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Breakfast Pasta, Polenta & Risotto Side Dishes Vegetarian

We’re Almost There…I’m Bringing the Farro

February 26, 2021

I’m coping with Covid and unemployment with exercise. Everyday I hike the local hills. I stop just before I get to the freeway overpass, then turn around and go back. I once walked under it just to prove I could do it, but I know the next time I do the mother of all earthquakes will strike and all they’ll find will be a little thigh fat. Ever since I saw the buckled freeway in San Francisco, after the Loma Prieta quake, my mind goes there.

There are beautiful views in my local hills. The view on the right has no guard rail. The other night I stopped to admire the view, but was so convinced I’d tumble down the embankment, I stayed on the street, where I’m far more likely to be killed by a teenager in a souped up BMW.

There might be a pattern here.

My thanks go to the family on the hill with a chalkboard in their driveway. It takes my mind off imminent death. They write a different joke or an inspirational saying every day. No one in their right mind would climb that hill willfully, but now I do it just for the bad jokes. The worst one lately? What do you call a dinosaur fart? A blast from the past.

It’s no safer at home. I stopped using my old hair dryer because the vent cover came off and I’d used it so much I was certain all the accumulated dust would catch fire and I’d be left with a single frizzled hair.

I had the same thought when my heating cap recently passed on. It faithfully heated my conditioned hair for 30 years. As I laid it to rest, I silently thanked it for never electrocuting me. These concerns are wholeheartedly generated by attorneys who insist manufacturers post horrifying warnings. My favorite is: “Do not use on an infant, invalid, a sleeping, or unconscious person.” How deranged would you have to be to look at an unconscious person and think, Hey, I think I’ll condition her hair!

Maybe I always thought this way, but I know it got worse once I had kids. It feels like a mother’s job to envision the most horrible things that could happen to her children, so she can prepare them.

The worst part is sometimes I catch my kids thinking like this too. I always blame their father, but I know it’s me. I’m hoping this imagination will help them write a fabulous horror story one day. That’s probably what Stephen King’s mom always said.

I find food is a great coping mechanism for dealing with terror, or just life in general.

I’ve been loving farro lately. Farro looks like barley, or morbidly obese brown rice, and has a slightly chewy, nutty taste. It’s an ancient strain of wheat and is delicious. I get the organic quick cook farro at Vons. Most stores have it now. You can cook it in about ten minutes with water. Then just mix it with fruit and nuts, and drizzle it with a little milk and syrup. It’s a great sweet breakfast. Or you can cook the farro with chicken or veggie broth. Then saute some spinach and mix the farro in, turn the heat down very low, sprinkle some mozzarella on top, put a lid on and give it a minute so the mozzarella melts. It’s really tasty and healthy. Top it with a fried or poached egg if you like. Here’s the recipe just in case.

And for God’s sake, whatever you do, avoid deranged friends with heating caps.

Farro with Spinach and Melted Mozzarella

Yields4 Servings

 1 cup Quick cook farro
 1 ½ cups water, chicken or vegetable broth
 5 cups fresh baby spinach
 2 tbsp olive oil
 2 sticks of mozzarella

1

Rinse the farro in a strainer then put it in a medium saucepan with the water or broth. Bring it to a boil, then cover it and reduce the heat to a simmer. It should taste slightly chewy, but not too firm. Remove from heat and set aside with the lid on.

2

Pour the olive oil in a skillet and add the spinach cook over medium to high heat until the spinach is wilted. Turn heat to medium and add as much farro to the spinach in the skillet as you want. Mix it thoroughly, then break the mozzarella into small pieces and place them on top of the farro spinach mixture. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid for one to two minutes or until the mozzarella is melted.

Ingredients

 1 cup Quick cook farro
 1 ½ cups water, chicken or vegetable broth
 5 cups fresh baby spinach
 2 tbsp olive oil
 2 sticks of mozzarella

Directions

1

Rinse the farro in a strainer then put it in a medium saucepan with the water or broth. Bring it to a boil, then cover it and reduce the heat to a simmer. It should taste slightly chewy, but not too firm. Remove from heat and set aside with the lid on.

2

Pour the olive oil in a skillet and add the spinach cook over medium to high heat until the spinach is wilted. Turn heat to medium and add as much farro to the spinach in the skillet as you want. Mix it thoroughly, then break the mozzarella into small pieces and place them on top of the farro spinach mixture. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid for one to two minutes or until the mozzarella is melted.

Farro with Spinach and Mozzarella

The big hill. You need motivation to get this far and keep going. A fabulous metaphor for life, especially for the past twelve months.

  • Reply
    Fran Tunno
    March 3, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    Love you Nicol. I can’t wait to get back there and grab a coffee with you. Things are slowly moving in that direction! xoxoxxo

  • Reply
    Nicol Z
    March 2, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    This deranged friend misses you. Love you and your posts. Xo

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