In the Martin & Sylvia story "A Better Bird Feeder," brother and sister are curious why bird feeders look the way they do. They don’t look like anything in the natural world. Why would birds be drawn to them? Momma suggests they take a nature walk and study how birds eat – and then - perhaps design a better bird feeder. Martin and Sylvia enthusiastically take up the challenge, but they meet with unexpected trouble: squirrels!
This story got me to thinking about one of my favorite grains: millet. I remember a friend coming to visit our small house, shortly after I had started a natural foods cooking course. He looked at my shelf — stocked with jarred grains and beans — and remarked, “What’s with all the bird food?”
I had to laugh — for if you’ve ever seen millet before, it’s likely in the form of bird food!
Millet is great grain for autumn — and goes beautifully with root vegetables and winter squashes. It makes a lovely morning porridge, served with butter and raw honey in our house. And best of all, it makes wonderful fritters.
I made these the other night — a huge batch — and I’m so glad because everyone kept asking for more!
Fall Millet Fritters
1 cup uncooked millet
¼ cup diced onion
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
cold-pressed, high-heat vegetable oil, such as safflower or avocado oil
Place the millet in a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly. Place in a pot with 3½ cups of water and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly (though not completely, as millet gets quite firm when cold).
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the onion and seasonings and mix well. When the millet has cooled to where you can touch it (without hollering “ouch!”), combine with the egg mixture and stir well.
Heat ½ cup of oil in a skillet or frying pan. When the oil begins to ripple, drop spoonfuls of the millet mixture into the hot oil. Gently flatten with the spatula and allow to fry on one side until golden and firm. Flip the fritter, and fry on the opposite side. When completely golden and firm, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel, allowing any extra oil to be absorbed.
Serve warm. And enjoy!
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About the Author
Lisabeth Sewell has worn many hats at Sparkle over the years, from Sparkle Kitchen Blogger to Editorial Director to Doer of All Odd Jobs. Her primary role is as CEO.