The River (Part 2) – On the road and under the ice

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About 3 times a year (maybe more now that we make our own bread), we take a trip East to La Seigneurie St-Roch-des-Aulnaies, a grain mill dating back to 1739 and still producing flour today. Why do we drive over an hour to go get our flour? 4 simple reasons : Certified organic grain, all locally grown grain (they get every grain they mill from an area of about 60 miles around the mill), half the price of store-bought organic flour and the view.

Oh my River, how I love you so. As much as I love many places I’ve lived and visited, I truly believe what has brought me back here time and time again is the St-Lawrence. I never get tired of staring off into its expanse. Such personality, such strength. Every season brings something new, a part of it I haven’t yet explored or marveled at. It is truly a wonder of nature.

We came home, little man and I, with 40 kg (88 lbs) of unbleached white, whole wheat, spelt and black buckwheat flour. We also came home with an extra 10 kg (22 lbs) of un-hulled spelt berries for germinating. We are planning on getting a small hand-operated grain mill (suggestions and recommendations would be appreciated) to clean the berries, winnowing them in the breeze like in the days of old. What a wonderful learning experience for all of us.  One thing we want to try also is making our own sprouted spelt flour. I managed pretty easily to separate about 1/4 cup of berries with my food processor yesterday and am germinating my first tray as we speak. I’m thinking a type of salad with sprouted spelt will be on the menu this week-end.

Oh, and did I mention the handmade wooden toy store about 5 miles west of the mill? I couldn’t help but bring back a few treats for my lovelies.

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That evening, we had promised my daughter we would head for the beach. It is still cold here when the sun goes down (it feels more like early March than mid April), but still we bundled up and headed for the River yet again. To our happy surprise, the tide was close to its lowest point so the kids got to explore icebergs and tide pools. We collected shells and rocks, got extremely wet, dirty and cold and came home to warm baths and snuggle time on the couch reading books.

These simple moments are what confirms that the slower, more mindful path we have chosen is the right one for us. To have nothing on my mind but the faces of my children, amazed by the splendor of nature. Not worrying about the dirty dishes, the messy house, the laundry that would wait another day. Looking for ice fairies in iceberg caves and watching my son hand-pick pebbles out of puddles, feeling the cold water on his fingers. All, amazing gifts. I’m so grateful for this life we lead.

Have a wonderful day!

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About Yanic A.

Hello to all of you and thank you for stopping by! My name is Yanic. I'm a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother of 2 beautifully complex and unique children and a lover of all things inspiring. Having started a personal journey of self discovery when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I've since embraced a daily life of simpler pleasures and gratitude. As we get to know each other, you will know me as a quilter, a gardener, a Tao cultivator, a vegetarian foodie, a true believer in a healthy family life as being the secret to my happiness and hopefully as time goes on, a friend... I will try to share with you my days as they unfold, speaking of my happy successes without censoring my challenges, trying to make this blog a true portrait of the ever-changing path that I have chosen for myself. I'm hoping to find in these pages others to share with and learn from, bringing to light the absolute connection in all things and people, showing this world as being a true community.
This entry was posted in Family Life, Food, Gratitude, Homesteading, Learning at home, Life, Nature, Outdoors, Seasons, Sensory play and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to The River (Part 2) – On the road and under the ice

  1. Tracey Tims says:

    How I wish we has a flour mill close to here, but we do have a grist mill so I get cornmeal and grits from there. The best part? It’s owned by a young couple who are trying to live simply too.
    Beautiful photos of your river, and oh my, the ice!

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Oh my, freshly milled cornmeal. That I would buy by the bucket! And to know who produces your food, to have a relationship with what goes in your body, nourishes you, is a real gift not enough people appreciate these days. I want to make sure my children know that behind every bite, there is effort, work and love.

      The ice is great!!!! Like I said before, I’m ready for Spring, but I’ll take as much of this beauty as I can before it’s gone for a year!

      Like

  2. Yay for locally milled organic grain!!! We have a mill about 10 minutes from our home, not quite as old as yours, 1846. It was built before they built the schoolhouse we live in, and just up the road is the old blacksmith shop. So much history.

    That view is something special. Those icebergs remind me of the ice volcanoes we get along Lake Ontario, we can’t ever get underneath them though, I bet that is fun!

    Enjoy the simple pleasures of life in the slow lane my friend. xo

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Oh my, you guys would have loved it. If you are not afraid of getting dirty, the iceberg caves are amazing!

      I feel you with the history. And everybody is so nice when you go. I spent 10 minutes carrying bags of flour from the store front to the car while the nice lady played with my son. 🙂

      Thank you for inspiring the slow lane my dear! xox

      Like

  3. Andrea says:

    Oh, what a fun adventure! Flour with a view–such great memories every time you bake.

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      “Flour with a view”… I love that! 🙂 And yes, I always have such a warm place in my heart every time we bake something. I feel like I’m a little part of history.

      Like

  4. Carie says:

    Wow just look at those icebergs!! What a lovely Spring tradition you have going to get the flour – I can only dream of having a mill like that within striking distance! How you do you store it all by the way?

