Friday, August 21, 2009

"The best laid schemes o' [Bread] an' [Wom]en, gang aft agley"

See my bright, shiny new toy?

I was ecstatic to see it on my porch today. You see, I have 3 pounds of hard red winter wheat berries from the Farmer's Market that I want to grind into whole wheat--real whole wheat: bran, germ, and endosperm all. I have been waiting three weeks to grind this wheat, and had finally found a manual cast-iron, tinned grain mill on eBay that I felt I could afford. With shipping, it cost just over $48, which I thought a reasonable cost given the fact that it would last me a very long time.

It came in the original box (manufacturer: King; model # 3336-0) in about 5 pieces, which I managed to put together based on the picture on the box. It was quick and simple to assemble, which pleased me immensely--I am not mechanically inclined. Just ask my hubby, who can tell you about the just-shy-of-hysterical (I do not mean hysterical in the sense of humorous, by the way; rather, I mean hysterical in the sense of crying/screaming/cursing illogically while resisting the nearly overpowering urge to crush the remote control with a cement block) fits I throw when I can't make the remote control make the television upstairs do what I want it to do. Which is one reason I got the hand-crank model instead of one of the fancy-schmancy digital models. It's safer for all involved, especially the mill.

Except I can't. make. it. work.

To test it out, I dumped in a couple of handfuls of the wheat berries and began happily grinding. The result was a bit too coarse, so I tightened the bolts on the thingamabob that puts pressure on the gears and began grinding again. About the time I finally got the gears adjusted to the right grind, the gear began slipping. As best as I, with my non-mechanical mind, can tell, the gear sort of fits into the thingamabob that runs through the center. When it isn't fitted right, the crank doesn't turn the gear. But now I can't figure out how to get the bleeping gear to stay fitted to the center whatchamahoogie. Seriously frustrated, I gave up for the evening in the hope that hubby can help me sort out the problem in the morning.

Meanwhile, I did take my curing bread-and-butter pickles out of the refrigerator and put them in jars for the freezer. I managed nine 1/2-pints, with more to be made tomorrow, along with homemade tomato sauce--I just need some fresh celery for the recipe.

If anybody has dealt with this problem before, please help!

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