Posts tagged #2012

wedding wheat

Since starting this business two years ago, grains and local foods have become a way of life in my family. So it was natural that they were woven throughout my wedding. 

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(Photo Credit Mike Olbinski

I gathered my bouquet of White Sonora during this summer's harvest. 

Robbie Tutlewski from Pane Bianco made a rustic Italian feast. He has such an understated talent with flavors. It was incredible and a simple reflection of the ingredients that surround us.  All I know is that he started preparing the pork for five days before the wedding and that I am indebted to him for the rest of my life. 

Marco Bianco sculpted loaves into wheat so they could be easily broken and shared at each table. 

The Brat Haus made smaller versions of their house pretzels using our flour. I heard that they were amazing but I never got to taste one myself. 

My cousin Jason made a special brew using White Sonora Wheat.  I did get a glass of this amazing beer and I think my cousin needs to start a brewery.

And my talented aunt designed all these wheat and fall vegetable centerpieces which made the tables look like renaissance still lifes.

And my dad gave an eloquent speech about the Supper of the Lamb and the symbolism of the wedding feast.

It was a perfect day (well me and my husband thought so) and we were so blessed by so many talented friends and family. 

Posted on December 19, 2012 and filed under Blog.

simple pasta dough

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550 g pasta flour
4 eggs, room temperature (it's no fun to work with your hands if the eggs are too cold)
2 egg yolks
4-6 tbsp tepid water

1. Create a clean workspace on the kitchen counter. Meaure out the flour and dump it out on the counter and form a flour volcano. Just like you do for the gravy at Thanksgiving. This is where the eggs will go. Crack four eggs and two egg yolks into the top of your flour-volcano. The trick is not to let the volcano errupt with egg juice all over the counter. 

2. With a fork or your fingers, very slowly mix the flour into the eggs. Now add the water, it will help the dought come together in a ball. 

3. Knead the dough with the heel of your hand. Push the dough away from you and fold it over. Rotate it 90 degress and repeat.  After about 10 minutes the dough should start to feel silky. 

4. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. This is when you can scrap the sticky dough bits off the counter and pour yourself a glass of wine. 

5. Give the dogh a poke. Is it firm and springy? Perfect. Now you can turn it into noodles, cavatelli, bowties, or ravoili. 

The best book to get you started is Making Artisan Pasta by Aliza Green 

This is what we use to shape the cavatelli: Beechwood Garganelli Pasta Board. Fantes has so many beautiful pasta making tools. You will want them all. 

Posted on October 25, 2012 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

fall farro salads

Is it just me, or is farro showing up everywhere? So I've been stockpiling recipes. Here are a few that I have been dying to try. 

1. Maria Speck is the queen of ancient grains. When she touches farro it turns to gold. If you don't believe me, just look at the picture on her blog: Saffron Scented Farro with Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.

2. Food and Wine has a whole collection of fall inspired farro salads. This one could go on the Thanksgiving table: Farro Salad with Fried Cauliflower and Prosciutto.

3. With so many good apples in season right now, this recipe from Whole Foods made me very hungry. 

 

Note: If you have cooked with our farro you will notice that some of the grains are still wrapped in their hulls. Many ancient grains have this extra hull whereas more modern wheats are hullless. Hulless wheat are easier to process but we are more interested in nutrition and flavor so we don't mind this paper thin hull. Before you cook the farro cover the grain in water and these hulls will float to the top and they can be easily skimmed off. 

Posted on October 18, 2012 and filed under Blog, Recipe.

fol epi

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The craft of stone milling has been forgotten. To re-vive this lost art we read a lot of books. Study academic papers on the history of wheat and search ancient art for clues and techniques. And of course we make a lot of mistakes and learn from those.

But our best source of knowledge comes from other modern millers. All over North America, small scale stonemills and local grain economies are popping up as alternatives sources of flour. And this small group of millers and grain farmers is slowly recovering the pieces of the craft. 

Back in February I visited Fol Epi, a stonemill and bakery started by Cliff Leir. Cliff has been milling and baking for more than 15 years. Compared to what Cliff is doing we are just miller-babies. He designed his own mill and the big flakes of bran in his whole wheat flour mean that his stones are perfectly dressed. His Canadian grown wheat is kept in silos out back, milled daily, and turned into about two hundred rustic baguettes and rounds everyday. Cliff was kind enough to answer my questions about milling and share some tricks of the trade. But mostly, he supplied a big dose of inspiration for what our little mill could be someday. 

If you every find yourself within even one hundred miles of Victoria, BC, find a way to make a pilgrimage to Fol Epi. 

Posted on August 13, 2012 and filed under Blog.

a taste of local grain

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After this article came out many of you are wondering where you can taste our flours. Here are a few places around the Valley that turn our flour into delicious creations. 

