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Posts Tagged ‘flour’

This past Sunday our Sunday Photo post focused on “Flour Power.” Well, flour has definitely taken on power, and new meaning for me in the past five years.

On my journey to rid our kitchen of processed and pre-packaged food, I have also taken some detours and now local food plays a very important part of this journey as well.  Granola Bars 1

Flour, also gives me freedom. The freedom and power to make things like bread and pizza dough. Crackers and muffins. Sour dough starter and white sauce. I know where my flour came from and I know what the ingredients are in the things I make. Not only do I know the ingredients, but making these things is also frugal. I know it costs a lot less then buying a loaf of bread at the market.bread dough

In Sunday’s post Alexandra talked about finding local flour in Wisconsin a few hours from where she lives. I finally found a source for wheat in Texas that is about 500 miles away. YIKES. Texas is fifth in the nation in wheat production, and it is hard to find wheat or flour locally. Hmmm. Fran talked about flour and its connection to communities.KPMF on toast with asaragusOn any given day, I usually eat something that I eat that has flour in it. Toast made from homemade bread to go with my morning eggs. Maybe a granola bar in the car on the go. Last week for dinner I made a mushrooms in a white sauce using flour, served if over toast and topped that off with steamed asparagus.

Flour is one of the staples that I would never want to be without in my cupboards because it plays an important part in our meals. I am grateful that I have the time to make these things at home.

What part does flour play in our kitchen and life?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

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Hi All from narf7 from Serendipity Farm

Today’s post was brought to you by the concept of flour through the ages. I have a very sketchy ability to recall my own history let alone the history of the rest of the world but somewhere in the back of my mind I remember a history lesson regarding how important the growing of cereal crops was to the history of mankind. It meant that we would no longer need to be nomadic and that there would be a degree of surety regarding our food supply that was previously reliant on the hunting of large and dangerous creatures to feed us. Maybe that’s where vegans started as well…who knows! All I know is that it meant that people tended fields of grain while others went out to catch the mammoths and that’s where humanity started to really appreciate the concept of community. Everyone had a job, and the cereal became the backbone of the community.

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Sourdough rye starter after being fed, ready for use

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A sourdough loaf

Very early on we humans learned that a loaf of bread (albeit unleavened and most probably somewhat tasteless) was a valuable thing when the mammoths went on their annual sabbatical to wherever they went (most probably the La Brea Tar Pits) and being able to harvest perennial grasses allowed communities to grow and prosper. The production of flour allowed a community to store food and once food was stored it could be bartered for other food and goods and services, and over a period of time commerce was born. Flour, and that tasteless loaf of unleavened bread was incredibly vital to how big a community could grow and how far it could travel to meet up with other small communities.

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Homemade spinach pasta dough made with eggs and spinach produced on the property

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A Roly Poly Tiger Stromboli created from a savoury Stromboli recipe after wondering if a sweet version might be nice…it was!

Fast forwards to today and flour is just as important to our economies as it was back then but we have refined (pun intended) our flour to within an inch of its life and it isn’t the life sustaining product that it once was. Fortunately for us there are healthy alternatives and we can all have a go at creating customised baked goods suitable for everyone in our family. There is a groundswell of interest in cooking and especially baking and a subsequent rise in food blogs enabling us all to customise our diets to suit our requirements. It also allows us to share what we learn with our friends and family and spread the food love around

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Delicious and healthy, a cake baked using dates as an alternative to refined sugar

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These muffins were baked using kefir and sourdough starter a great way to use up excesses in a most tasty way

Where our communities were once reliant on spreading the grain love for survival, we now share recipes to rebuild a sense of community…we have almost come full circle. I shared how to make a wonderful pizza, calzone and Stromboli dough with a wonderful friend who was staying with us recently. She can now take the recipe back home with her and share it with her friends and family to make their lives richer. Humble flour still enriches our lives even though our lives are a whole lot easier than they once were. Where would we be without bread, birthday cakes and pizza?

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No, not Flower Power from the 60’s and 70’s, we’ll save that for another post. I’m talking about Flour Power!

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Flour takes on a whole new meaning for me (Sincerely, Emily) in the past 5 years.

mixing up granola bars

mixing up granola bars

foodsaver play 3

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Flour just taught my high school best friend how to create her own pizzas, Stromboli’s and calzones (narf7 from theroadtoserendipity.wordpress.com )

Simple flour is what memories and prospective feasts are made of…

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Flour, yeast, salt, oil and water

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Kym learning how to manipulate the dough to make a Stromboli

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“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”

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I never thought much about flour before trying to go all-local several years ago. It is really hard to find flour milled within a 4-hour drive, even when you live in a farm state. I finally found a Wisconsin farm called Great River which ironically mills flour just a couple of hours away, but sells it through a jobber in Arkansas, so it travels there, then back to me. So I buy $2.20 a pound flour, grown and milled in Southern Wisconsin, as opposed to 70c a pound flour, grown and milled god knows where– you can’t tell from the packaging. India for all I know. I worked out the cost– if I make all my own bread, the expensive flour makes each loaf about the same price as the store brand. If you count my time as having no monetary value.

Flour- counter Flour- hand***

Here at Tanglewood, flour has also taken on new meaning. After discovering that I am gluten intolerant (No, it’s not a fad I’m going through. Yes, it really does make me sick…) I had to switch from two main flours to… well… a gajillion.

I now keep more than twenty different flours in my kitchen, from teff to tapioca to millet – whatever it takes to add variety of texture and taste to the things I make. Early this spring I devised this shelving and storage system and I have to say – I’m intensely happy with it! Now I just have to get some snazzy labels to replace the dry erase marker on the jars.

(P.s. Can you tell I’m a huge Doctor Who geek from my shelves? My geekiness has gotten out of hand…)

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What are you doing with flour these days??

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