Mike is the king of gift-givers (I'm not as evidenced by the soap dishes he got Year 1 and Year 2 of our marriage). Lookey lookey what I got for Christmas this year! My very own Country Living Grain Mill. So now I can make my own flour, corn meal, bean meal, nut butters, and maybe oatmeal.
We had a great day yesterday-- foraging for good things in Big Stone County. We headed down to Odessa (population 113) to buy bulk honey from Ellingson's. They have a robust honey and beeswax industry that employess folks year around. [Sadly my hives died last week with the extended below zero and 60mph winds and windchills. A sad lesson learned]. Then we went to JoAnn's house to buy some homemade soap and we plotted together to make some 100% Big Stone County soap- lye from our woodstove and vegetable oils from local crops. Lunch at The Cabin in Clinton and over to Todd's to pick up some wheat.
Bless Todd's soul- he pulled two bushels of wheat out of his grain bins. The variety of wheat Todd grew, Traverse, was developed by South Dakota State University and is named after the lake and county just north of us a few miles. So now I have some local wheat to turn into flour. Luckily Todd's son Travis (the football player) dropped by this afternoon and ground a couple cups. This is NOT as easy at it looks or sounds.
Grinding the wheat has a lovely smell. I've baked since I was young and never experienced the aroma of fresh ground flour. It is the smell of that Gerber dry baby food. It is probably lovely because it evokes those golden days of feeding babes their cereal.