Cheap cereal

joyfulguyJuly 18, 2006

If you want to pay about $3.00/lb. for wheat ... buy some sugar-coated processed cereal.

For about $2.00/lb., buy some wheat processed into those little fabricated stringy bundles - Shredded Wheat, or Shreddies, to name a couple of brands.

For about $1.00/lb., buy some ground wheat at the bulk store and boil it in water, adding some spices, raisins, dates, etc. for some added zing.

I plan to visit one of my farmer neighbours, who are harvesting wheat with their combines, these days.

I'll buy about a bushel of wheat (or maybe half a bushel) which will be 60 lb. (possibly 30 lb.) and they'll probably charge me $3.00 - 4.00 (possibly more - I haven't checked for sure). About the same price that they received 30 years ago, thanks to about a half dozen companies controlling the world grain market.

After a few months, I'd save enough to buy a blender, that'll grind it up quite nicely. Except that I fell heir to one, to grind the peanuts that I love but can't eat with only three teeth, when my daughter, executor of her Mom's estate, took pity on me while distributing the estate.

Or, I could buy a small grinding mill that'll be more effective.

Also, I'll ask my brother the retired farmer in Saskatchewan to get me a bushel or so of hard spring wheat when the farmers near him are threshing, that I can grind up to make my own bread.

I've been thinking for a while that I should buy a bread maker and got one for $7.00 at a yard sale the other day.

All that I need do now is learn how to use it.

Son has one - he'll teach me.

Nice to learn a bit from one's kids, once in a while.

God help us when we get so wise that we can't learn anything.

ole joyful

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ole joyful - You are so right about "cheap cereal", and I also use many other whole grains besides wheat. If you have a coffee/spice mill, you can mill small amounts of grain at a time in it, into flour. It's a great way to make rice flour, plus rice cleans the mill nicely.

I've gotten wheat free from a friend who has farmed for 50 years. I returned with 5 pounds of freshly milled whole wheat flour as a thank you and said I'd be glad to mill any whole wheat flour they wanted - just let me know. His wife was in awe - it was the first time they had ever eater their OWN wheat... Sad, but true.

You can also make your own bulgur. Boil wheat berries in twice their volume of water for 45 minutes, or until the grain is just tender. Drain, saving the liquid for soup stock. Spread the wheat on cookie sheets and dry at 250 degrees, stirring occasionally. The kernels should be completely dry in 45-60 minutes. Grind coarsely. Bulgur can be stored in tightly closed containers.

If you check out Sue Gregg's web site, she gives instructions on how to make blender pancakes using wholegrain wheat. See the link below.... Click on recipes at the top of the page.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sue Gregg Wholegrain Recipes

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 8:37PM
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Thank you for the information, grainlady.

I've heard some say that adding some whole grains of flax to hot cereal while cooking isn't helpful toward one's nutrition, that there's a coating on the seed that resists successfully the acids in one's stomach: that flax seeds more or less wave, saying, "Hi - nice to see you. And bye bye", on the way through.

A lot of good that does!

My sister-in-law says that she uses a coffee grinder to break the seeds up so that they are more useful.

I'm not sure, but I think that she uses the same grinder for coffee.

Anyone tried flaxseed-flavoured coffee?

Would you recommend it?

Actually - maybe we could give it some exotic label and set up a coffee shop to sell it to the elite (or wann-bes) ... for about $4.00 per cup??

Other (useful, of course) ideas welcome.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 3:10PM
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ole joyful - I use between 1 and 2 pints of flaxmeal a week. It gets put into all baked-goods and our morning smoothie - and anywhere else I can think to put it (dredging ingredients for fish/chicken, for instance).

