Saturday, January 23, 2016


Eastside Road, January 22, 2016—
A SIMPLE PILAF tonight. Wheat, not rice. Cook rarely makes a rice pilaf — I'm not sure why. Well, I suppose that's not quite true; I suppose a risotto is a rice pilaf, when you come down to it.

She does make a barley pilaf now and then, almost always with scallions in it — it's a favored standby here. But tonight's pilaf is made with wheat.

And not just any wheat: this is wheat from our friend Lou Preston, who has been diversifying over the years away from grapes and wine, though he still produces a fine line of wines from his Dry Creek Valley farm. He's branched out: olives, vegetables, and more recently wheat, inspired by his love of baking — his bread's one of the best I know.

We bought this wheat over a year ago; we should have eaten it by now. I bought it for breakfast, because I do like to make bogman cereal when the weather's cold. We keep the grain in an enamelled tin box in the refrigerator, and so far haven't had trouble with it turning rancid.

I didn't watch, so I'm not sure how Cook handled this pilaf. I know it involved mushrooms, that was obvious; and she undobtedly started out with a soffrito of onions, and I saw her get some turkey stock out of the freezer, a souvenir of the Thanskgiving bird no doubt. I would have made this exactly as I do risotto: soffrito; then fry the grain; then slowly add stock and keep it simmering until done. Oh yes: the mushrooms. I'd have cooked those separately, in olive oil, and added them to the cooked pilaf.

Green salad; vanilla ice cream with applesauce. Good dinner, Cook!

Laya: Garnacha tintonera 70%, Monastrell 30%, old vines (Almansa), 2013
Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants

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