An introduction to grinding grain for flour

Baking bread when I was growing up meant first slipping down to the basement larder and grinding the grain. The machine was absolutely deafening, but I loved the smell of freshly milled flour and the way it floated down to form miniature snowy mountains in my bucket.

My mother still grinds her own grains and regales me with tales of her kamut lasagna noodles and soft wheat pizza dough; as always, she’s years ahead of the current whole foods movement. I had quite a few tools and appliances that I needed to invest in when I set up my own kitchen and a grain mill was low in the list. It was there, though, for my ‘someday’.

Naturally I was very excited last fall when KitchenAid Canada provided me with a grain mill attachment to go with my beloved 7-quart stand mixer. It’s funny, I feel as though I have both traveled back in time to to that flour dusted larder floor and taken a step ahead into another level of baking with whole, unprocessed ingredients in my kitchen.

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The Beauty of Foil Dinners and My Essential Camping Kitchen Tools

Sunburned, sleepy, and more-than-a-little sandy, we are home from our family camping trip. I’m pleased to report it was one of our better excursions as nothing major was left behind (save for our Bodum; but there are ways to get creative when making coffee), the bugs were few, and we had a lovely campsite near a small beach.

Fortunately, the rain stayed away, despite some violent thunder crashes that sent Noah scurrying back to camp from wherever he was exploring, and as I sit down to type these words I can hear the skies opening up. No matter now, as my boys are fast asleep in their own beds and there’s a roof over us all. Let it rain.

I find the weather always directly effects how much food we consume during a 60+ hour camping trip. If the sun is shining and we are busy hiking trails or swimming, food takes a backseat until about six pm, when we regroup around the fire pit and devour a hearty dinner. If it’s drizzling or cold, much time is spent stoking the fire and eating our way through provisions. Either way, food is always an important part of a camping trip, I think we can all agree on that!

Here’s a recap of our menu, plus a recipe for our favorite dish of the trip.

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Holiday 2010 Gift Guide: My Top Ten Stocking Stuffers for the Kitchen

Being the planner and organizer that I am, I’m thinking about Christmas presents already! Most of my family lives either internationally or across Canada, and so I like to get their boxes out by early December. That way I know gifts will arrive on time, plus then I can focus on other important tasks – like baking gingerbread with the boys and getting my season’s greetings in the mail.

So, in the name of organization, I’m bringing you a holiday gift guide for the kitchen in three parts – big items, stocking stuffers and cookbooks – to help you can get some ideas and recommended resources for the cooks and bakers on your list (or your wish list).

Last Friday we looked at my Top Ten ‘Big Ticket’ Kitchen Items, now I want to give you the top ten smaller tools I reach for every day while cooking and baking. They are absolutely essential for all that I do in the kitchen and making the task of preparing three meals a day much simpler.
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