You can find it in pastas and biscotti at Chris Bianco's Italian Restaurant. In pretzels and date cake at the newly opened Brat Haus. In pizza's and breads at the world class Musical Instrument Museum Cafe. In festival crackers at The Breadfruit. In focaccia at Noca. As creamy polenta at Lon's at the Hermosa Inn. As brownie bites and cupcakes at the Hyatt Regency. In muffins and cookies at the Royal at the Biltmore baked by the Cookie Bitch

Posted on July 24, 2012 and filed under Blog.

grain in the desert

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For those who couldn't make it out for harvest. Here's what you missed:

1. Standing in 110 degree heat and getting covered in all-organic dust and dirt.

2. Riding in the John Deere combine with Mossy, the continental combine driver.

3. My dad getting a feather in his straw hat from the farmer. Well earned!

4. A beautiful Queen Creek morning: an amber field, the songs of soldier birds and the San Tan Mountains in the background.

5. Seeing truck-fulls of plump wheat berries grown in the desert. A miracle!

6. Making huge bouquets of White Sonora Wheat. 

7. Meeting chefs and friends who are passionate about reviving the local grain economy. 

Thank you to everyone who braved the heat and came out to see the harvest. We are beyond excited to have our first crop of local and heritage grain. Now, to mill it all into flour! 

Posted on July 17, 2012 and filed under Blog.

from the field

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There are some forgotten photos from the field. They were taken back in January. 

The harvest is finally here. It looks like the combine will come out and cut the field on Friday.

From seed to loaf. What an incredible journey.

Posted on June 25, 2012 and filed under Blog.

the gleaners

I bet you didn't know that there is a whole genre of grain films. Or maybe it's just that I see grain in everything these days. 

The Gleaners and I (Les glaneurs et la glaneuse) is a art film made by Agnes Varda, a charming but sometimes eccentric film director. She sets off through the French country side to find modern days gleaners and pickers. Varda is inspired by Jean-François Millet's painting of peasants stooped in a wheat field, picking up grain left behind by the reaper.

Varda introduces us to people that pick trash, leftover apples, and rejected potatoes, and she finds that "gleaning might be extinct, but stooping has not vanished from our sated society." Though she never finds Millet's peasants, Varda finds many surprising examples of modern day gleaning.

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(Stills from the Gleaners and I. Top: Modern day gleaner cleaning up after a famer's market. Middle: Gleaners in art. Bottom: The filmmaker posing like Jules Breton's Gleaner.)

When we harvest our grain this summer, the combine will inevitably leave some grain behind. I wonder if gleaners come to pick up the leftover heads? 

Posted on June 13, 2012 and filed under Blog.

harvest is here

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Do you remember that story about the little red hen? She planted the wheat, she watered the wheat, she harvested the wheat, she ground the wheat into flour, and she baked that flour into bread. And all of the sudden she was very popular with her farm-yard friends.

Well, the wheat gods have been good to us and the fields are turning to amber, so we are going to need YOUR help eating all this grain very soon!

We need you to bake moist seven-layer cakes, the world's softest tortillas, crusty whole grain breads and the silkiest hand-rolled spaghetti.

What do you think? Can you help the little red hen out?

Posted on June 4, 2012 and filed under Blog.

golden fig pancakes

...with whipped mascarpone. And maple syrup. AND berries.

Do I have your attention now? 

My mother invented this pancake to feed a hungry track team one morning. This recipe is award winning. And the track team went on to take 2nd in state. What else can I say. 

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Did I mention that my mother is a registered dietician? So they are good for you too.

Golden Fig Oatmeal Pancakes with Whipped Mascarpone and Berries

Inspired by Oatmeal Pancakes form Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain

Makes 12 big pancakes

Fig Oatmeal:

1 cup cooked oatmeal (I used Coach’s oats)
4 golden figs dried, finely chopped

Dry Mix:

1 ¾ cups type 00 flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ cup whole ground flax seed

Wet Mix:

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 ½  cups soy milk            
1 tbsp honey
2 pastured eggs
Whipped Mascarpone:
½ cup mascarpone
½ cup powdered sugar

Other:

Berries in season
Maple Syrup

1. Fig Oatmeal. If you are using Coach’s oats bring 3 cups water to a boil and a 1 cup oats. Reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Near the end stir in the figs and cook for another minute. For other types of oats follow a 1 cup oats to 2 cup water ratio.

2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, soy milk, honey and eggs. Combine the wet mixture, dry mixture and fig oatmeal, gently folding it all together.  If you think the batter looks a little thicker than your normal pancake batter, that good. It’s exactly right.

3. Heat your cast-iron skillet. When it’s hot enough, coat the skillet with butter. Drop a few ¼ cup servings of batter in the pan, wait for bubbles and flip pancakes. Cook on the other side for another 3 minutes. Continue to re-butter the pan as you go along.

