Farm to Fork, Recipes, Uncategorized

Where You Can Buy Flour, Now!

Can’t find flour at the store?  I have found mills all over the US, open, accepting orders online, and shipping to customers!  They’re busy, but as of yesterday every store on the list I’m giving you has flour in stock!  Lots have amazing artisan varieties and whole grains as well as basic flours.  Some even have yeast!

Remember that “amber waves of grain” part about America??  Our nation is blanketed in fields of wheat.  Grocery stores may not have flour right now, but there is lots of it out there!  This is our chance to support farmers and local businesses directly, while getting the ingredients we need.
We shelter alone, but we stand together.  Stay farm-strong my friends. ❤️

Artisan Flour Mills
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Where to Find Local Flours!

Yesterday I explained a great trick I know of to make a little bit of store bought yeast last a loooooong way.  With just a teaspoon of the store-bought stuff, you can make your own almost foolproof starter, which you can use instead of yeast, for years to come!

But then, EVERYONE said there is no flour to be found in stores!!  Oh my gosh!!!  These are crazy times we’re living in.  I never dreamed we’d experience shortages like this.  Part of me is completely freaking out.  But these times are also presenting us with opportunities:  opportunities to spend more time with our family, to learn to do things again like baking bread, and to support small local businesses.

I was able to order flour from a local mill for a very reasonable price, and have it shipped to my home.  The flour is amazing!!!  It makes a crunchy, deep colored, crust; big open bubbles, and a rich, malty flavor.  With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of local mills across the United States which are selling flour.  Each of the sources I’ve listed are open for business now, have flour in stock, and are shipping, as of today.  Some of them even have yeast!

Our nation is blanketed in fields of wheat.  We just need to go back to the farmers and the mills to find it.  We can support farmers, small businesses, and get the staples we need, to make it through this.  Check out my list, to find a source near you.  We are alone, together.

Stay farm-strong my friends. ❤️

With love,
Katy

Artisan Flour Mills

 

 

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Running Out of Baking Yeast?

I hear that stores are selling out of yeast now! Apparently the whole country has started baking bread at home, which is actually kind of awesome!!  Did you know you don’t need store-bought yeast?? If you have just a little bit of store-bought yeast left, you can make your own homemade starter, really easily. You’ll never have to buy yeast again, or at least this will get you through until it’s available to buy again!  Sourdough starter is basically your own yeast, growing in flour and water. But starter can be tricky to get going. Or at least that’s what everyone says. I believed it! I spent months trying, and failing, last year. But I’m here to share a GENIUS, foolproof trick, for starting your own “levain”, or sourdough starter.

Once you get your starter, or “mother”, (I kinda love that!!😂), going, you don’t need store-bought yeast any more. Use half of your starter in your bread dough, feed the other half of your goo more flour and water, and it will be ready again in a few hours. You can use it and feed it every day, or store it in the fridge and feed it once every few days, (i.e. whenever you remember!)

So are you ready for the genius hack??? Here it is: Start your “mother” with a teaspoon of store yeast. You guys!!!! Seriously!!! It’s so genius!!! It’s foolproof!!!

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Mix your precious teaspoon of store-bought yeast with a bit of warm water, maybe even a little sugar if you want to supercharge it. When it starts to foam, mix it with a cup or two of flour and water, equal parts of both. Let your goo sit at room temperature for a day in a large jar – because it will bubble up and double in size.

The next day, use half of it in bread dough, and feed the other half another cup or two of equal flour and water. (Pro tip: water without chlorine works better. If you have chlorinated water, boiling for half an hour purges the chlorine). Keep using or removing half each day, and replacing with more flour and water. The commercial yeast will gradually be eaten and replaced by your local, organic yeast in the flour and air. After about a week it will have stabilized, and need less daily attention. After a couple weeks, your “mother” will have the exact same chemical content as if you had started it completely organically. But you don’t have to go through the phase of waiting for the organic yeast from the air and flour to beat out the other bacterias, worrying if it will succeed, watching it fall flat, or smell like nail polish remover. You get bubbly, yeast-full starter right from the get go. If your “mother” starts to seem flat, you can always feed it a pinch more store yeast to get it going again.

I hope this helps! It’s super simple, even though it took SO many words to explain. 😂 Let me know if you have any questions. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay farm strong.

Uncategorized

Be In the Picture

When I asked for chicken selfies, a sweet reader replied that she is always the one taking the pictures, so didn’t have one of herself.

Dear sister, you must be a mama! Of humans, or other animals, or both! We mamas always put everyone else in front of the camera first, don’t we?

I spent at least a dozen years taking all the pictures, and never being in them. I didn’t love the way I looked. I was tired, either pregnant or nursing, with bags under my eyes, spots on my face, and usually wearing something wrinkled or stained. I focused on making sure the babies were beautifully dressed, not me.

Here’s the thing: over time, I’ve learned that, as moms, we really do need to take care of, and value, ourselves. I’d always heard this. But lately I’ve been trying it out more, in little ways. I started taking time to work out a couple years ago. (Ironically, the fact that it was selfish, made exercise feel more like a luxury, which made me actually enjoy working out, maybe for the first time ever!) I also started giving myself permission to have interests other than the kids. I started writing again. I got chickens. I started this page. Guess what?? It worked. I am happier, and healthier, and probably more interesting, (as long as you like chickens. 😂) I believe we are better mothers, and people, when we take care of, and value, ourselves.

In an unexpected result of my selfish changes, the kids started exercising more too. The whole family became healthier than they were a couple years ago. Plus, the older kids started working out WITH me, which has been a great bonding experience for us. For the younger kids, taking care of the animals, and learning about agriculture, has been such a happy activity, and again, something we have done together.

(But please know that taking care of yourself does not have to only equal exercise! I’m using that as an example, but it can be whatever makes you happy and fulfills you – fixing old cars, raising goats, or studying French cooking! I hated people who told me to work out more – that is not what I am telling you, unless you want to.)

As our kids get older, I hope our daughters will have learned to value themselves, and our sons will grow up to honor the women in their lives, by the example we moms have lived.

But also, we deserve to take care of ourselves, to feel pretty, to feel fulfilled. We deserve to be, and need to be, in the pictures.

I’m in my forties now, I have a few more smile lines than I used to. My hair is usually a mess. Most of the time I can’t be bothered with makeup. This blogging thing has been a huge adjustment for a mom who is used to focusing on everyone else. But I am finding a voice, which I love. And I am trying to force myself to get in the picture, at least sometimes. I want my daughters to grow up believing they should be in the picture too. And I want all the other chicken mamas to know that they are beautiful, and deserve to be in the picture!

Men, go tell your wife, or girlfriend, or daughter, or mother, that she is beautiful, and take her picture! Chicken mamas, take that selfie! Trust me, ten years from now you’ll look at it, and wonder why you didn’t appreciate how great you looked!

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Thanks for checking us out!

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Hi!  Thanks for checking out “My Little Chickens”.  I have loved building our Facebook page – sharing my stories, and learning from viewers.  The page has grown faster than I could have ever imagined!  I am so grateful for all of your support!  Suddenly we need a website and linked social pages.  (Thank goodness I have teenagers!)

I am so grateful for your encouragement and patience.  We are working on building it all, with exciting things to come.  I hope you’ll come back and visit in a few days!