Good to the Grain

“I just can’t keep it / can’t keep it in / I gotta let it out.

Gotta tell the world / world’s gotta see / see all the love / love that’s in me.”

(Cat Stevens for those of you who didn’t grow up with hippie parents)

Yes, I’m in love again. I’ve found my soul mate cookbook, Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce. All this time I’d been reading Cook’s Illustrated wishing some of these damned food freaks would turn their attention to whole grains for even a minute. Sans the supposedly “healthy” omission of fat that seems to accompany all other whole grain recipes, please! This saintly woman, fancy chef extraordinaire turned mama, has finally done it. And was it the having of the babies that turned her towards revolution? It was, my friends!

The layout itself was enough to get me juicy, the first leaf through nearly did me in. But even on the closer inspection I found that yes, in fact, I really did want to make every single recipe. Just a stunning collection of delicious ideas.

And, oh, how about drop dead gorgeous photos throughout?

In the past couple of weeks since I got the book I have probably browsed it for sheer pleasure at least a dozen times.

I was actually a little hesitant to start baking out of it. Because, well for one thing, it’s still hot as hell here and I’m not too thrilled about turning the oven on. But for another, I was scared that it was all a typically chefy pretty-food facade.

And was it? Oh no. I have made 8 of her recipes already (you know how I am) and only one was not that good. The other ranged from pretty great to blowing my socks off.

I am a pretty experienced whole wheat baker. But I love the way she’s stretching my ideas to include other grains. My kitchen now sports such a collection of flours that when my MIL visited a few days ago she said (affectionately), “Spelt flour? Oat flour? Barley flour? Buckwheat flour? Now you’re just showing off.”

I have yet to really taste the grains’ particularity in the recipes, but who cares. I’m crankin’ out some fabulous fare, with 1/2, 2/3 and some 100% whole grain flour. If only this didn’t mean consuming an entire cube of butter every other day…