4. To make the whipped mascarpone, simply whip mascarpone and powedered sugar with a hand mixer until it forms stiff peaks.

Stack the pancakes up and serve hot with a dollop of whipped mascarpone, a few berries and a generous pour of maple syrup.  

Posted on May 16, 2012 and filed under Breakfast, Recipe.

chickpea flour + water

That's the basic recipe for farinatas--equal parts chickpea flour and water, plus a bit of salt and a generous amount of pepper. If you get really fancy you can add rosemary and thinly sliced onions. It's so simple.

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Farinata

Adapted from this NYtimes recipe

1 cup chickpea flour

1 cup warm water 

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

Pepper, be generous

3 sprigs of rosemary finely chopped

½ large onion, sliced thinly

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put a cast-iron skillet in the oven while it’s pre-heating to warm it up.

2. In a medium sized bowl, mix the chickpea flour and water together. Use a whisk, and stir until smoothly integrated. Mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the onions and rosemary right before you put the batter in the skillet.

3. When the oven is heated, carefully take the cast-iron skillet out of the oven and coat bottom with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour batter evenly over the bottom of the skillet and cook for 12 minutes. Slice it up like pizza and serve with some olive tapenade as an appetizer. You might have to make a second one!

Posted on April 30, 2012 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

rhubarb tarts

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This recipe was on the page before the Carrot Cornflour Waffles. I had no choice but to make them. And it's rhubarb season! 

Rhubarb Tarts

Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

Dough

1 cup corn flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½  cup fine cornmeal
¼  cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt
1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼  cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 egg yolks

Rhubarb Compote

2 pounds rhubarb stalk, rinsed
1 ¼ brown sugar

1. Dough. Mix the dry ingredients together in the bowl of your standing mixer. Attach the bowl to your mixer, add the chopped butter and turn the mixer on low, increasing the speed until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Then add the heavy cream and egg yolks, and mix until combined. The dough will come together as a ball.

2. Rhubarb Compote. Remove and discard the ends of the rhubarb stalks. Chop the stalks into ½ inch chunks.  Put 3 cups of the rhubarb (leave the rest aside) and the brown sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan on low heat. The rhubarb will release water, soften, and start to break down.  Cook covered for 15 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook for another 15 minutes, until the rhubarb is thick and browned. At the end stir in the remaining rhubarb. Set aside and let cool.

3. Assemble. Divide the dough into 10 equal balls. Dust your work surface with flour to keep the dough from sticking. Press out balls of dough into 4 inch circles with the palm of your hand.  Thinning the dough at the edges. Spoon 3 tablespoons of rhubarb compote into the center of the dough, then ruffle up the edges around the filling. The sloppier the better!

Cover the uncooked tarts in plastic and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

4. Bake. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and transfer the frozen tarts to the sheet with a dough scraper. Bake for 35 minutes. 

Posted on April 25, 2012 and filed under Dessert, Recipe.

the importance of telling stories

Cross-posted on the Cultivate Santa Cruz blog. Cultivate Santa Cruz is a partner in the Heritage Grain Collaborative.

At farmer’s markets people often ask me, “Who is that old man on the front of your flour bag? Is it your dad?” (Another man with a white beard and the new owner of Hayden Flour Mills).

“No, it’s not my dad,” I have to say.

While my dad is considering dying his hair, I see it as an opportunity to tell some wonderful stories about the man who founded Tempe and Hayden Flour Mills: Charles T. Hayden (1825-1900). These are two of my favorites:

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ONE. The legend goes that in 1868, Charles T. Hayden was making his way up to Prescott when he was waylaid by dangerously high waters on the Salt River. While waiting for the waters to subside, he stood on top of Tempe Butte and looked out on the fertile land surrounding him and envisioned an ideal spot to establish a town. In 1874 he put a grist mill at the base of Tempe Butte. In its early days, Hayden Flour Mills milled grain from all over Arizona (mostly White Sonora Wheat) and the mill became a social hub and a prosperous community built up around it.

TWO. In the late 1800’s there was a catastrophic flood on the Salt River. It destroyed neighborhoods and devastated Tempe economically. It is reported that Hayden burned the ledgers of those affected by the flood.  This extreme generosity was characteristic of Hayden’s whole life. At this time Tempe was a conglomeration of European immigrants, Hispanics, Mormon settlers, and the preexisting Native communities (Akimel O’Odhman and Yaqui). Hayden was well respected among all these communities, at a time with relationships between the settlers and the Native populations were tense.

After Charles T. Hayden, the mill was managed by four generations of Hayden’s, but following the national trends and the growing demands of the Phoenix market, the mill become industrialized and closed its doors in 1998. Reviving Hayden Flour Mills is mainly about milling local grains into high quality flours, but it is also about telling stories; using our rich heritage to inspire and inform the restoration of Arizona’s local grain economy.