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      I wish everybody could have a mill… freshly milled flour is just amazing. I keep it in those triple layer bags in one of the large cabinets in my kitchen. I simply pour out what I need in my glass vats and close the bags up with rope. I’ve never had issues with ants or bugs. But then again, this is a 4 months supply about so maybe I just use it quickly enough. 🙂 My basic recipe for bread takes 6 1/2 cups of flour. That makes 3 loaves. It goes by really quick! It,s why I think that now, we will probably be making 4 trips up a year. Seasonal car trip. How fun!

      And YES! the icebergs rock.

      Like

  5. KerryCan says:

    My lake, Champlain, empties into your river, by way of the Richelieu! The St. Lawrence is such a great river–so full of history, too. Your grain mill seems well worth the car trip!

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      It is well worth it. My favorite trips are always the ones in season because we can go on the week-end as a family and make a day of it. But this lovely morning, just me and my son, was a blessing as well. And I totally agree with you : The St-Lawrence is a natural treasure.

      Like

  6. As always, another beautiful post that leaves a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. From time to time, various online magazines publish a story about people who got away from the busy city life in some village, surrounded by nature. Those stories could only scratch the surface of how I feel when I read your blog. Enjoy your happy, simple and positive life! ❤

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      You are always so generous with your comments, thank you. I’m glad my little snippits of life make you smile. I won’t lie, it’s not always easy… there are many challenges and days when I don’t feel so “zen”. But all we can do is concentrate on the positive and that is always what I try to do here. Thank you for always taking the time to share your thoughts. I feel very lucky that we have met through our spaces. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • We are not perfect beings and we do not live in the perfect world. But what counts is our strive to be positive, happy and grateful for this gift of life. Living simply, following our hearts. Your blog is such a wonderful reminder of that. Thank you! xo

        Liked by 1 person

  7. J’adore aller à St-Roch-des-Aulnaies ! C’est tout près du chalet de mes grands-parents et de mon fameux rocher. C’est vrai que la farine vaut le détour au moulin de la Seigneurie et le pain tout chaud est tellement bon. Ce coin-là, c’est chez moi… Et oui, la vue est magnifique.☺️

    Like

  8. remmus26 says:

    How incredible to have your own grain mill like that!! What fantastic photos too. I can see why you drive out every so often. And those toys are adorable! (but of course I’m partial to handmade and especially peg dolls). 😉

    I think the life you are leading is quite the wonderful one. You are doing mighty right by your little ones my dear!!

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you my dear… It’s hard sometimes. My daughter especially doesn’t understand why our home and family life seems so much different from her friends. But I know in time she will see.

      That little store is amazing. Such a great find. None of their peg dolls are as amazing as yours though! 🙂 xo

      Like

  9. barnraised says:

    You always inspire me!

    Like

  10. sally says:

    Wow, look at that river again, maybe even more amazing than last time. What a great place to explore and how incredible that it changes so much from day to day, hour to hour even. I’d love to have that mill nearby too, I’m not surprised you make the effort to visit, what a great connection with your food.

    Like

    • Yanic A. says:

      The ice is pretty much all melted now. The river has become deep blue and calm. The snow is almost all gone and Spring time weather is on the forecast for the next 2 weeks. We are done with winter for sure. It,s a wonderful feeling.

      Oh, that relationship with food and where it comes from, how it grows and becomes, who feeds us… all things I want ingrained in my children’s minds and heart. It’s just so important. Not only for our on health, but the health of our community and planet as well.

      Like

  11. “These simple moments are what confirms that the slower, more mindful path we have chosen is the right one for us. To have nothing on my mind but the faces of my children, amazed by the splendor of nature.”

    Spoken as if from my own heart. Thank you for these words.

    I can hardly believe I grew up just south of the Vermont/Quebec boarder and have never seem this magnificence of the St Lawrence you are sharing with us. Someday, when I get back east, I hope it can be on the itinerary!

    Like

    • And I didn’t even get to the amazing flour and your plans for it! Sound every exciting. Perhaps you can share how it all works out. We have a grain mill, “Lehman’s Best,” from Lehman Brothers. I love it, but I’m not sure it does what you’re talking about?

      Like

      • Yanic A. says:

        Thank you for the recommendation, and YES! That is exactly what we are looking for. Last year, our big investment for our home was a All-American Pressure canner and everything needed to start canning and a new freezer. This year, it will be a new dehydrator and a grain mill. These things are MY iPhones!!! LOL!

        Like

      • LOL. Love it! A pressure cooker. Sigh. Someday 🙂 We love our “Lehman’s Best,” as I said. When we first got it however the bolt that holds the burrs on kept loosening, so they completely replaced this entire section–I guess sometimes they just down fit quite right. Excellent customer service from them, as always.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yanic A. says:

      And if it is PROMISE you’ll get in touch!!!!

      Like

  12. Pingback: A long overdue day | Family, Faith, Food and Fabric

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