Saturday, September 5, 2009

New Things

A couple of weeks ago our home kitchen grain mill burst. Right in the middle of a busy baking morning.

The kitchen mill worked for a good long bit at commercial capacity but finally reached its limit. It would not go on one more day.

Philip and I decided that it was time to upgrade to a commercial mill. I researched and found a company in N. Wilkesboro, North Carolina called Meadows Mills. They are the only company in the US to still make stone burr mills out of granite. Most companies use a composite stone which sometimes has heavy metals and other bad stuff in it. The pink balfour granite mills the grain at a low temperature so that the nutrient content of the wheat is preserved.

On Nora's birthday, she, Thomas and I headed to North Carolina. We made a slight detour to my friend Julie's house.

"Julie, we are on our way, can we crash at your pad tonight?"

By the time we got there, bathing suits were set out, we jumped in their sparkling pool and enjoyed a very relaxing evening.

Julie has chickens, guineas and a turkey named George. George has take to chasing the children. He is a Royal Palm turkey, not terribly large but large enough to present a rather intimidating figure to children.

Next morning we headed to N. Wilkesboro with dried figs, homeschooling books, full tummies and a big packed lunch for the drive.

Oh, yes, and a big turkey named George in a cage in the back of the car.

George gobbled for a few minutes then settled down very nicely for the drive. He seemed to enjoy a nice lecture on the benefits of narration in the learning process. He really enjoyed the apple cores left over from our lunch. He didn't seem to have an opinion when we loaded up the new mill.

Philip asked me if the guys at the factory were curious about the live turkey in the back of our car. I told him they didn't seem curious at all. Maybe they are accustomed to customers with live turkeys picking up big grain mills. it was a new thing for us.

Nora suggested we call George "George Washington, like the president, Mommy." I think that is appropriate since we are going to study American History this year.

George seems to be happy here on the farm. He roosts on the top of the chicken yard fence, so high. I am amazed at how well he can fly.

"Gobble, gobble, gobble." He chases the kitties and wanders the farm. I hope we can find him a wife.

As for the mill, we set it up in the breakfast room.

It is a wonder.

Amazing how having the right tools can simplify one's job. Now I hope and pray we can acquire a used hobart mixer and another oven for the bakery. Thomas was pretty happy with the mill, too. His job has become a lot easier. We hope to add a line of stone ground flours and cornmeal to our market goods. Another farmer in our area has specialty corn this year. It will be fun to mill it for her. As we adjusted the stones to find the right spot for our grind we could smell if the stones got too close. Philip and the kids reminded me that the origin of the phrase "Keep your nose to the grindstone" didn't mean to push the stone with your nose but to smell the stones to see if they were too close. I felt like we were smelling and touching a piece of history.

Neat.

So thanks, God for amazing gifts of technology and inventors who come up with tools that make our life easier. And thanks for friends like Julie who give us turkeys and sushi and homeschool cds. And thanks for the fun new noise on the farm, "Gobble gobble, gobble."

6 comments:

CountryDew said...

Congrats on the purchase, I hope it makes your work much easier.

And you may want to consider clipping George's wings!

Jeff said...

How funny!! The image of a turkey in a cage in the back seat while picking up a grain mill! Thanks for explaining the saying, "Keep your nose to the grindstone." Interesting. I'm sure George will have no trouble finding a wife - there are plenty of turkeys in Floyd County, so I think a few might be flying around your area also.

Holly said...

wish you could have come to see me...:(

gingerhillery@mac.com said...

Great advice, Anita!

Hopefully we won't have to try EHarmony, Jeff. We will have to try the Floyd classifieds for turkeys!

Hey Holly! I wish I could have gone, too. I got to Julie's by accident, sort of, since it was not too far down the road. Nora has been asking to go see Emily for a year or two, so since it was her birthday, I obliged. We will have to make a trip just to see you. Fall in Asheville is the best. End of this month?

Holly said...

yes! anytime. i'll have to cook you up a feast a la julia child; i just went to our local bookstore and purchased 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' and i'm very excited to start trying those recipes!

Julie Webb said...

I am so thrilled that he is settled in well. PLEASE don't clip his wings unless he misbehaves, or varmits might get him while he sleeps! I would really try posting an add on Craig'sList for a female Royal Palm if you plan on breeding him...