In a heavy bottomed pot, bring to a boil four quarts water with one tablespoon salt. Sprinkle in one cup medium pearl barley, return to a boil, stirring, and cook the barley over medium high heat for 20 minutes. Drain the barley in a colander and rinse it under running water. Put the colander over a pan of boiling water and steam the barley, covered with a tea towel and the lid, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it is tender and dry. Makes about three cups.