Friday, May 27, 2011

Wheat Berry Salad and The Dinner Bell

My mother always rang a dinner bell to call the 6 children and Dad to the table. The bell would ring "da-ding, da-ding" , then Mom would follow it up with an operatic: "diiiinnnnnerrrrrrrr".  That bell brings back more family memories for me than any other sound or smell. The nightly ritual of coming to the table at 6 P.M. was a comforting constant in our lives.

She has told me several times that she no longer has use of the bell and that I should take it down if I would like to have it. She doesn't seem to have any sentiment attached to it???
Gee....why wouldn't anyone be sentimental about cooking for 8 everyday........hmmmmm....I wonder???
The last few visits I couldn't bear to unscrew it from the wall at 6 Highland Drive - it just belonged there and I thought removing it would be depressing.
But during my last visit, she said it again..." take it, I am not calling anyone to dinner anymore."  I realized that I only have a few more years to use that dinner bell before my own little chickadees start to fly away from the nest. So, I took a screwdriver from Dad's very organized tool bench and unscrewed it off of the wall.
Mike and I secured it to our wall. It really looks like it has been there forever....

Da-ding, Da-ding!
I am glad to have it.....and the memories!

Last night I put together a salad meal with one of my favourite grains: Wheat Berries.
What is a wheat berry? All wheat products originate from wheat berries. They are wheat kernels with only the inedible hull removed. Very nutritious and so delicious!

They have a chewy, chewy texture and a bit of a nutty, earthy flavor...they work in a dessert -  similar to a rice pudding or even as a breakfast cereal when milk, raisins and cinnamon get involved.

This recipe is adapted from a very entertaining book about family and dinnertime....aptly called: The Family Dinner, by Laurie David.
The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time

Wheat Berry Salad

2 cups wheat berries, rinsed
6 cups water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 2 oranges
1 cup or more frozen edamame beans, defrosted
1 cup or more dried cranberries
freshly ground salt, pepper

I used a rice cooker to cook my wheat berries which takes about 55 minutes to get them to the right consistency. All of the water will not be absorbed - drain them.
If you use a pot on the stove, cook uncovered for about 50 minutes. Check after about 45 minutes to see if they are ready. Chewy and tender is the consistency you are looking to achieve.

Mix the dressing of oil and juices and add to the cooked grain.
Add the cranberries, edamame beans and any other add-ins such as: crumbled feta, chopped fresh herbs, chopped greens, walnuts.
Store covered in the fridge until ready to eat.

Looks nice served on a bed of lettuce....
Comme ca:

Bella is very helpful in the garden...she wants to plant a hamburger tree.

Can we plant a hamburger bush Mom?


  1. So glad that the dinner bell has a wonderful home :)
    I am sure that the "da-ding" is heard in heaven.

  2. Love the receipe! it is interesting and can't wait to try it. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Berries are known to have anti-oxidant properties which can help prevent carcinogens from causing damage to human body.

  4. Great healthy recipes, similar to a rice pudding . Love it cant wait to try it

  5. Really interesting post & healthy too. I really liked it.