As we saw on Tuesday, Lyn Huckabee, co-founder of the Boston Food Swap, has a grain share, and it's serious stuff. Every January she gets 115 pounds of grains in one big bulk pickup, which she then stores and cooks her way through over the next 12 months.
I was so intrigued by this, that I had to know more. If you've ever considered getting a grain share, here's what you should know.
Thinking of getting a grain share? Here's a little on what Lyn has learned over the years participating in her grain share, which is out of Amherst, Massachusetts.
Grains You Might Receive in a Grain Share
- Several heritage varieties of both bread and pastry wheats. The website and the on-site labels tell you what varieties you get and you need to keep track.
- Beans - turtle, pinto, and kidney
- Corns - several varieties of field corn and popcorn
4 Grain Storage and Usage Tips from Lyn Huckabee
- Label things well. "A lot of grains look the same but behave differently."
- Grind in small-ish batches of flour and refrigerate or freeze. "I use the KitchenAid mixer grain mill attachment but the localgrain.org site has some other ideas. Otherwise, storage is super easy because un-milled grain keeps indefinitely."
- Nixtamalize your corn. "Nixtamalizing your corn (for tortillas) for the first time is a bit intimidating but you will NEVER taste a tortilla so delicious as the one you ground yourself. You can dry the soaked corn and then grind it so it will keep for a while and you can make fresh tortillas on the fly."
- Find lots of good popcorn recipes. "I bring popcorn to every party I attend. I have done popcorns with caramel, truffle salt, different oils, chocolate... you name it, I've done it! The taste is so incredible it makes you wonder why anyone ever started eating the store bought microwave bags complete with yellow lung 'butter flavor.' You can even pop your farm fresh popcorn in the microwave!"
Recommended Cookbooks to Help You Eat Your Way Through All Those Grains
- Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More, by Maria Speck (a Boston author! Read an interview with Maria here.)
- King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains, by King Arthur Flour
- The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon. Lyn's favorite grain staple is corn, so it made sense she'd buy a whole book devoted to cornbread!
Thanks for sharing, Lyn!