Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grinding Wheat and baking Bread

   Our bread baking:
     We have a Wondermill Grain Grinder found here http://thewondermill.com/

     This is a very handy mill and quite versatile, as I use it for grinding wheat as well as for grinding rice.  I also use it for grinding corn.  I love the fresh taste of grain freshly ground, but more than that, the health benefits of fresh ground will pay for itself in a short time. 
      I buy soft white wheat berries, which is pure wheat but with a softer consistency for baking.  I use this wheat for all our foods, including fresh baked bread. 
   I also use the grinder for gluten-free baking by using brown rice in our grinder and also tapioca flour.  Each of these I buy in it's pure form.  I use the grain on it's lowest setting for baking products. 
      I use the grinder for corn by buying organic popping corn.  This is easier on the machine and does not add too much oil to the grinder burrs.
     I am also an avid sourdough baker!  I love sourdough and use it regulary in my baking.  I love the book, La Brea Bread by Nancy Silverton.  
    I started my sourdough by using organic red grapes and fermenting them for two weeks, caring for my sourdough regularly, and producing a gorgeous sourdough that I continue to use and feed.  This has been the base for my sourdough for over five years.  I have read where people have had their own starter for as many as 100 years!

I usually make 12 loaves at a time!

    I make a bread with starter and fresh ground wheat as well as vital wheat gluten.  I ferment these loaves in baskets overnight, and then bake them on a hearth stone to produce a lovely bread, that my family all enjoys.
    I also love the wonderful pancakes that fresh sourdough makes as well as waffles.  We have a lovely Belgian waffle with sauteed apples and whipping cream.  It is very delicious to have the tangy taste of the waffles with the sweetened apples and cream!  The book can be found here .http://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Silvertons-Breads-Brea-Bakery/dp/0679409076
or you can also look for it at your library.
    Using fresh ground wheat or grains improves your family's health, by keeping the vital nutrients intact and not losing them due to processing, for more information on this please go to: http://thewholetruth.org/Health_Wheat_FAQ.asp
    Using sourdough is also beneficial to the digestion, and the ability for the body to extract the nutrients from grains.  I have found that friends that eat my bread no longer have trouble digesting the wheat.
    We also have a family that loves fresh bread with slices of tomato and fresh olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a bit of basil and fresh ground pepper...mmn!!!
    I urge you to check out this book and to consider a grain grinder, it has saved us many of dollars, and has been a faithful worker in my kitchen!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Review of Our Favorites (some of them)!

    Our Soaps:

     Star Anise Soap is a lovely bar with a very creamy lather.  It is soothing for the skin and bubbly as well. 
      Did you know that fishermen use Star Anise for attracting fish while fishing?  Yes Star Anise is a fish attractant!    Now I understand why we get asked if we have fisherman's soap? 
      Besides attracting fish when using this soap, Star Anise has the reputed benefit of being calming. 
     We have it in two lovely shapes and in all natural without any added color or synthetic fragrance.  The Star Anise Essential Oil is 100% pure!  It is one of our family's favorite soaps.  Loved by our smaller children!

     Spicy Ginger is also a family favorite.  It is pure Ginger Essential Oil with
a cute shape.  I like the way this lathers and the invigorating effect it has after use.   I love this bar first thing in the morning when I really need to wake up and feel refreshed, but didn't happen to wake up that way :)  Ginger Essential Oil is also known for it's warming properties. 

     The bars are incredibly creamy when using them.  They lather nicely and leave a very soft feeling to your skin, perfect for the dry skin problems.

     Another favorite, our Lavender Soap with Lavender Flower Buds.  Lavender has a calming effect.  This soap is perfect for late evening baths especially if you suffer from insomnia.  Lavender is also especially helpful for  those that suffer from headaches or migranes.  This bar is very soothing, it is soft on the skin and yet has a mild exfoliant from the lavender buds. 

Two of our lovely bars that are wonderful for your gardener's basket!

       I hope that you have enjoyed a few of our favorite soaps and learning more about what makes our Handmade Goats Milk Soaps so special!



Monday, August 1, 2011

Farmers Market Support!

Continuing my support of local farmers markets to celebrate the National Farmers Market week which begins next week. 
I thought I would post some pictures of our stand and contributions to a market that we attend. 

And our Goats Milk Soaps

  As well as the beautiful Oregon Coast

We have participated in Farmers Markets for twenty five years!  Our family has been involved with farmers markets in both Southern California where we used to live and now in Oregon.  Helping others learn about the benefits of buying local as well as educating people about the health benefits of fresh food, and supporting small farms, is an important endeavor to our family.