from time to time i can take things to extremes, and our harvest dinner preparation are an obvious example of this. the idea was a strictly local, stricktly in season, and strictly in season meal. one dish i almost refused to make because it had olives in it, but in the end relented, and it’s going to be served. another dish had bulgur as one of it’s ingredents, something that could be theoretically locally grown and sourced, but the problem was no one had any.
rather than break down and buy bulgur that wasn’t local, i bought wheat berries and figured how hard can it be to make. well it’s certainly not hard, but it is time consuming.
first step is to soak the berries, i left them on the countertop for about 6 hours to soften. next was to steam them, about an hour until they were soft and chewy. then the drying, i tried a number of ways cause i didn’t have enough space to do all of it the same way. i tried toasting in the oven, toasting on the stove top, and putting in the dehydrator. by far the easiest was the dehydrator, first choice all the way, throw em in over night and they turn out perfect and uniform. stove top required constant turning, oven about every 10 minutes.
next step was grinding, without a grain mill i went with a coffee grinder, shaking it while i ground it, finding that about 16 seconds did a pretty good job. now the problem with grinding is it creates many different grades of bulgur, normally sieves are used to grade bulgur. i don’t happen to have any bulgur sieves, though i hope you do. i made do with a series of colanders and mesh sieves each in varying sizes of holes. i ended up with 4 grades, bulgur that was just broken, which i threw back into the grinder to grind more, course, fine, and powder. i’m not sure what to do with the powder stuff, i’m thinking of treating it like cream of wheat, which i guess it basically is, and making a porridge with it by adding some yogurt to it and letting it ferment on the counter top. lacking enough course and fine, i just added them together. which equalled 2 pounds of my desired 5 pounds. now considering that this whole process took me about 4 hours, i’m thinking just buying the rest is ok. it is the thought that counts right?