After having my mom mail me her freshly ground whole wheat flour for several years now, it finally occurred to me that I probably bake often enough to have my own mill.
I ordered it from Urban Homemaker, and got it in the mail a few weeks ago.
I've been a little overwhelmed lately though, so it took me up until two days ago to get to the store and buy a bag of wheat grain.
This is an entire 25 kilo bag (approx 55 lbs.) The guy looked at me like I was a little crazy, but seriously -- I can't easily get out of the house just any time I want, so it becomes necessary to buy in bulk. On top of that, I really do bake almost every day, so it's entirely possible I'll use this up before we move in the fall! (Either that, or I'll be making the leftovers a gift to another enthusiastic baking friend.)
Something interesting: it seems to be the German custom to go out and buy things daily for that day's food needs -- i.e. 2 or 3 eggs, an onion, a small bag of flour, etc. They buy as they need. This makes me stick out painfully as the Loony American, but I refuse to repent of my ways. It's always my goal to have, essentially, a grocery store in house, so a 55 pound bag of wheat makes perfect sense towards that end.
I got all of the plastic pieces of the mill washed on Friday, and then on Saturday when they were all nice and dry, I put it all together, and we started up the mill for it's berak-in run. (Turn the mill on and leave it running for 4 minutes, then add 2 cups of grain and throw this flour away.)
There's nothing like plunging your hands into newly ground, warm flour.
The scent of fresh flour is earthy and nutty, and you can see the bran lying on top here in the canister.
Mmmm....whole wheat bread has never tasted so good. (Sidenote -- this flour was coarsly ground, but it can also do medium and fine, depending on what you need.)
Last night, while listening to an audio book (Home To Holly Springs), I finished knitting the last of the pieces for the shawl collared cardigan. I couldn't decide if I wanted to block it before seaming though, so I put it aside and broke out a sock that's been languishing for quite some time, and finally turned the heel.
Show-off Stranded Sock (PDF)
I don't know what the trouble is with these socks. I like the yarn, I'm actually OK with the striping/pooling that's going on, the pattern takes almost no brain power to execute, but...I'm just not feeling the sock love at the moment. For any socks. Really, all I want to do is to knit sweaters. The trouble is, I've been wearing my handknit socks more than ever this year, and I've found that there is nothing like the warmth and comfort of a handcrafted sock. Apparently this means that I'd better get moving and finish up the two pairs I've got in progress on my needles. ~sigh~
A tiny spinning newsflash: there's a lady who has posted to the Spinner's Marketplace on Ravelry, selling Qiviut/silk blend (75/25) for $40 an ounce, including shipping. Just in case you've always wanted to try it...
Random: I'm always looking for music or other audio entertainment that will amuse my children while not making me want to burn my ears out. With all of the errands that we have to run, I've found that sometimes a fun audio book is the only thing standing between me and the certain appearance of Monster Mommy. I've also discovered that many children's movies have fun soundtracks, available for immediate download on iTunes. Because some of you may be looking for similar entertainment, here's our current listening list.
Elizabeth Mitchell (any and all of her CD's are well worth the listen.)
Johnny Cash Children's Album
Veggie Tales (tons of albums here, including the soundtrack to the most recent movie "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything")
Hairspray (OK, not a kids movie, but the kids love the music)
Audiobook short books:
The Biggest Bear
Blueberries For Sal
Burt Dow: Deep Water Man
Make Way For Ducklings
One Morning In Maine
Corduroy: Lost And Found
Horton Hears A Who
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
The Little House
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Where the Wild Things Are
Audiobook "chapter books":
A Bear Called Paddington
Fantastic Mr. Fox
George's Marvelous Medicine
The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
To those of you who have little people of your own, what do you keep loaded in your iPods?