What “p” food shall we have next?

Warning: guest post. So H has decided that I (j) should write this post about … drumroll … our latest investment.

Now. The term investment is a bit of a joke ’round these parts (our home), because of its utter misuse by H. She will come to me with the most sincere of looks, usually some sort of advertisement in hand, to tell me of the latest thing she’d like to have. And it’s always presented as an investment. “J, I really think we should invest in (such-and-such).” And that such-and-such might be anything from air freshener to bird seed. She used to truly misuse the term; now it’s pretty much just a household joke.

It’s a good laugh. So, all that to say …

… this one really is an investment. It will (hopefully) save money long term. And depending on how you look at it, it’s an investment in a number of ways. It could be considered an investment – even if we don’t save money – in our health. We have been interested in one for a long time, and found an excellent price on one this weekend from some kind Menonite folks. I always like to buy from nice people if possible. [Sure beats Amazon.]

So what is it, you ask? Well, it’s a mill. Grains go in the top, flour comes out the bottom (into a handly bowl, I might add).

And how is this an investment? Long term, you’ll end up paying less for flour, but the real payoff is the quality of the flour. Side note: do you have any idea how worthless and potentially not-good-for-you even “good” flour such as King Arthur is? I won’t go into it here, but google it if you want. Side note to the side note: some people would say that ALL flour should be avoided. Well … there is some validity to their points, but as for me and my house, we will most likely always eat flour. But now, it’s non-rancid, non-processed, non-stripped-of-the-best-part whole grain goodness.


There it is. Our new "investment."

And now we also have this in our kitchen:


Wheat berries. And more wheat berries. You gotta buy bulk if it's going to pay off.

So, the reason H wanted me to write this post is that I have been the one milling, and making foods from the flour.

Sunday morning: Pancakes. I used half oats, half whole wheat (hard wheat, even) and a dash of almond. They could have been better. They always scare me into under-mixing, then my first few have balls of flour in them. Ick. But they were pretty good. If the idea of whole wheat in a pancake scares you, I completely relate. The thought of it made me sick, but I must say … once you try it, you might just like it. I am a convert. I totally dig whole wheats.

Sunday afternoon: Pizza (seeing the trend yet?) I used an internet recipe, and probably won’t use it again. The flavor was great. The texture was good. But it was lousy to work with. Somehow I became the maker of pizza in this home, so dough that’s easy to work with is a big deal to me.

Tonight: Pretzels (I’m hoping the title of this post makes sense now) We got a recipe from our new friend Lacey who wrote about making pretzels. We modified the recipe a bit, using honey instead of sugar, adding a little gluten and “dough enhancer” to strengthen the dough and make it more elastic. They turned out great! I was pleasantly surprised. We used this:

Soft white wheat berries

Soft white wheat berries

I have to say, you’d never know you were eating whole wheat by the texture. These pretzels are kickin’. Thanks, Lacey. :)

H thought it was pretty funny that I was the one to dive in and get to milling. As anyone who knows me knows, I hate kitchen work, because I always mess up (literally and figuratively) and don’t enjoy that. But I also love good food. Good meaning good-for-you and good tasting. I love to enjoy all the goodness that Father has created. He’s very good to let us enjoy it.

Here are some photos of the pretzel-making process. The kids enjoyed watching. And mostly eating. :)

Rolling out the dough

Pastry Mat

I never have to worry about forgetting what that thing is that we roll pastry out on. It's nice of them to make sure for me.


Making the loop

Waiting for the bath

Rolled, looped, waiting for the bath.


In the bath. Look out. They were boiling hard. The iPhone kept time for us. :)

All done

All done. Sitting on the cooling rack



And there you have it. A mill, three p-foods, and pictures of pretzels. Hope you enjoyed. See you next time.


P.S. Next investment? A coffee roaster. A real, honest-to-goodness roaster. No more scouring Goodwills for rewired (to deactivate safety devices) fire-breathing, easy-to-burn-out popcorn poppers to roast coffee. I don’t know when that will be, but it’s on the agenda. :)


  1. Holly
    Mar 22, 2011

    i am proud of you. all of You… ;)
    love, love, Love.

  2. Lacey
    Mar 23, 2011

    Your pretzels look amazing.

    And now…
    I want to research and make my own investment.

    But I am afraid to read all the articles about King Arthur and everything else because I am not sure I can swing this extra task in my days yet.

    Maybe I will schedule an appointment to observe your process!

    • J
      Mar 26, 2011

      We would LOVE to have you over sometime! Let us know when you are free. ;)

  3. Erin Tilson
    Apr 5, 2011

    I want one of those! and to you think the “kind Menonite” has more?? Also I have a hard time imagining “H” misusing the term “investment” ;)

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