’tis a T Tale

Photography disclaimer: poor quality photos are a reflection of my non-skill.  Really poor quality photos mean that my parents were around, and so I could not use my light box.

This is the long story I mentioned back when I tried the tamarind.  See, I had been half-heartedly seeking out teff for quite some time, but Bob’s Red Mill is the only company (of which I am aware) with kosher teff, and I’ve never seen it in any stores.  So when I decided to do Alphebruary, I figured I’d just buy it online.  Until I found out that after shipping costs, it would run me about fifteen dollars.  Um, sorry, no.  I bought the tamarind instead.

Then I remembered a health food store someone once told me about when I was looking for kosher alfalfa seeds (which, coincidentally, they did not have).  It didn’t hurt to call and ask if they stocked Bob’s Red Mill teff, so that’s what I did.  In my excitement at the affirmative response, I neglected to ask how much it costs, and I drove out to the (very expensive!) store and picked this up.

I know you probably can’t see what the price tag says, even if you enlarge the picture, so I’ll help you out: it cost over eight dollars.  Ouch.  But I’d already driven out there, so I bought it… and thought this better taste like gold.

Teff is the smallest grain in the world; it takes one hundred and fifty grains for it to equal the size of one kernel of wheat.  Interesting random factoid.  Anyway, I opted to try the recipe for teff pudding which is printed on the back of the bag.  (That isn’t the same recipe that’s on the website, by the way.)

I’m sorry for the extremely unappealing photos.  See disclaimer at the start of the post.

This is what the teff looked like after I cooked it — just a brown blob.  Next step was to put the cooled teff in a blender or food processor, along with vanilla, maple syrup, and carob / cocoa powder, and puree until “light and smooth.”  Well, who wants to dirty a huge appliance?!  Not me.  So I used an immersion blender.  Bad call — since I only made one serving, I had to add more and more water to get it to blend at all, and the end result was far more liquid-y than I would have liked.

It only set a little bit.  But it did taste surprisingly like chocolate pudding.  Even if there were still unblended grains… that’s what I get for being lazy.  Next time, I’ll use a different appliance!

Look what came to work with me today:

That would be the heel / butt of my sprouted kamut bread.  I love the ends of a loaf.  And why are they called a heel or a butt, when heels and butts look nothing alike?!

Also, Scharffen Berger chocolate is on sale at Whole Foods.  Good, because my office stock was dwindling.  In addition to my usual 82%, I also purchased this one out of curiosity.

The 62% baking chocolate was sweeter than I like.  Flavor-wise, this one was fine because the bitterness of the cacao nibs balanced out the sweetness of the chocolate itself… but I just don’t like things in my chocolate.  I like it to be, well, chocolate!

I also bought red bananas today.  Which cost nearly double what the yellow bananas did, but I wanted to try them, and since they’re pretty small, I didn’t pay too much for them.  I like my yellow bananas just barely ripe, but I bought two red bananas so that I could try one, and then let the other ripen.

Um, yeah.  Good thing I got two — the one I tried to try was so underripe, I could hardly even peel it!!  Not sure what to do with it now…

It helped my mood that I went to the dentist today.  And I was thrilled about it.  How sad is that?!  Actually, it’s not so sad when you consider that it wasn’t an appointment, per se; I just had to go pick up my mouth guard.  Leave work early for that?  Yes, please.  And maybe now I’ll finally stop getting headaches.

Oh, and since I don’t usually walk around saying things like “’tis,” I will point out that it’s supposed to be an Alphebruary acronym.  T for teff, I for Israeli couscous, and S for Swiss chard.

This is kind of a cheat; I don’t actually call this Israeli couscous, I call it by its Hebrew name (ptitim).  And I’m positive I’ve eaten this before, but I’ve never cooked it, so I say it qualifies.

This might also be viewed as a cheat; is “red Swiss chard” an R, S, or C?  You’d best ask the cashier who had an enormous amount of trouble ringing me up when I bought this.

Anyway, both of these things featured in tonight’s dinner.

While the Israeli couscous was simmering, I chopped up the red stems of the chard and sauteed them in a bit of peanut oil, adding in some seitan midway through.  Once the seitan was a little browned, I added the chopped chard leaves, covered the pot, and let it “steam” itself for a few minutes.  Then I mixed in the cooked couscous.  Copious amounts of Mrs. Dash were involved at all stages.

Thoughts: I love ptitim.  I don’t know why I forgot that… I guess because I hadn’t had it in so many years.  As for the chard, it was hard for me to actually taste it, because of the seasoning blend… but I can say that I didn’t hate it.  I’d love to try this with rainbow chard; it would look so pretty!

Yesterday, I received in the mail something I won in an Allure magazine giveaway.

Guess where I’m headed now.  Schoolwork be damned.  Actually, it will be me who is damned once the results of my neglectful attitude come into play… but right now I need to decompress.  The only school-related activity I did today (stressing out is not included) was to finally order my “graduation regalia.”  I always thought that hoods were only for doctoral candidates, but apparently not.  So I basically just vastly overpaid for a few pieces of fabric that I will wear for approximately three hours of my life.  Eh, it’s all good…

And oh, yes…

It was a chocolate and vanilla yin yang symbol.  😉

Right.  I am off.  Have a lovely weekend.

“Few women and fewer men have enough character to be idle.” 
~E.V. Lucas


7 responses to “’tis a T Tale

  1. love the ying yang symbol.

    are the red bananas, apple bananas? coz they look vaguely like something i ate in taiwan. didn’t taste any different tho…

    i LOVE the ends on bread. they get all crispy in the toaster 😀


  2. What does a red banana taste like? I never new they existed!

    You are really great at oatmeal art! If I tried that it would turn into a sloppy mess. Haha 🙂

  3. Ooh, red banana! I am intrigued. I would like to try teff too, I’ve never seen it in shops around here though. I don’t think it’s sad to be excited about going to the dentist if it’s to stop you being in pain! I look forward to the dentist too if I have an infection or something. I don’t really LIKE the dentist, but I like pain even less 😛 so it all works out.

    Whoop, I got your yin yang! I knew that anyway since I have tiny little yin yang ear studs 🙂

  4. I love your yin-yang breakfast!! Too clever!!
    Ahh, teff! I’ve heard of it, but never tried it. The closest I came was alllmost buying some Teff tortillas one time – but I chickened out 😛 I’ll have to give it a short next time I see it. I hear you about buying online, though. Costs are outrageous 😦

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