Friday, March 4, 2011

Mill vs Tiller

Wow! Another week is close to being over!  It seems that one minute time is just dragging by and yet when I turn around all the sudden another week has zipped by.  I still haven't figured out just when time started doing that. I mean I can remember as a kid everything seemed to take forever to "get to".  It was always "One day when I grow up I'm going to <fill in the blank>"  Or thinking that an eternity had passed waiting for Christmas morning.  These days Christmas is here before the Thanksgiving turkey gone. Do you ever wish that you could just go back and feel as if the first day of summer would never get here?  

    Anyway.... Mrs M bought herself the kitchen mixer that she has been drooling over for quite awhile now. It's one of those Viking Mixers. Top of the line. Cadillac of the mixer families.  The thing is a real workhorse and I'm happy for her.  Actually I am happy for me too! You will never guess what happened to the old mixer... oh wait..,I guess you can now!   LOL 

     Yep, she was kind enough to give me her Kenwood Chef Major.  Is that awesome or what??  It's an older mixer with absolutely NOTHING wrong with it except some of the paint is peeling off the base.  600 watts of pure mixing power.  It makes kneading bread child's play.  It also has some very cool attachments.  There is a meat grinder and sausage stuffer. So now I can add some more things to my list of want to do's. 
    Oh there is also a pasta maker. I've been wanting to learn to make pasta for ages.  I hear folks talk about how easy it is but I've always been a little worried about getting it right.  No more excuses for that anymore either.  Hog Heaven Baby!  Of course I'm going to have to wait until we get moved to do most of this stuff but hey... the way time is flying by that's just right around the corner, right?

All of this kind of brings me to the next thing I have been thinking about.  I have been wanting a grain mill for years now. I really want to be able to grind my own flour and cornmeal. Not so much because it's so much healthier for you (although it is) but because it is cheaper err.. less expensive to buy grain's and make your own.  Another thing to consider is that storing wheat is a much better alternative to long term storage than flour is. The shelf life of flour is pretty short.  A year or so is about as good as it gets before the flour goes rancid. You can store wheat for 30 years or more. Not that I plan on storing it that long but it's nice to know it won't go bad in just a year or so.

I've talked to lots and lots of folks, trying to get as much information from them all as I can about grain mills.  I've weighed out the pro's and con's of Electric vs Manual ones.  I've done all sorts of studying different mills and I finally picked the GrainMaker Mill.  There is some good information on different type's of grain mills under the testimonial section.  I thought it was pretty well written and seems to be well researched to. So if you have been wondering about the differences in Manual Mills check out the link  "Grain Mill Comparisons".  

I found out that they have a lay-a-way program.  That would help ease some of the pain of  spending over $4oo.oo. The problem that I ran into was that the GrainMaker is soon going up on their prices.From what I was told, the new price is going to be close to double what it is now. So I had to make a decision pretty quickly or I won't be able to take advantage of it.  So I gathered up all my information and had a talk with Mars.

Well it turns out he had something he wanted me to think about as well.  He want's to buy a tiller. Since one of the big things we are planning  on doing when we find "our land" is to garden, we are really going to need one. The garden we want to have just can't really be turned by hand every year.  Well... I suppose it could but .... what a lot of work.  He has been looking on Craigslist for a used one since tillers are not cheap! So after a little discussion we decided that instead of the grain mill that the tiller would be the better purchase for now.  Sometimes you just have to decide what is more important in the scheme of things.

And so now... back to the Kenwood Mixer. It seems that they make a grain mill attachment for it.  (You didn't really think I would just give up on a grain mill that easily did you?)  The only problem is that it looks like one will be hard to find. They stopped making the mixer a few years ago but I have found some places that still sell attachments and spare parts. The kicker is.... they sell them in the UK and don't ship to the states. 

The Kenwood used to be made in the UK. Then Rival started making them for a couple of years here. Then they quit making them at all. Something to do with the quality really going down after they moved here.  Anyway.... I figure if I can find the grain attachment I will just buy one of them.  It would sure be alot less expensive even though it won't be a Manual Mill.  So if anyone of you guys know where I might be able to find one I would sure appreciate it if you could let me know. Things will work out the way they are supposed to, right? 
                    ~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~


  1. I got a Kitchen Aid mixer and wanted the grain mill attachment but couldn't find it...turns out that the mill takes a lot of energy and was burning out motors, so they stopped making it! Glad I found out before I got it!
    I agree with Mars about the tiller. We invested in one for big plantings, but I also got a power cultivator that attaches to my string trimmer handle and it works fantastic in narrow beds and raised beds!

