old days. Hmmm. I think by "the old days" she meant Biblical times.

Since it was a calm night, I gathered small handfuls of grains and blew on them. Sure nuf! The chaff blew out and I was left with just grains. In only 30 minutes I had about 1/4 cup! Thankfully, that's all I needed.

For my first experiment, I wanted to grind sorghum to the texture of corn meal and use it for frying fish. One filet would do. I found out I'm allergic to corn back in January. I grew up on fresh-caught bluegills dusted with corn meal and fried. I've missed that down home taste.

So I ground my little kernels in in the coffee grinder. The texture was pretty close to corn meal! I dusted a catfish filet and fried it up.

Voila! Down home fish dinner! It only took about TWO HOURS! Ha ha! Good thing I wasn't starving. That two hours didn't include sweeping all the chaff up off the kitchen floor.

Here's the sugar maple that brightens my view from the dining room window. It was just a wispy little sprig when I moved here. I'm glad it survived the tornado and has filled out nicely.

My rainbow Swiss chard is the last color in my gardens outside the back door. I had to reroute the ridiculous squash vines several times to protect the chard. The squash vines have succumbed to the frost, but the chard still stands tall.


seamaiden said...

I am SO IMPRESSED you grew your own sorghum. Beautiful and inspiring post. LOVE those gorgeous veggies. I so wish I could have a garden...

-Sea the envious ;)

Gluti Girl said...

You are so amazing! Growing and grinding your own sorgum! It's really kind of cool to see what it looks like before grinding. I have been using a bit more of it lately. Wow, that fish looks good!

Gluten free Kay said...

Hi Sea - growing it was the easy part. The threshing, winnowing and grinding make me feel like a REAL pioneer! I guess it's just one of the many chores folks did before television turned us into couch potatoes.

Hi Melanie - It was cool to touch every grain in the processing. I'm feeling more connected to my food these days.