I have never really celebrated St. Patrick's Day and I'm not really in the decorating mood right now; maybe it's the spring cleaning bug that makes me cringe. The thought of filling my house with more pointless junk, especially for a holiday that I am not really familiar with, is not very motivating.
So I started thinking of different ways to celebrate St Pat's Day, and with the earthquake in Japan reminding us how life can change drastically in 30 seconds, my first thought was...
(I decided to make a poster for you to download if you want. I made two color schemes for fun, two with a scripture and two without. Click images to save larger files.)
With "luck favors the prepared" as my theme I thought I could share a few ways to be a little more prepared for whatever the future has in store for us. After the quake in Japan I am even more aware of the five or so fault lines that Cache Valley is sitting on, and it almost makes me want to hide under our dining room table or stand in a doorway all day with my kids. Scientists say we have been overdue for a big quake for awhile. : ( I want to be ready for whatever comes our way but I want to live each day to it's fullest.
So, we wanted to get ourselves prepared, one step at a time..."baby steps", as Bob says in "What About Bob" (great movie, by the way):
"Baby steps, get a wheat grinder,"
"Baby steps, grind the wheat..."
To be prepared for a power outage, we chose to get a hand-crank grinder. We've read that you get what you pay for when it comes to these things, and we paid about $65 for ours. It's a good one.
After finding out that flour loses 100 percent of its nutrients 30 days after it is ground, Trent and I have been trying to eat freshly ground whole wheat foods more often. We also wanted to find more ways to eat what we store. We store salt, baking soda and powder, canned tuna, canned fruit, oatmeal, pizza/spaghetti sauce etc.. and eat it just fine; it was our wheat that was never ever used. First, because we didn't even have a wheat grinder, but also because we had no idea what to make with it besides bread. Well, we finally got a hand crank wheat grinder and I have to say that we love it! The kids love helping grind; also, starting the day grinding our wheat is really rewarding, and the repetitive motion is actually quite soothing. :) (It takes us about 10 minutes to grind 4 cups of flour. The photo below shows Trent reading the morning paper while grinding wheat).
Today I am sharing our yummy recipe for whole wheat waffles made using freshly ground white wheat. I don't consider myself a waffle expert but I have never tasted waffles this good! Seriously, the best waffles we have ever had! Before we got the grinder we had been putting whole wheat flour in our pancakes, but only half whole and half white flour because they are too heavy and taste dry and like cardboard. But with freshly ground wheat you can use 100% whole wheat and they stay fluffy and moist, and taste like heaven! :)
Before giving you our waffle recipe, I want to mention that I realize that not every ingredient is in a typical long-term food storage pantry; but we raise a few chickens for the eggs, and a family goat or cow would supply more than enough milk (we're just thinking ahead here...y'know, more "baby steps", although buying a cow is a bit of a bigger baby step).
Belgian Waffle iron
2 cups of fresh whole wheat flour ground from white wheat
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of granulated or brown sugar
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Preheat your waffle iron.
Put all ingredients into large bowl and stir till well mixed.
Pour batter into hot waffle iron and cook till golden brown. (About 3-4 min. for mine.)
Be sure and spray iron with cooking spray between waffles or they will stick.
* * *
Every step we take towards preparedness makes a noticeable difference in how secure we feel. Taking a single "baby step" empowers us so much, and makes the other steps so much easier to envision and accomplish. Try it out!
...Coming up soon: "Baby steps: make a passive solar space heater out of aluminum cans"