Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Joy of Grinding Grain & a Pretend-Prenatal Diet

There aren't many objects I lust over. My bicycle is my wings. My skillets are my magic fireproof hands. My dresses and books are quite well worn. The rug I made is lots of flirty dreams knotted together with hand-me-down tradition, etc. In fact, I don't own or long for anything fancier than what I can buy with a couple hundred dollars on craigslist.

Still. For the last decade, there has been a big something missing from my life. (No, W. Crawford, I am not talking about babies! Sigh -- more on that later). It's a grain grinder I've been yearning for. With a grain grinder I might finally be sufficient in the kitchen. I could make the most delicious and nutritious bread from the freshest, sweetest grains. I could make all sorts of exotic flours! I could make cornbread the REAL way, from freshly ground corn, which is orders of magnitude more sweet and satisfying than pre-ground cornmeal. I could feed my babies through the apocalypse!

So I had a birthday (a long time ago -- back in July) and reached my first QUARTER CENTURY. (Two weeks later, I discovered my first grey hair. A week later, I found my second). Anyway, William gave me a package all wrapped up in paper bags and stitched together with string and nails, and inside it I found the Wondermill Junior. He had called up all the best the-end-is-coming dealers and asked which grain mill they'd want their children to use during the apocalypse. The Wondermill Junior.

Of course I've been getting toned grinding nutty-fresh wheat and rye for my bread. But my biggest discovery so far has been buckwheat. Not only is it shockingly easy to grind (it's very tender), but you'd never guess how mild freshly ground buckwheat can be.

Most buckwheat flour is ground from toasted buckwheat groats, which is why it's dark in color, bold in flavor, and doesn't stick together very well. Even raw buckwheat flour has no gluten, and you can't make a very good dough from it. But I like it much better than toasted buckwheat flour for crepes, cookies, noodles, pancakes, and muffins.

Buckwheat itself is not a true grain, and much easier to digest than wheat. Plus, it's brimming with nutrients. I think about these things a lot, because frankly, I am so impatient to have babies, I like to pretend I'm on a pre-pre-natal diet. "Mmm," I tell myself, "this cod liver oil's for the baby's brain!" "Better have a bedtime swig of rich raw milk for the baby's bones," I say.

Yes, I'm crazy. I'm not planning on having a baby for a while. I'm not even married. But for whatever reason, I've wanted babies -- badly -- ever since I first got thighs. (I just found out in Real Food for Mother and Baby that thighs & hips are where mothers store essential fatty acids for their babies. The body only burns that fat when making babies -- and that's why a high hip-to-waist ratio is so attractive). From my growing library of prenatal-advice books I've also found out that in most traditional societies, men and women eat special nutrient-rich diets before they conceive. It makes sense.

And so I figured it wouldn't do any harm to channel my insane baby-wanting into something productive, like eating some good nourishing food. So I quit the refined sugar, and stopped drinking alcohol (which messes up my sleep, anyway), and found myself ten pounds lighter, clear-skinned, and chipper. By the way, nourishing to me means: two golden eggs for breakfast, topped with homemade kimchi. Sprouts and raw yogurt and walnuts and avocados and cheese for lunch. Chopped liver and beet salad for supper. Green tea to help me write and dark chocolate, walnuts, and raw milk for snacks -- mmhmm. And cod liver oil daily.

So this was a very rambling way to tell you what I've been up to for the past two months. In other news, I'm now a full-time freelance writer and editor. Sometimes I find myself clad entirely in heather-grey knitwear, and I am frightened. I love spending my days sitting with my cats, picking apart words, walking W.Crawford to the Apple bus, biking around, making yogurt.


patricia said...

I had to laugh about your baby lust. I felt the same way when I was your age--almost twenty years and three kids ago! You're smart to take care of yourself and eat well now--not only is it good for prenatal health, but it will be so much easier to have good habits in place when you finally do have kidlings of your own.

I see you're writing full-time. How exciting! I hope you like Spunk & Bite, and that it provides some inspiration.

Zac said...

you're preggers?!

Rosanna said...

I wish!