I Dream in Food
We all have those moments in life when our current activity just isn’t engaging enough. For some reason, this lecture/assignment/conversation cannot keep me in the moment; I’m forced to look elsewhere for entertainment.
For me, this occurrence isn’t a once in a while deal. I’d say it takes up a large portion of my day. You might claim I have the attention span of a toddler—and I probably do. But, I’ve somehow managed to make it to my sophomore year of college, so it can’t be too bad. Right?
Or maybe my incessant daydreaming is just the world telling me I need to be in a different profession because about 99% (or more) of my brain wanderings lead me to food. Is that bad for a political science major? Food is literally all I think about. What am I going to eat at my next snack? At my next meal? At my next stress-eating binge? What am I going to make for my lunch next week? How can I utilize the ingredients I already have so I don’t end up spending a fortune at Whole Foods? Can I steal something from TDR that will enhance the meal (probably not)? The questions never cease.
My most recent brain-fantasy baby was this beauty: a wheat berry salad with raisins and chopped almonds. But, it’s more exciting than it sounds. My brain went crazy for days about this lunch.
Before I came to college this semester, my mom and I made a trip to BJs (imagine the most gigantic grocery/convenience store on the planet, and everything comes in packages large enough for me to sit in). Among other products, we bought a massive bag of almonds and a massive bag of raisins. Now I have to use them. And recently, a lot of my brain-straying time has been dedicated to figuring out how to use these ingredients (and my six-pack of garbanzo beans—thank you BJ’s!).
My original idea involved just the wheat berries, almonds, and raisins, but I wanted to spice it up a little. Enter my awesome vinaigrette. My two and a half hour Politics in the US class allowed me develop a wonderfully sweet and savory dressing for my salad that includes olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Okay, maybe I’m a little too proud, but it was so good! The chew from the wheat berries with the crunch from the almonds, the squish of the raisins, and the tangy burst of dressing is simply marvelous.
Anyway the moral of the story is that despite how inappropriate my interminable daydreaming is, it leads to yummy meals. So I’m not going to stop.
Here’s the recipe!
-1 cup wheat berries
-1/2 cup raisins
-1/2 cup chopped almonds
-salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine about 3 cups of water with the wheat berries and bring to a boil in a pot. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste the grains to make sure they are cooked but still al dente.
2. In the meantime, pour boiling water over the raisins in a heatproof bowl until they are just covered and leave them for a few minutes (this makes them nice and plump and juicy).
3. Then, make the vinaigrette. I kind of eye-balled it so I’ll give you approximations on the amounts, but just go with what looks good and tastes good. Combine 4 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of honey, 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp of salt, and a ½ tsp of pepper. Whisk together with a fork and set aside.
4. When the wheat berries are ready, drain them and put into a large bowl. Add the soaked raisins (drain them first) and the chopped almonds and stir together. Next, give the dressing another whisk before pouring over the salad. Mix everything together and add salt and pepper to taste.
Posted in AU Gourmet