Wednesday, January 6, 2010


This morning I heard the name of a food which peaked my curiosity. It was farik or freekeh. At first I was thinking freak from the hippy days. Then I was thinking of clay freak. (What else would a clay freak like me think). Then I heard the spelling and realized it was something else. I'm still learning something new every day.

What is farik, freekeh, or frikeh? Have you heard of it? Have you eaten it. The grain is an Arab or Middle Eastern dish, can be eaten as a cereal or a side dish, and was mentioned as early as the 13th century in cooking from Baghdad. The farik is harvested when the seeds are soft and not quite ripe. The seeds are piled up and sun dried. Then a fire is built around the perimeter. Since the seeds contain a lot of moisture they don't catch fire. The straw or chaff is burned while the farik is thrashed or turned and thus takes on it's characteristic smokey flavor.

Two months ago we finally sold our house and now we're living in our RV full time and are searching for a new place to live and set up a studio. Last week I ran out of clay and yesterday I took the last of my greenware to be fired. Last night I was wondering what will I do now? I read another book and did some more sketches in my journal but was still having a hard time falling asleep.

This morning I took Gary to work at 5 am, came back to our RV, turned on my computer and the TV. We get a few local television channels free via our RV antenna. This morning a woman was telling Dr. Oz about the type of foods she ate while loosing weight. Farik was one of the foods she mentioned. Apparently farik is not only tasty, but nutritionally good too. Compared to rice or pasta, farik has more calcium, potassium, iron, and zinc.

Over the past several years my life was rather stressful and, hey, stress causes weight gain. With the new year upon me I've decided to start on a second journey. Besides looking for a new home, I plan to improve my nutrition and loose some weight. I already have good nutrition, but there is always room for improvement in anything.

The TV show this morning also said Smaller plates encourage eating smaller portions. Not only that, but a study showed using smaller serving utensils also encourages eating smaller portions. Many dinner or supper plates are 12 inches which encourages placing larger portions on the plate to fill the plate. Using an 8 or 9 inch plate encourages placing smaller portions to fill the plate. Since I make ceramics, I plan to look at my functional ceramics and make a conscious effort to reduce their size to encourage smaller portions.

My local health food store said they never heard of farik or freekeh. I'll check at Trader Joe's the end of the week where I'm told freekeh is carried. Please come back to hear more about my journey in clay, search for a new home, and more about recipes hopefully using farik and other nutritional foods. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. Hi Linda, speaking of portion control made me think of this post from last year on my blog -

    I used to have trouble selling dinner sets with smaller plates, the fact that I make smaller dishes gets me more sales of custom sets.

    I enjoy visiting your blog - it's like a daily phone call with a dear friend. You always share something new or interesting - you are obviously someone who loves to learn and you always get me thinking, reading, or trying something new. Can't wait to watch your journey(s) unfold this year.

  2. Around the house we use chawans for most of our meals. They hold just enough to let you know you just ate something, but leave you hungry enough to keep moving. We believe in grazing.

  3. Hi Linda..thanks for the interesting post. I am going to ask at my health food store about this grain.
    Hope your travelling continues going well along with the clay journey in 2010.
    Cheers. Trish

  4. Interesting how that grain is prepared. New to me though.
    I found on my Florida trip that I am a boredom eater. On the trip I lost 5 pounds aa I was constantly stimulated in other ways though food was constant and bountiful. Since home, I have eaten the pattern off my 8 inch plates.
    Hope your traveling helps you.

  5. Hi Linda,
    I've lost track of where you are, I've been reading your blog here and there as much as I've been able. Happy New Year to you too! and the plans on better, smaller portion eating is great. My daughter eats very small meals every 2-3 hours which was very challenging when she was a kid, but now since she has to plan her owns meals is working fine with me, that and that she is away.... Keep up the good work with clay. I've never heard of that grain, have you tried an arab market? They have wonderful stuff there. Take care.

  6. Hi Julia, thanks, interesting you had trouble selling smaller plates, perhaps consumers perceived smaller plates as a lesser value. I'll have to check our your post about portions.

    Hi Zygote, thanks chawans would do the trick for sure, yes grazing and browsing is a perfect way to limit portions, eating a bit when hungry.

    Hi Trish, thanks, I wish we had larger stores around here for me to find it but that is part of the reason for looking for a new place to live when were we are closer to a larger city.

    Hi Patti, thanks, yes I think boredom and lack of exercise here isn't good for me. I need to start walking again. When we had the farm I walked over 5 miles a day and I haven't been doing that lately.

    Hi Yolanda, thanks, there just aren't many resources around here out in the sticks, one of the reasons we're looking for a new place. Soon we'll be off.

  7. Hi Linda, i agree w/ the idea of eating from a smaller plate, and have been planning on making my own smaller set as soon as i get my new studio set up. it's interesting because even though i think eating off a smaller plate is a good idea, i just love the look of those big plates. i'm always drawn towards them when i see them for some reason.

    i'll have to look over your previous posts, am i right in saying you're working w/ clay while living in your RV? WOW! i imagine as far as tools and equiptment you have the minimalist thing down to a science right now lol. i have to say though that it sounds like and adventure and quite exciting. i hope you find the perfect place to land. kim

  8. Hi Kim, thanks so much. You know I agree with you. I know I should make smaller plates, but I am always attracted to larger items, I love big cars, expansive landscapes, open floor plans, I think it may have something to do with not feeling closed in and perhaps the big plates are an unconscious manifestation of that feeling.

    Unfortunately, I keep getting duplicates of stuff I can't find, once we get settled I am sure I will be shocked at what I have done along the way. Hopefully we will find a place quickly.


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