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.
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!