Admittedly, I feel rather silly posting this “recipe” but I am under the impression that many of today's parents have forgotten the tried and true of the past. Old favorites have been replaced by new trends and in some cases, those foods that our grandparents enjoyed have completely disappeared from the menu of today's children. Thus, I hope this can function as a reminder of such seemingly forgotten foods.
At the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, wheat millers from Grand Forks, North Dakota premiered a new product: Cream of Wheat.
Cream of Wheat is, in reality, wheat farina – where the word “farina” is Latin and simply translates as flour (or meal). Farina is made from the endosperm and germ of wheat grain by milling the grain into a very fine granular consistency before sifting out larger remnants of the wheat, thus resulting in a fine wheat flour/farina.
Farina is often enriched with Iron and Vitamin B, mostly because the bran of the grain tends to be removed during the milling process. The addition of Iron and Vitamin B make Farina one of the best sources of dietary iron, usually supplying about 50% of the recommended daily value of iron.
Overall, Farina has excellent nutritional value and, in line with the theme of this blog, is essentially beige in color. It is easy to make, easy to digest, and it is appropriate even for toddlers and, with the right toppings, will please even a very picky eater.
Please note that Farina is often described as “mild” in taste – but I would think that claiming that is is mild is nothing more than a euphemism that allows manufacturers and marketers to avoid the unfortunate description of their product as being “bland.”
Believe me, Farina is bland. It is so unexciting by itself, that it relies on the addition of toppings to make it palatable. Fortunately, all this really means is that Farina provides you with a blank canvas that you can modify any which way you want. You can top it with cinnamon or sugar, with honey or maple syrup, with grated chocolate or Nutella, with jam or fruit, with salt or brown sugar, with strawberries or raspberries. Or with a combination of items. Whatever your child desires or believes to be delicious, you can add to Farina. Please do add something, though – or your child will likely refuse this dish...
As you can see in the photo, I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top. And yes, I felt creative and created the shape of a cat on top of the farina!
You will find that the instructions on the box generally claim that you should use water. Don't! Using water transforms farina into something that tastes like cardboard.
3 Tbs Farina
1 Cup Milk
Dash of Salt
Heat the milk in a small pot on medium heat – but do not let come to a full boil
Add the dash of salt, stir.
Gradually add the Farina while constantly stirring until mixture starts to bubble just a bit
Keep stirring until mixture thickens – about 2 – 3 minutes. Ensure that heat is not too high so as to avoid any splattering – hot farina does not feel good when it hits your arm!
Remove from heat and serve with your favorite topping.