I bought too much millet...


Lately, some days I really feel like I'm losing my mind.  I stumble upon relics of half-finished, self-assigned tasks I set myself a mere 5 minutes previous, before getting distracted by another item for the to-do list. Orange juice I didn't put away before checking and responding to an e-mail; a PDF sitting open that I uploaded but didn't save to my website; washing machine door open on the spin cycle. That sort of thing. It's the product of a combination of things, including extreme multi-tasking. Another factor is the impact of recent, thankfully short-term clutter;  physical household piles that are necessary and progressive, yet irritating. Tolerable, due to the great deal of admirable work Dave has been putting into re-doing the deck, which has been steadily becoming a shambles of splintered and buckling wood. But lining the subconscious and creating a lingering itch. I can't help but bleakly picture a future brimming with peeling, flyaway sticky notes everywhere, feeble efforts to control my wandering brain. (The deck is just about finished now, by the way, and Dave did an amazing job on it! )

Last week, I thought I was well on top of things. Efficiently racing through Sprouts with my grocery list in hand, I decided on a whim to buy some millet. It wasn't on the list, but I had a distinct mental image of it being low, and everyone likes to have a little millet on hand, just in case, don't they! I bought the millet, and felt rather pleased with myself for making speedy progress in between other commitments. Sprouts, as anyone who shops there knows, can lure you into loitering with its beauty and good bargains. Unfortunately, when I got home I discovered I'd had the same offhand instinct to pick up some millet, off list, and "just in case", the last grocery visit, and I even had a little leftover from before that.

So, we're left with too much millet.

It's nothing to stress about, really. Being a whole grain, it's not like I need to use it quick or lose it. But as you can see, I don't like clutter in my personal space, and my little kitchen just isn't equipped yet to neatly accommodate excess slightly unusual staples. (One day, *sigh*!) And, since my mind is over-occupied with nervy excitement and slight unease over upcoming things like back-to-school, (fun) new writing projects, and pacing at Leadville next week, why not calm it with culinary exploration? Amazing what a cure-all getting out the pots and pans can be.

I was going to make millet bars, because I just love them, and they're a great giveaway for friends, but I have some early mornings coming up, and a need for portable, easy breakfasts. So I decided to try out a version of this Millet Delight recipe I found on All Recipes. The baked millet casserole reminds me of baked oatmeal, and it's impressive just how far you can extend one cup of dry millet.

Typically, I use millet to lend crunch and texture, like in the bars and these cookies. I'm not used to creamy, almost fluffy millet, but I like it. Going off review suggestions, I used 2 cups of coconut milk in place of soy. If coconut milk isn't your thing, though, any alternative will do, and I recommend trying your preference, as the coconut milk does leave a distinct flavor. This is another recipe you can throw a whole lot of ingredients into, and the hodge-podge is only so minimally risky. I added an apple and topped with toasted walnuts. Next time...who knows?

I think Life is guiding me gently to becoming more comfortable with chaos I can't control. At one time, little rolling yellow seed balls like millet expanding would have stressed me out in dreams (there's something I can't stand about little dots, like chicken pox). Today I can say, I really like heart-healthy, magnesium-rich millet. I can work with it any which way, and that is a good start.


Creamy Baked Millet

Serves 6

  • 1 cup uncooked millet
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (or your preferred alternative)
  • 3 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/2  cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a 2-quart casserole dish, combine all ingredients. Soak overnight. *
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and stir. Continue to bake a further 30 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.

*I read a tip about pre-soaking the millet, and leaving overnight made this already simple recipe even simpler the next morning. I don't think it really matters if you don't pre-soak, but I'll have to look into it some more!