Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A Happy Thing: Locally Milled Grains
I have to admit, I entered the month-long local eating challenge with a bit of trepidation. Sure, we'd done great during the Milwaukee challenge... but, that challenge was only two weeks long. And there was at least one product that I was a bit concerned about -- flour. I didn't include flour (or cornmeal) among our exclusions for the challenge -- mainly because I was determined to find local sources for both products. But, I wasn't altogether certain that I'd meet with success. I cannot tell you how incredibly excited I was to happen upon two fantastic products from Great River Organic Milling in Fountain City, Wisconsin. Our local co-op carries both their whole wheat pastry flour as well as their stone-ground corn meal -- both items that I was running low on, and that I hoped to find a local source for. The first thing I noted about the flour when I opened the bag was the incredible smell that wafted out. Never before have I smelled flour that gave off such an essence of wheat. The same experience greeted me as I opened the bag of corn meal. This stone-ground meal was soft and fine -- which a distinctive corn aroma. The down side of the Great River products is that they cost at LEAST double the price that I'm used to shelling out for flour and cornmeal. But, it feels good to know that (right now at least) I have the money to put toward supporting a local milling company that seems to produce a great product. As I was packing the grains up into jars for storage in the fridge, I found myself getting oddly giddy over the idea of baking. And seriously encouraged about our local eating prospects.
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