Erin's self-sufficiency blog

Dedicated to sharing my efforts in radical homemaking, self-sufficiency, simplicity, and general craftiness on a very, very small budget.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


I have thus far only come across rotton recipes for cooking millet. Millet is a nice change when you are sick of having rice with everything. It is as high as wheat in protein and fibre, and it is slightly higher in fat, which is nice because it doesn't taste quite as bland as rice. It comes from the rice family and was first domesticated in China.

Here's my method.

1 Cup millet
2 Cups water
a good sturdy pot with a tight-fitting lid

Wash the millet in a strainer and pick out anything that doesn't look like millet. Drain. In your pot, dry-roast the millet until the excess water is cooked off and the grain gives off a fragrance. Add the two cups of water, bring to the boil, and cover, reducing the heat to low. Cook for 35 minutes. Take off the heat and leave lid on for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff grains before serving.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

When the going gets teff

So I've finally tried teff flour.

I was reluctant because teff flour is quite expensive. It's grown in the United States these days, but it still has those teensy-weensy little seeds that are very labour intensive to harvest.

I used a recipe from The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods by Bette Hagman. If you are gluten intolerant, I really recommend her books, even though the recipes don't usually turn out for me. They'll at least get you started.

Anyway, I made the Light Graham Bread on page 198, with the following adjustments:

-agar powder instead of gelatin
-nix the Egg Replacer
-one 8g package of yeast, since 1 tbsp is quite a lot of yeast for a single loaf
-2 eggs instead of 1 egg and one egg white. What's the point of using egg replacer if you're using eggs anyway? Just use two whole eggs and save yourself the trouble.
-rice vinegar instead of dough enhancer

I used the variation for nutty graham bread at the bottom of the page. The amount of almond meal was right on but you could put a little more than the two tablespoons of nuts called for in the recipe. I used a mixture of sunflower seeds and raisins. The bread ended up with a lovely walnutty flavour, even though there was nary a walnut to be found.

Teff tastes similar to rye, but it's not heavy how rye is. It also doesn't have gluten like rye does! Nutritionally, it is similar to wheat but is higher in iron and fat, so it is yummy and healthy. You should keep it in the fridge. I was quite happy with how my loaf turned out, even though I threw it in the fridge so it got stale immediately. Fortunately, it toasts really well.

So, if you can afford it, I would recommend that you try teff flour. Teff as a cereal grain doesn't sound so appealing and I think that it would probably be very porridgy and closely resemble wallpaper paste. To my knowledge, Ethiopians only ever use it as a flour, for their ingenious sourdough flatbread called injera. Really, if you've never tried Ethiopian food before, go out and find some. It's sooooooooo good.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Did you know?

Did you know that celiac disease is racially confined? Only Caucasiod peoples can have it. Hence, I have concluded that the disorder is God's punishment for colonialism.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

petite joie

Not a recipe, but I thought that I would share the following from Peter Mayle's French Lessons.

He is recounting a chant by a choir in a Catholic church during the truffle-gathering season in Provence:

Bon Saint Antione, donne-nous
Des truffed en abondance
Que leur odeur et leur bon gout
Fassent aimer la Provence.

(Good St. Anthony, give us an abundance of truffles that their fragrance and their good taste will make them loved in Provence.)

Sounds better than praying for the forgiveness of sins!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Premier post--welcome!

Welcome to Masticate.

If you are a celiac-disease afflicted vegetarian, you can still eat! Before my diagnosis, I went to cooking and pastry school, and I worked at a few decent restaurants, so I have a bit of an idea of what I'm doing. I find it difficult to find gluten-free, vegetarian recipes that are any good, but I can tweak the nasty ones that I find in order to create something edible. I will post recipes as I come up with them.

Here's something to start us off:

Gluten-free bechemel

1 tbsp butter
2 tsp tapioca flour
about 1-1 1/2 cups milk
salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste

First, fry the butter and tapioca flour in a small saucepan. If you are used to making bechemel with wheat flour, don't panic when the mixture doesn't thicken. Have faith. Fry until aromatic, and slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Tapioca flour gets quite gummy, so make sure that you add the milk very slowly. Continue adding milk and whisking until mixture is cooked and desired thickness is achieved, about 10 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

I like this sauce on rice pasta with a few vegetables tossed in. The only rice pasta worth bothering with is Tinyaka brand.

Happy eating!