The Mill

December 6, 2007

We make bread almost daily. When you have 8 children, the only way that I have found to fill them up healthily and cheaply is to feed them homemade bread at least twice a day. We use a Bosch Universal kitchen mixer to mix and knead the bread, and a Whisper Mill to mill the wheat berries into flour. This is the healthiest way to make bread, and the best-tasting.

This is not a tutorial on bread-making.

It is a testament to the power of my husband’s repair skills.

The mill? It died the other day, after getting clogged 825 times within the last 2 weeks. It broke circuits and generally made a tremendous nuisance of itself. If our dumpster had not been overflowing already, I would have flung it in. I actually stood at the kitchen window, contemplating the walk out there in 21 degree weather, with north winds at 28 mph. I started unclogging again. Again I pushed the “on” button, to have it clog after 4 seconds of milling. Again I gazed longingly out the kitchen window. Again I unclogged until the dumb thing would not even start. So I got out my girly toolbox and took that thing apart. I got only so far until I entered Testosterone Zone, which is the time of a project where you know that going further will do one of two things……..1) ruin any chance you have of ever fixing the non-running appliance because you are of the female orientation and, therefore, almost physically unable to fix anything electrical or electronic, unless you are my mom who can so rebuild a 1922 John Deere engine……..just for fun on a Saturday afternoon, or 2) make you start crying really hard because this is the last thing you need after spending the afternoon cleaning up the bathroom floor because the 5-year-old didn’t make it to the potty on time, and the older kids annoyed the younger kids until the littler ones collapsed on the kitchen floor in tears, and you didn’t see them there until you had tripped over them and slammed your hand against the counter to keep yourself from going teeth- and belly-first into the floor, and now the mill is dead, and you REALLY needed bread for supper, and you are already at a large probability of crying over ANYTHING, but this is the last straw, and now you must add your voice to the myriad of others in the house who have spent the day whining.

Ahem. Back to the subject at hand. The Whisper Mill…….

So after I entered Testosterone Zone, I admitted defeat until Husband got home. When he did, he immediately took to tearing further into the offending appliance, not because he is Ultimate Husband Who Seeks to Make his Wife Incredibly Happy No Matter the Cost or Inconvenience, which he IS, but because he LOVES hot, buttery homemade bread for supper. And he knew that none would be had until the mill was up and running again. So he went at it.

Last night, after the inside padding had finished drying for 2 days, he rebuilt it and then plugged it in. When he hit the “on” button, two things happened……

1) The mill attempted suicide by trying to fling itself off the counter, and would’ve been successful if not for my husband’s quick (and incredulous) hands. We have never seen anything like it. It spun itself around violently, flang itself (I know, but what are tense rules for “fling”……flung and flang, right?) to the back of the counter, then flew to the edge of the counter, pleading to be allowed to jump and end its misery.
2) All the windows in the house thought seriously about shattering all at once in response to the noise directly equivalent to a B-52 taking off and exploding in midair 25 yards above onlookers’ heads. It has now been renamed from the once fairly-accurate-if-you-have-the-imagination-of-a-5-year-old-who-thinks-she’s-the-Princess-of-Wales Whisper Mill, to the MUCH more aptly-named Shatter-Every-Window-in-the-House-and-Thank-the-Lord-You-Don’t-Have-Neighbors Mill.

Later today, I get to see how it processes wheat berries.

Before my husband went to work this morning, he actually left me an item used by military personnel who work on large bombers and extraordinarily loud training jets…………

Extra heavy-duty, military-issued, WHAT-were-you-thinking-volunteering-for-this-job ear plugs.

I will be using them after banning every child from the house for the duration of the milling process.

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4 Responses to “The Mill”

  1. Susan said

    This one was hysterical.I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when you turned the mill on.

  2. Alyson said

    21 degree weather sounds nice!! oh wait that is F and not Celcius isn’t it!! oh that is cold then.

  3. Curious.... said

    Sooooo….what happened? Did the mill work? Is your husband the awesome electronic wizard you made him out to be?

    You really should put your temperatures in C not F for your international readers….. 🙂

    Thanks Alyson for a good “weather geek” plug. Someone will have to get her a converter.

  4. […] 8 cups freshly milled whole wheat flour (milled in the new mill I bought after this fiasco) […]

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