In many ways, these stories reflect the principles at the heart of Arizona’sHeritage Grain Collaborative: Recognizing and respecting our land as a resource and an excellent place to grow wheat, harnessing the power of a diverse group of farmers, chefs, historians, millers, and seed savers to save a lost food culture, and generously sharing that restored food culture with our community. 

These stories come from a comprehensive, three volume history of the Hayden Flour Mills that was commissioned by the city of Tempe in 2008. Hayden Flour Mill: Landscape, Economy, and Community Diversity in Tempe. Cultural Resources Report no. 143. Tempe, Arizona. August 18, 2008.

Posted on April 25, 2012 and filed under Blog.

carrot and cornflour waffles

Carrot Corn Waffle

When you break corn down into its parts you get flint (the hard glassy bits), startch (the white floury part), germ (good oils and fats), and the outer pericarp (good for chickens). So depending on how we sift the corn when we mill it, we can get cornflour, cornmeal, polenta, or coarse grits. Nothing gets wasted. It's all about how fine the screens are and how close the stones are set together. Corn is incredibly versatile. And we haven't even started talking about color and cob patterns.

So here's just one idea on how to use cornflour--waffles. Perfect for a lazy Sunday morning.

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If you want to include more whole grains in your cooking, then this cookbook is required reading: Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain. Although she uses some pretty obscure grains, even for a miller's daughter, most of the recipes can be modified and it gets you thinking outside of the all-purpose-flour-box. 

Carrot and Cornflour Waffles

Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

Dry Mix:

1 ½ cups cornflour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼  cup plus 2 Tbsp wheat germ
¼  cup dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsl ground ginger
1 ½  tsp kosher salt

Wet Mix:

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp carrot juice
¾  cups whole milk
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Zest and juice of one orange
2 eggs

1. Turn the waffle iron on. Then sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Don’t skip the sifting like you normally do. Think fluffy waffles!

2. In a smaller bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients together.

3.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry, using a spatula to gently fold it all together. The batter should be fluffy, but thicker than a normal waffle batter.

4. Brush the waffle iron with butter or spray with a bit of Pam. Then, scoop ½ cup of batter onto each space on the waffle iron. Close the iron and wait for the indicator light to come on, take a quick peak to make sure the waffles are golden, pull them out with a fork and drench in warm maple syrup (I just put yogurt on mine to look healthy for the picture. )

Posted on April 20, 2012 and filed under Breakfast, Recipe.

emerging wheat

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The head of the wheat it starting to emerge from the flag leaf. 

But there aren't any berries inside it yet. It's just a baby. 

Posted on April 17, 2012 and filed under Blog.

warm farro salad

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The ham was good. The swisschard tart from the garden was brilliant. But when I went back for seconds, I dished my plate full of this farro salad. 

Recipe from the Arizona Republic.

Warm Farro Salad with Grilled Italian Sausage

Serves 4

1 cup farro berries
4 sweet Italian sausages
Juice of 1 lemon
¼  cup olive oil  
Ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
6 plum tomatoes, diced
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 scallions, diced (whites and greens)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

  1. Bring 1 quart (4 cups) of salted water to a boil. Add the farro and cook for 15 minutes, or until the grains are plumped and chewy. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Add the sausages and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and pepper to taste. Mix in the feta cheese. When the farro has cooked and been drained, add it to the bowl and mix well. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Mix in the tomatoes, cucumber, scallions and oregano. Cut the sausages into 1-inch rounds, then add those to the salad. Sprinkle the salad with the almonds.
Posted on April 10, 2012 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

nonna's test kitchen

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(Photo: Pasta Test #1: Family Dinner. Even the puppy likes it!) 

A few weeks ago we sent our pasta flour away for testing.

A dear friend from grad school agreed to lend us her Nonna. She always had the most enviable lunches. Gnocchi and pappardelle and ravioli. All made with love by Nonna. So who better than to test out our pasta blend? 

To be honest, it's not a fair competition because Nonna could probably make amazing pasta out of sand or jelly beans--she's that skilled!!! But we are going to keep tweaking our pasta flour until it's Nonna approved. 

Posted on April 5, 2012 and filed under Blog.

sacred bread

I recently watched the movie the Mill and the Cross.

I loved how the movie depicted the ceremony surrounding bread.  A mother blesses the bread before she cuts it up for her children by  placing it to her forehead. Another young women places the loaf she just bought to her forehead and then gently carries it under her shirt.

Posted on April 3, 2012 and filed under Blog.

arizona rose vintage

I love these old advertisements. Back in the day, Arizona Rose Flour was Hayden Flour Mills' most famous brand, synonymous with quality baked goods. Do you notice how it says, "made with Arizona soft wheat"? They were still milling Arizona grown wheat!

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Posted on March 30, 2012 and filed under Blog.