Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mill, Baby, Mill

And then there's the slight matter of the other things I purchased at the market this morning...

Two weeks ago, as you may recall me mentioning, the Grain Guy brought me my order of two fifty-pound bags of whole grains for this winter's baking. In talking with him, the Renaissance Man mentioned that I had been pondering the purchase of a new grain mill for myself, one that would handle larger loads and be somewhat easier to crank. The Grain Guy allowed as how he had bought a similar mill about ten years back but had since graduated to an even larger powered mill to handle the volume he requires.

Last week, the Grain Guy decided to bring that older mill to the market, along with a smaller motor-powered mill. There was some debate as to whether Local Roots would buy it to have in the future commercial kitchen or whether I would... but I sure knew what my vote would be.

So after sounding out my fellow board members over this past week, I decided to take the leap. When the Grain Guy showed up at the market this morning, I immediately collared him.

"So, Grain Guy, about that mill. Do I write the check out to you?"

(surprised look) "Uh, yeah..."

"For (x amount of dollars, the price quoted last week)?"

(dazed smile) "Yeah."

"OK. I'll go write you out a check and be right back."

And I was. And the grin on his face spread so far I thought his hat might fall off.

So by the end of the day, the Renaissance Man bundled at least the smaller mill (and the box of burrs for the bigger mill) into his truck and hauled it home, having offered to set it up on his enclosed back porch for my use. Shortly after he got home, he called me and said that since he had "his" mill (the smaller one) and the bag of old grain (to test the mills), did I want to come over and test the new "toy" with him?

Well, DUH.

I arrived to find the "spider" mill (his name for it; I think it looks like it just landed out of War of the Worlds) on his kitchen counter, awaiting a test drive.

As always, the Renaissance Man decided to learn how to take things apart, so he removed the front to show the plate where the grains would feed into the grinding apparatus...

...inside this stone-lined chamber.

He put it all back together after wiping it down, then poured some old spelt into the hopper, plugged it in, and let it do its work.

The result was a fine, soft flour -- almost like powder. Wow!

And left behind in the mill was the bran, though whether that was intentional or simply because it hadn't finished grinding everything, I don't know.

Now I'm really eager to test my new mill... so stay tuned for further adventures!

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