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Hippie Skills

Posted by kevinwolz on June 17, 2010

I’ve known Sheril for two years now. Before she was Sheril, she was the “Bread Lady” from the local FM, from whom I would buy the tastiest bread, granola, and jam. This week, I spent some high quality time with Sheril in her own kitchen and was able to cross a bunch of things off my To Do List as a result! The conversation was also great…some people just get it, you know?

First, she showed me how to process wheat into flour. The wheat was from a local source and comes as a whole grain. The process is actually quite simple, involving two rollers than pulverize the grain as it passes through. A nice electric version of this machine probably goes for under $200 and will probably be an essential investment in my future. Freshly ground flour supposedly has a much higher nutrient content since the nutrients begin to break down after the seed is pulverized. Consequently, milling your own flour can be a great health and taste boost.

On a similar note, we went through the process of rolling oats, which also came as a whole grain and looked very similar to, but slightly larger than, the wheat. Rather than pulverizing the oats to make flour, the process of rolling simply rolls the oats into flattened discs. Doing this makes the oats more digestible and absorbent. After rolling, you’re half way to granola or oatmeal!

Next, we went over the basics of making and canning jam, which I will exploreg more in the coming weeks and explain after I try it out myself.

I also learned how to make yogurt, which I absolutely love — especially with granola! Does that qualify me as a hippie? Soon, I will put this knowledge to the test on my own batch, but here’s how it’s done so you can try it yourself. It’s ridiculously simple:

1) Bring milk to 180 degrees. (This Pasteurizes the milk, which is arguably unnecessary, depending on who you talk to. I need to look into this more.)

2) Allow milk to cool to 100-105 degrees and stir in about a half cup of plain unsweetened yogurt from the store or a previous batch. (This is your bacteria innoculant.)

3) Pour into a sterilized container and place in an insulated container, maintaining that 100-105 degree range for at least 8 hours.

4) Pour on granola and EAT!

Along with all the knowledge, I also took home about 10 pounds of whole wheat flour, a few cups of freshly rolled oats, and container of slow-churned strawberry-mint ice cream! The flour was ground on site from wheat that was grown just outside of town by a trusted friend. Now that I finally have my own store of local flour, I can start baking again, as well as eating pancakes and waffles! I will either make oatmeal out of the rolled oats or experiment a bit with making granola. The ice cream was dessert for the night and was practically gone by the time I got home. In the coming weeks, I hope to collaborate further with Sheril and learn even more.

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2 Responses to “Hippie Skills”

  1. Joan said

    Awesome,Kevin.

    Sounds like you were having fun and learning at the same time.

    Can’t wait to taste your homemade jam.

    GB

  2. Jeremy said

    This is so good!

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