Inland Sea Oats (Chasmantium latifolia) seems to like to grow along creeks in the Austin area, and it is often used as a native landscaping plant for shady areas. Two people can collect 3 quarts (final seeds) in 1 hour. They were easy to gather, just walk along and strip off the seeds in your hand, then to the bag.
Inland Sea Oats Crackers
We used the Ellison threshing method (surgical taped blender blades – see UWP Newsletter, Spring Forward 2002, No. 19). Put about a handful in at a time and pulse it. Threshing time: 30 min.
For winnowing, we used a small fan, 2 speed. Aim it down slightly, into the threshed seeds in a stainless bowl. Begin on low speed and watch for seed carryover. It works real well until you get down to the bottom of the bowl leaving some seed heads still with seeds (didn’t get threshed). The problem is that the density of these seed heads is about the same as that of the seeds, since they still have the seeds in them, and the air drag is only a little more. You can squish them in your hand in an attempt to break out the seeds (which we did) or run them through the thresher again. Then place a stainless steel colander inside the bowl, one with approx. 0.100” holes. Keep the fan going and put in about a handful of seeds at a time. Move the colander up and down and shake it from side to side. The seeds will drop through the holes, but not the husks. William then picked out the remaining husks, not many. Winnowing time: 1 hour
Grind the seeds in a Corona mill, run them through about 3 times. We wound up with a heaping cup of wonderful flour.
For a cookie sheet plus amount of crackers:
1 heaping cup Inland Sea Oats flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all purpose white flour
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces of White Egret Farm chev’
1 tablespoon honey
¾ cup goat milk
Combine the dry ingredients first, in a food processor. “Cut” in the cheese (add a little at a time while pulsing blender). Add the milk & honey. Dump it into a ziplock and refrigerate ball of dough for about an hour.
Flour a cookie sheet, then roll the dough out about a 1/8” thick, or less. (Mine rolled out
to 1/8” rose to ¼”, making something like bisquits or hard tack, rather than crackers, except on the edges where it was crisp.) Cut it into squares with a pizza cutter, stab it with a fork to prevent pillowing. Sprinkle some un-milled oats on top for effect. Bake it for about 25 min @ 325 F.