Friday, May 21, 2010

Cattail Rhizome Pancakes--Rhizomes Completed

One of the things we are learning is that it helps to have the right equipment. In this case--a grain mill.

To process the dried rhizome cores, one grinds them up, easing the separation of the starch from the fibers. This is where the grain mill comes in. Alas, we have none. So we used a food processor, which worked okay. The next trick is to filter the fiber out of the mixture without losing any of the starch which is a very fine dust powder. We used some clean panty hose for lack of a jelly bag which worked fine. We stored the mixture in the fridge until we procured a jelly bag which gave us a bit more.

We were left with a pitifully small quantity of flour--less than 1/8 cup. We mixed the flour with a pinch of baking soda and water to the consistency of pancake batter. We fried our silver dollar cattail pancake in hot butter.

It was fantastic. An unabashed 5! Well worth the extraordinary effort we put in--even more so if we had had better equipment. According to Samuel Thayer, processing dried cattail rhizomes is a lovely way to spend a winter evening when all the other edibles are hibernating. I think we just might do that.

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