sat, 09-jul-2011, 11:20
grinding wheat

grinding wheat

I’ve had a Country Living Grain Mill for a couple years now, but without a motor, which meant grinding grains by hand. It’s certainly doable, but over time, I found that the time and effort it took to grind enough grain for a weeks worth of bread was becoming too much. As a result, I wasn’t making as many whole grain recipes.

They sell a variety of motorization kits, from the complete package (which is what I bought), to the parts you’d need to motorize it yourself with a separate motor.

The motor and kit I got is fantastic. It takes about fifteen minutes to grind enou wheat for a couple sandwich loaves, the flour doesn’t get overheated, and it grinds it very fine; equal to what you’d buy in the store.

Here’s the recipe I started this morning (makes two sandwich loaves) which comes from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day:


  • 250 g — Water (warmed to around 100°F)
  • 283 g — Milk
  • 1½ T — Yeast
  • 284 g — White flour
  • 550 g — Whole wheat flour
  • 2 t — Salt
  • 71 g — Honey
  • 1 — Egg
  • 56 g — oil


  • Add water, milk, yeast, flour and honey to mixing bowl
  • Mix egg and oil until blended, add to bowl
  • Add yeast
  • Mix with dough hook on medium speed for five minutes
  • Rest, covered, for ten minutes
  • Pull and fold dough twice, then rest ten minutes
  • Repeat folding and resting three more times
  • Refrigerate dough for one to four days in a covered, lightly oiled container


  • Take dough out, let sit at room temperature for three hours
  • Flatten dough into rectangle and roll into a loaf, put into greased loaf pan
  • Let sit for two to three hours until dough has risen above the rim of the pan by around an inch
  • Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes
tags: bread  grinder  grain  motor 
sun, 26-jun-2011, 08:34
The Passage and Jenson

The Passage, Jenson

I’d read a few gushing blurbs about The Passage, Justin Cronin’s long novel (the first in a trilogy, apparently), when it came out last year, but I wasn’t particulary excited about reading “The Stand meets The Road plus vampires.”

But, there it was in the new paperback section of the bookstore last weekend, so I picked it up. I’m glad I did. It really is a great literary summer read: great writing, propulsive plot, lots of thrilling moments. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down, and I’m very much looking forward to the next book. Lots of hair-raising moments like this one:

Wolgast could stand it no more. “What’s over?”
Lear lifted his face; his eyes were full of tears.

If you’re looking for something both well written and exciting to read this summer, check it out.

tags: books  Jenson  review  Cronin 
mon, 20-jun-2011, 17:14
A Moment in the Sun, Nika

A Moment in the Sun, Nika

Another monster book from McSweeney’s. This time around it’s a wide ranging historical montage of America around the turn of the last century when we were fighting wars in Cuba and the Philippines, and reconstruction was giving way to Jim Crow in the South.

The book has several main characters and dozens of minor ones, all struggling to make it in a society that is very much against them getting ahead. Several are forced into joining the Army to fight first the Spanish and then the native population in the Philippines, others work back-breaking jobs and rarely come out ahead.

It’s a great portrayal of racism, classism, and imperialism in America, and it’s sad to realize that more than one hundred years on from the story, we’re still struggling with the same issues.

I enjoy historical fiction, so I really liked the book. It’s also gorgeous, with a rich gold-leaf embossed cover and sewn binding. If you’re thinking of reading it, I’d get the hardcover. It’s heavy (and expensive), but instead of a mass market “hardcover,” you’re getting a real book the way they used to be made.

tags: books  Nika  reviews  Sayles 
mon, 13-jun-2011, 21:13
Rainbox over the dog yard

Rainbow over the dog yard

tags: dog yard  rainbow 
sun, 12-jun-2011, 12:35
Alaska Goldpanners, rainbow

Alaska Goldpanners, rainbow

Andrea and I went to see the Alaska Goldpanners again last night. As we were leaving the house, it started to lightly drizzle, and after the first inning of play, it started raining at the ballpark. We didn’t wind up staying for the whole game (the Goldpanners won 8—3): we left after our pitcher threw two wild pitches over the catcher to score two Anchorage Bucs runs because he couldn’t get a good grip on the wet ball.

For more than an inning, there was a spectacular triple rainbow. One of the great things about baseball: you never know what you're going to see, on and off the field!

If you’re in Fairbanks this summer, you owe it to yourself to come out to the ballpark at least once. It’s a cheap evening, is often a more interesting game than the brand of baseball you see in the Major Leagues, it’s great to be outside watching the next generation of baseball players, and the Goldpanners could really use the support. They had to drop out of the Alaska Baseball League this summer, and are playing an abbreviated season, but hopefully if they get enough fan support, they’ll play a full season next year. The link in the first paragraph takes you to the schedule.


I hope to see you at the ballpark!

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