  2. Do you have any bloggy buddies that would accept the shipment in the UK and the ship it to you? I know I have Canadian friend that needed a part only sold in the US and he asked if I would accept it and send it along to CAN [he would pay all postage of course.]

    I know my UK bloggy buddies are sweethearts and I am sure they would do it for me.

    As for the mixer - OH YEAH BABY! I love my mixer for everything. We bought a refurbished [YELLOW - HAPPY!] Kitchen Aid 5 years ago and the thing is a work horse. LOVE it! So happy you have one too. We don't have attachments, but we can knead, mix, whip [best mashed taters in the world!]

    Have a great weekend!

  3. I don't think I have ever taken the time to tell you how much I admire you and how you are preparing for what is to come. I wish I were in a position to do the same. You did encourage me to check out dehydrators and I settled on the Excalibur for my wish list. My problem is I live in a converted barn, really, in the upstairs section which used to hold the hay and straw etc. The original beams are still in here and I have no storage area at all. But figured I could do some dehydrating and store in food grade buckets. I am hoping by my BD in May I will have enough saved back to go for the Excalibur and take advantage of the fresh veggies this summer. And yes, when you are 10, say, will summer ever get here? by July, is it time for school to start yet? Are we there yet we've been riding for hours ( 45 minutes), my grandma used to tell me not to wish my life away that one day time would fly by so fast I wouldn't believe it...guess what? I believe it now!Love your blog! Always learn something....

  4. Your post was very busy this time,that mixer sounds like a great gift! The tiller sounds like a good idea too.Blessings jane

  5. Time goes past real fast for me. Time goes really slow if your brain works fast and time goes really fast if your brain works slow. Our brains slow down as we age, therefore the older we get the faster time goes and we don't have as much of it left as we used to. Bummer :-(

  6. I have a Magic Mill grain grinder and I have used it and liked it but there is one thing that I don't like about it is the noise. I think I would use it more if it just didn't break my eardrums. I used to take it to my aunt and uncles house so they could use it and he used to turn his hearing aids off and it didn't bother him. I still laugh.
    My favorite grain to grind is spelt. I really enjoy spelt.
    I found that using oatmeal in my blender works for me though.
    Tillers are important. Who wants to use a shovel. Though we have.
    Nice thoughts, My daughter turned twenty and we got in the car to go shopping and I put on my Ipod and Welcome to Pooh Corner came on by Kenny Loggins and she started crying because she said, I was just a baby and Dad would sing that to me on his guitar. Time just goes by to fast.
    Sorry this is so long, I guess I just wanted to talk. Thanks for putting me on your sidebar.
    I receive the most hits to my blog from your blog. So Thank you

  7. HP Thanks for stopping by! I've heard the same thing about the Kitchen Aid grain attachment. I'm still trying to find more info on the Kenwood. I hope that isn't the same case about the motor. I'm hoping that anyone who has any information about one will leave a comment.

    SkippyMom, what a good idea! I might know someone who would be willing to ship it to me if that's what I end up needing to do. As for the mixer, I know it is going to be one of the most used appliances in my kitchen. I love to bake (still a beginner though) and using it to make breads is awesome.

    Kathie thank you so much for your kind words. I know how hard it is to find storage places for food storage. I have a couple of ideas that might help... more on that later. I am so excited that you are saving for a dehydrator. Don't forget to keep an eye on craigslist.You never know what you might find there. It sounds like your grandmother is a wise woman. Make the most of every moment!

    Jane thanks for stopping in. Yes, I still can't believe I was given such a wonderful gift.

    Dizzy-Dick You have a great ability to make me just laugh out loud. I love your outlook on life! And it IS a bummer, btw...

    Farm Girl - I know the electric mills are noisy but the ease of grinding flour opposed to the noise sure is a good tradeoff. It sounds like you have a wonderful family... I love the story of your daughter and her memories.Those are precious things.

  8. Keep looking for a mill in the thrift stores. I found my Magic Mill - looked like brand new with instruction book for...$3.50. They are loud but I can walk away or put it in the garage while it's grinding.

    Good luck in finding your part.

  9. fantastic to inherit a good tried and tested machine...i've never used a mill - but i'm starting with a hand one. gotta make my purchase in the next two weeks before UPS bumps up shipping costs to compensate for gas prices.

    did i mention i enjoy reading ur blog!

  10. I'll post the attatchment scifi, all ya had to do was ask.


  11. I like the point you brought out about storing grains. I think it is important for those who want to live ERR Cheep. When all the canned goods run out, and all you got is water and grains, you can sprout and grind and survive on it.