This section is from the book "Every-Day Dishes And Every-Day Work", by E. E. Kellogg. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Heat a quart of water to boiling in the inner dish of a double boiler, and stir into it one cup or one-half pint of pearled wheat. Let it boil rapidly until it is thickened and the wheat has ceased settling; then place in the outer boiler, in which the water should be boiling, and cook continuously from three to four hours.
Cracked wheat may be cooked in the same manner as pearled wheat, by using four and one-half parts of water to one of grain. The length of time required to cook it thoroughly is about the same as for pearled wheat.
This preparation of wheat requires only two and a half or three parts of water to one of wheat, according to the consistency desired when the grain is done. It should be cooked in the same way as pearled wheat, but requires only three hours' cooking.
Select new wheat with plump kernels; that which is freshly cut and well rubbed from the chaff is best for this purpose. Look it over carefully, wash, and put to cook in five times its measure of cold water. Let it come to a boil, and cook gently until the grains burst open, and they can be readily mashed between the thumb and finger. This will require from four to ten hours, according to the age and variety of the wheat used. Less time will be needed if the grain is soaked over night. When done, it should be full of a rich, thick liquor. If necessary, add more boiling water, but stir as little as possible.
Raisins or Zante currants may be added to any of the foregoing recipes, if desired. The raisins or currants should be well steamed previously, however, and stirred in lightly and evenly just before dishing. If cooked with the grain, they become soft, broken, and insipid. Figs, well steamed and chopped, may be added in the same way.
Fresh whortleberries, blueberries, and blackberries stirred into any of the well-cooked wheat preparations just before serving, make a very desirable addition. A most delicious dish may be prepared by stirring into well-cooked cracked wheat a few spoonfuls of rather thick cream and some fresh wild blackberries. Serve hot.
Cracked wheat, rolled wheat, or pearled wheat, cooked according to the foregoing recipes, and turned into molds until cold, makes a very palatable dessert, and may be served with cream or with fruit juice. Bits of jelly placed on top of the molds in the form of stars or crosses, add to the appearance. Molded grains are also very nice served with fresh berries, either mashed or whole, arranged around the mold.
Pearled, cracked, or whole wheat placed on shallow tins in the oven and slightly browned before cooking, make a pleasing variety in cereal foods. Cook the same as that which is not browned.