Our Grain Mill

This is a good time to let you all know that hidden amongst the “grab buttons” on the left sidebar, there is a search bar so any time you want to know something that I’ve posted previously, you can put your words in the search bar and hopefully find it.

Several have asked about the grain mill I use and I never mind answering questions so feel free to ask any time.

This post and this post were written when I first decided which mill to get and when I started milling my wheat so there’s plenty of info there.  I was surprised that I’ve been using it for four years . . even though the past few months it wasn’t used as much as in the previous times.  I still love it and like I said yesterday, there are more expensive mills out there but I can’t imagine that they do a better job than the Family Grain Mill.  After all . . I just use it for grinding wheat and oats and a few other things and it does a wonderful job.  I’m not sure if it still does but when I got mine, it came with a hand crank so that if ever we don’t have electricity, I can (or Vince can!) grind the wheat by hand.

When I first got it, I would take it apart and clean it after every use.  Now, if I’m just grinding flour or oats, I never even take it apart and clean it.  I just tap it gently with a rubber spatula so a good bit of the loose flour falls out put it back in the cabinet.

In the nearly four years of using the mill, I’ve not had a single issue with it.  I ground wheat Monday for the bread I made and will grind more Friday to make bread for the weekend.

I ordered it from Pleasant Hill Grain and I still love dealing with them.  I order my lecithin, dough enhancer, yeast, vital wheat gluten and other baking supplies from them.  I also order the plastic bread bags and twist ties from them.  They have great service and they ship quickly.

Before you ask “Where do you get your wheat?”, I’ll answer that.  There are lots of places.  In the past, I’ve had friends who grew it for name brand companies and I got some from them.  That’s always nice to get!  If you’re near a Whole Foods, I’ve gotten it from them and if I remember correctly, if you order a 50 pound bag, you get a bit of a discount.  When I first began buying wheat, it cost less than half of what it costs now at most places so if you decide to mill your own, don’t be afraid to stock up.  I don’t see prices going down significantly.  I think I have a lifetime supply and my moves will probably agree!  If you’re wondering how long it will last, this is a good article.  In fact, if you’re into “preparedness”, Preparedness Pro is a blog I read and recommend.

Most of my wheat is stored inside mylar bags, into which I poked 5 or 6 oxygen absorbers, then vacuumed and sealed.  Those bags were placed in the 5 or 6 gallon buckets and sealed with gamma seal lids (also from Pleasant Hill Grain).  In MO, I kept all the wheat in the air conditioned basement and it stayed cooler than most other areas of the house.  Here, I have the buckets in the closet in the air conditioned sewing room and it stays plenty cool there.  Heat and rodents are what concern me.  Rodents can’t get to it inside the sealed buckets and as long as it stays in the air conditioned area, it will probably last longer than I will.  The wheat that I used this week was from 2008 and it was good as new from what we could tell.

I grind the wheat on the day I plan to use it.  I’ve read that whole wheat flour begins to lose some of its nutrients within hours after being ground.  I’m not saying that storebought whole wheat isn’t great .. I’m just saying what I’ve read.

Well, this ended up being way more than a post about a wheat mill but it is all kinda related, right?

 

Salad with Goat Cheese

Last night I made this salad.

My inspiration came from this recipe but I made quite a few changes, simply because I didn’t like some of the things they used or I had other things that would work just as well.  One thing I hope all cooks learn is that it’s so easy to make do with what you have in your own kitchen.

Here are the modifications I made:

  • Oranges – I used mandarins
  • Walnuts – don’t like them so much so I toasted almond slivers
  • Red Onion – didn’t want it — Vince doesn’t like raw onion, not red, not Vidalia . . no raw onions.
  • White Vinegar – I used balsamic
  • Pistachios – I left them out.  They’re expensive and I wasn’t going to buy them just to grind them up.
  • Seasoned Bread Crumbs – I used Italian seasoned panko.

Instead of oiling the goat cheese, I heated a skillet on the stove, ran a stick of butter across the top and then seared the panko encrusted goat cheese in the skillet.

I added sliced strawberries and mushrooms (because I had them in the fridge).

That’s a salad I think I could eat every day!  The leftover dressing — Vince took a piece of bread and sopped it up.  This recipe was definitely a hit around here and really quick and easy to make.

Rolling Along – Part 2 Correction

If you’ve already printed the directions from earlier this morning, for each block you need 4 – 1-3/4″ squares NOT 4 – 1-3/8″ squares as I originally posted.  I’ve corrected it but just wanted to be sure anyone who had printed the directions already sees the change.  Sorry!

Rolling Along – Part 2

Today’s instructions are for the center of the star block.  While cutting the colored fabric, if you’d like to cut everything at once, here’s what each block requires:

  • Colored Fabric (where I have orange below) – 3 – 3″ squares
  • Colored Fabric – 8 – 1-3/8″ x 5-1/2″ rectangles
  • Colored Fabric/Background Fabric – 2 half square triangles made from background and colored fabric. These will be 3″ unfinished or 2-1/2″ finished
  • Background Fabric – 4 – 1-3/4″ squares
  • Background Fabric – 4 – 1-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ rectangles
  • Flying Geese from Step 1 – 4

The instructions for making the center begin below:

There are 18 star blocks.  The center of each block requires one colored 3″ (cut size) square.

To opposite sides of the center square, sew a flying geese unit.

For each star block, sew a 1-3/4″  background square to opposite ends of two flying geese units.

Sew these two units to the top and bottom of the center to complete the center star.

Make 18 of these sections.