Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Lazy (Wo)Man's Way

I grind my own flour, but I cheat. I use an electric grinder. Not that I haven't spent many (and I mean MANY) hours grinding flour by hand. My dear husband has also done more than his fair share of hand grinding especially with the first two mills we had back in the days when we didn't have electricity.

We started with the good ol' Corona grinder. If memory serves me correctly, I think we wore out one set of grinding plates on that one.

Then we got a French made stone grinder, the Samap Stone Grain Mill. I see Samap now makes an electric stone grinder, but the old hand turning model like ours is still available.

The powerhouse grinder I have and use regularly now is the Grain Master Whisper Mill. I love it. You couldn't get me to give it up.

The name "Whisper Mill" is a joke and makes me smile every time I set the grinder up. When I flip the switch it sounds exactly like a jet plane engine set to take off. No, my windows don't shake and the dog now sleeps right through it, but I sure can't hear the stereo or audio book when it's on.

Here's the little lovely as it comes out to do its work. The green cap on top covers the hopper and keeps everything nice and clean in storage.

This is the container that the ground flour is blown into from the mill. It's engineered very well and not a puff of flour dust comes out into the air.

You can adjust the mill so your grains are ground very fine or coarse.

Here we are hooked up and ready to go.

I can load six cups of grain into the hopper at once. How long does the grinding take? No more than two or three minutes max. (Put on your ear muffs now. I'm going to flip the switch.)

And here's a container full of rye flour that is as perfect as any commercially ground flour. Well, of course, it's much better because of its freshness and the fact that it hasn't had a chance to oxidize and become "dead" sitting on a grocer's shelf for who-knows-how-long.

S'okay, I'm not getting the exercise workout that a hand powered mill gives and I am using electricity, but I'm saving a lot of time with my electric mill. (I'll go out and snowshoe or work in the garden to make up for my slovenliness.) And we do have a hand operated Country Living Grain Mill as a back up for grinding our flour should the need arise. Then I'd be right back to my upper body workout sessions.


Fiona said...

You are hilarious! The title of your post is "the lazy woman's way" and the first few words is, "I grind my own flour" -- how many folks do that? Lazy, my foot!!! :)
I'd like to start grinding my own flour, too -- so thanks for this inspiring/informational post. Can you use this for other things, i.e. making cornmeal?

Jane said...

You know I had my two nephews over yesterday, and after they left it occurred to me that, why o why did I not get them to man the flour grinder. I would be knee deep in flour right now had I thought of it earlier. The lesson here is your going to do it by hand, use the hands that never rest. It would have been the next best thing to your mill. Next time.

Kaytee said...

I need to get one of those! Fresh flour would be so much better. How much did you pay for it?

Mama Pea said...

Fiona - But it's sooo eeeeasy to do in the electric mill that I feel lazy doing it! Yes, my mill makes wonderful cornmeal. 'Bout the only thing you can't grind in it are seeds and nuts -- too oily and gums up the mechanism.

Jane - Well, Jane! Talk about a missed opportunity! They would have really gotten into it seeing who could grind the fastest and longest.

Kaytee - As everyone who grinds their own flour fresh says, breads and baked products taste so much better! I can't honestly remember how much we paid for ours (it's been a number of years) but doing a quick search I see Amazon has it for $239.95 with free shipping.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "lazy" indeed, I buy mine at the grocery store, lol!

Jane said...

It's a pretty machine,and since it get's the job done that's what it's all about. The flour looked good too. Blessings jane

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Aw, I have no doubt you'll get into grinding your own flour some day soon, too.

Jane2 - Yep, it does turn out really nice looking (and tasting!) flour.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

If I'm assuming you also grew the wheat, there is nothing at all lazy about this scenario!!!! Satisfying but not lazy!

Mama Pea said...

Jen - Ha! Grew the grain, too . . . yeah, right. If only! We need to clear a little more land to be able to do that. (Not that we wouldn't like to get into a little grain raising!)

Erin said...

"slovenliness"....puLEEZE! LOL, now I really want one of these! I have no earthly idea where we would source grain around here though, we'd have to order it off the internet and pay shipping probably... where do you obtain yours? The flour looks wonderful!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Our whole foods co-op grocery store in town has nearly all grains available so you can purchase 1#, 5# or whatever. We can also special order in bulk quantities through the co-op every week so you can order 25# bags (or 50# bags if you have the storage room) anytime. Being a member, we get a percentage off the shelf price by special ordering in bulk. You must have an organic food co-op somewhere around you. If our little-bitty town has one, you should have one within driving distance.

Erin said...

We had one, sadly it closed about 4 months ago and hasn't relocated.

Dirt Lover said...

I'm "storing" my mother-in-law's grinder for her. I've used it lots, but don't use as much whole wheat as I used to. I'm lazy now, and buy our bread. I should go back to making it at home. Oh, you're so inspiring!

Lorie said...

I too just love my Whisper Mill. Yes, everyone scatters when they see me get the mill out. Nothing quiet about it. I have never heard others, but assumed they must be really loud if this one is a "whisper mill".

I have wanted a hand crank one for some time, but have not run across a great deal yet. What do you use for a hand grind mill?

Mama Pea said...

Erin - That's strange as the "organic" whole foods business is so popular right now, it's curious they couldn't make it.

Lori - Homemade bread is not only more nutritious to put in our bodies, but also more economical . . . if you can spare the time. I use a lot of recipes that rise in the refrigerator and they are sometimes easier to work around time-wise than ones that rise with just the right amount of warmth.

Lorie - We have a Country Living Grain Mill for hand grinding . . . the best we've found.

Erin said...

Sadly, this area is REALLY not down with "change" LOL! We are the home of Pat Robertson you know, heaven forbid those "new fangled ideas" would interfere with his preaching, it might turn us all into hippies LOL! No chickens, no whole foods, nowhere to buy firewood or buy any type of heating system other than electric/gas heatpump, no solar/green building firms, it's crazy & why I can't wait to get out of here! I have found more progressive ideas being put to use in the small towns of America than any large city I have lived in, both east & west coasts. Seems instead of just talking about things in small towns they just go ahead and do them :)

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Wow, I had no idea your area was like that. I had just assumed any area with a big population would be into any new trend. Not that eating healthy, whole foods or organic markets are a new trend anymore. Time for you to move!!