The prudent thing to do is to have two coffee/spice mills - one for coffee and one for everything else if you don't want flaxseed flavored coffee - but it's more likely to be coffee-flavored flaxseed (LOL). Contact may just be onto their next big sales booster ;-)

Another simple cooking method for wheat is in a thermos. The trick is to lay the thermos on it's side so that all the liquid is evenly distributed over the most area, rather than upright and the wheat is in the bottom and the water well above the wheat. If it's not soft enough for you after sitting all night, you can pan a portion (or all) of it, add more water (or milk) and cook it until it's "mush". Here's the instructions:

Thermos Wheat

1 thermos
1 cup whole wheat berries
2 cups boiling water

First preheat the thermos by filling it with your hottest tap water. Place the lid on it loosely and allow it to sit while you do the rest of the work. Meanwhile bring 2-cups of water to a boil. When the water boils, dump the tap water out of the thermos. Immediately pour the boiling water into the thermos. Pour the wheat berries into the thermos along with the boiling water. Try to work quickly so the water doesn't lose too much of it's heat. Screw the lid tightly onto the thermos. Lay the thermos on it's side. Now allow the wheat to cook in the thermos for about 8 hours, or overnight.

When you open the thermos you will have lovely freshly cooked wheat, the perfect temperature for eating. You may need to drain off a little of the water if it hasn't all been absorbed. Serve anywhere you would rice, or stir some into a little yogurt with a bit of brown sugar. Cooked wheat is also nice for breakfast with a few dates and milk.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 3:32PM
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Anyone for cheap food ...

... listen up!

Sorry if you've heard this story before.

(Maybe this time it'll sink in).

ole joyful

P.S. Have made about half a dozen loaves with my bread machine.

Going swimmingly.

Except - you've heard of being up the creek without a paddle?

Don't try it with a bread machine!

Just a note to the wise.

(Son admits to having made the same mistake).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 1:28PM
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"they'll probably charge me $3.00 - 4.00...About the same price that they received 30 years ago" It is actually about the same price as their grandfather received 65 years ago, in the early 1940's. This won't be sustainable for long.

The reason so many large corporations are able to dominate, is that for many years, in many commodities, farmers have not been paid a fair price for their goods. So they sell out. The ones who have deep enough pockets to buy are the big outfits.

It all impacts on the final price we pay for food. If you want to get cheap food, establish a relationship with farmers in your area. Pay them directly, a reasonable price for what they produce, cutting out all the middle layers who have their fingers in the pot.

I will sell you a butchered, frozen lamb for $4CDN a pound. At that price, combined with the other ways we make money from our farm, we get a fair amount and you get cheap, kindly-raised, almost organic, meat. It seems like a good deal to me. Another benefit is that the food you buy won't be subject to the same mass-production methods that led to removal of 90% of the spinach in Canada and the US a few weeks ago.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 2:44PM
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Another 'cheap' but nutritious cereal--I just bought toated corn meal for .42/pound at the Pennsylvania Dutch market (got over 4 pounds of it for 1.79--American, that is). Every morning in the winter, I cook up 1/4 cup cornmeal in 1 cup water to make myself a bowl of hot mush. Delicious, nutritious, and you can't beat the price.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 7:38AM
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I think using a bread machine is an introduction to homemade bread, but its like training wheels. Try just making the bread and put it in pans and bake.
Its pretty easy to make homemade bread with yeast. Its just time consuming. Once you figure out when you have kneaded it enough and learn to let it rise just the correct amount you can shape it into rolls, bread, or flat for pizza. I never could understand a bread machine.
If you can make regular whole grain bread, you can easily learn to make breakfast rolls and coffeecake. Its the same process, just a slightly different recipe.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 7:34AM
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Even the birds around here sing, "Cheap, cheap, cheap".

And they are smart enough to go south for the winter.

Trouble is ... I hate paying rent on two places at the same time.

And my house contents insurance (and my landlord) say that if I'm to be gone for more than 3 days, I have to have someone check the house.


Hope you're having fun with cheap - it shouldn't be just a dutiful chore.

I choose to send some of my savings to folks that are going hungry - not by choice. Both locally and in the far reaches of the world.

Hope also that some of you may choose to follow a similar course.

The current distribution of the world's resources just ain't fair.

(And - it ain't going to continue for much longer).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 3:04PM
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