Forward, Crush!

One idiom that I’ve always found, well, odd, is this:  “That’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!”


To me, going back to unsliced bread after years of Wonder Bread was a revelation.  It has taste!  It doesn’t dissolve in water!  It is something on which I could actually subsist.  Well, with a little water thrown in.

Sliced bread?  Mostly I think of that white spongy crap, although nowadays the mega-bakeries are trying to actually make bread that tastes good.  But there is a ways to go.

Me, I don’t bake bread; my husband did back in the day when we had time and smaller waistlines.  Me, I bake other stuff.  My carrot cake recipe is to die for (with so much butter that is literally true) but I don’t make it very often because, well, when we celebrate birthdays we would prefer not to expire before the next.

But I do like to cook, and mostly it is from scratch when I have the time and energy.  And while those are often in short supply those days, well, I do enjoy whipping up a meal without opening a box, without opening a can, and without pulling something pre-made out of the freezer.

Someday when I retire, I expect to do more cooking, more experimenting with world cuisines, the way I used to when I was home with my son when he was a child.  We had a blast, made messes and cleaned them up.  Discovered delicious and not so delicious dishes.

But sometimes a girl must draw the line.  And I found the exact location for that line today in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.  Because today Williams-Sonoma has gone too far.  Or it wants me to go too far.  Or maybe they just think that I have unlimited counter-space.

Today, they not only want me to make absolutely everything from scratch, but they want me to grind my own grain with which to make it.  And there are different types of grain grinders to choose from!

There’s your conventional hand-crank grain grinder for those looking for a workout. (Williams-Sonoma Catolog)

Or for the ones who want full convenience while grinding their own grain, there is this one:

The fully-electrified version so that you don’t have to do anything yourself, which, of course, kind of defeats the purpose if you ask me.

Why not choose them all!

But you know, still I wonder.

My ancestors were farmers, and even they didn’t grind their own grain.  They took the grain they grew to a mill where it was ground for them by the miller.  That was considered progress from the days where my ancestors’ ancestors had to pulverize the grain on rocks, scrape it up and figure out how to get it into the crock pot.

I’m just worried that the next step in being the perfect chef will force me back in time even further.

I fear I will have to revert into a hunter-gatherer.  Otherwise I will not be able to keep up with the neighbors.  Sigh.

Good thing there is a magazine that’ll help me get there.

Yup, it’s back to the land. I just need my glossy mag and my loaded mag.


Filed under Conspicuous consumption, Family, Fashion, Gizmos, Gun control, History, Technology

58 responses to “Forward, Crush!

  1. I love this. I’m to the point of how wonderful it is that someone grinds it, bakes it, and then I get to eat it. Am I too shallow? hehehe


  2. I like to make home made gluten free bread that beats any that you can buy in a store. But my cooking otherwise consists of veggies on hand and a small piece of organic meat for seasoning thrown in a pot – maybe a little pasta- and just barely cooked. Once in a while a hamburger or a piece of cake! I am healthy but its mostly out of laziness and too busy for complicated cooking.


  3. I just want to get to the point where I can wander my neighborhood in a loincloth eating fresh Mammoth off the end of my spear.
    William Sonoma have anything for that?


  4. So that’s where flour comes from… And I suppose applesauce doesn’t come naturally in jars, either. What’s next? Are you going to tell me that the Real Housewives of [insert major metropolitan area] don’t represent the married women in those cities? I have to go lie down now on my 100% cotton sheets, just wondering what the heck they looked like before they got all flat and smooth and cozy. Thank, Elyse. Thanks a lot.


    • Real Housewives do grind their own grain, Lorna. They do their own nails, too. And applesauce? We don’t go there; it has, shhh, SUGAR!!!

      As for the sheets, they do grow that way. Doesn’t everybody know that?


  5. You can’t consider yourself a true foodie if you don’t grind your own grain. In fact, I highly recommend the Williams-Sonoma Home Wine making kit – the bottom half of a 200 gallon wine cask to stomp your own grapes in.


  6. I like kitchen toys! I also like to cook, but I am a southern woman and when they told me it was baaaad to store bacon fat for ever in my cast iron pan, using it forever and ever amen and praise the lord for everything and anything…..well I just lost heart.

    No not really. I love to cook and the only thing I really use out of a box is chicken broth. The only thing I use out of a can is unsweetened coconut milk for my curry. Other than that, well most of my cooking is fresh. I just don’t ever have much time.

    As for those fangled up toys. Nah, think I will keep my counters clear of them. But you know, thanks for sharing.


    • Ah, Val, what sort of a cook are you who won’t even grind her own grain? Sheesh!

      I actually love the gadgets, and thoroughly enjoy the demos they give at the stores. And then I look at the price tag and say, ummm, thanks but no thanks! But grinding the grain? Seriously? Oh my!


  7. John Erickson

    Modify the saying to “Best thing since ground grain”, and I’ll buy in. Now, all I have to do is find that “Garden and Gun” magazine. Picking tomatoes with a .22? Using your machine-gun to rapidly plant seeds? Mix gunpowder with Miracle-Gro and raise you own grenade-potatoes? 😉
    That’ll look so nice on my coffee table, next to those two old favourites that just merged – “Car & Driver & Guns & Ammo” – the magazine for those gearheads who want a CLEAR road in front, and NO tailgaters behind! 😀


    • I think Garden and Gun magazine may have gone out of business. It used to be delivered to our office — we have doctors on staff and therefore get all sorts of free new (and often weird) magazines.

      But I think you’re on to some of the utilization techniques.


  8. Should you decide to go into the grinding business, I may order some grinded up stuff from you. It could be your under the table money after you retire. I won’t tell anybody.


    • OK, Totsy, I’ll let you know if I suddenly have a second (or third, or fourth) career as a Miller! And I know you’ll keep these transactions under your hat.


  9. I am planning to “go back to the land”; eventually all of us do. But hopefully not for a few more years. 🙂


  10. It’s kind of hilarious how we are all going back in time lately! I’ve noticed the same thing; my grandparents crossed the freakin ocean so that we could live in a place where families didn’t have to grow, reap,grind, bake or handmake every single thing they needed. Now my 20 something kids want to do all those things!
    As long as we don’t go back to the pre-indoor toilet days, I guess I’m ok with it!


  11. But the red one is so cool-looking! And you’ll be ready to make bread in the dystopian future after the electromagnetic pulse caused by upper atmospheric nuclear blasts or a polar shift or the technology of invading aliens knocks out the electricity for good!


    • You know, Fork, the red one IS pretty cool looking, I agree. It’ll look even better after sitting on my counter for months with a nice layer of dust and grain flour on it!


  12. Clinton

    Hmmm, so many directions to go with this post. I think I will simply write an endorsement of your cooking skills and leave it at that. And the endorsement is — “Heavenly.”


  13. I think it would be even better if we could buy the machinery to make it possible to build our own grain grinder and then grind our grain. That makes the most sense to me.


  14. I have a bread machine, so I bake bread once a week. The smell of baking bread + afternoon coffee is so heavenly, I’d bake it just for that reason alone. I would not, however, grind my own grains.


    • I’m actually thinking of getting a bread machine. Yum… And of course I agree about the smell.

      Grinding grains is way over the top IMHO!


      • Do you have a stand mixer? It’s really shockingly easy to make bread if you use one of those. I never do, though, because whenever I make my favorite bread recipe, I wind up eating at least half a loaf at a time.


  15. Love your sliced-bread analysis! Meanwhile, I enjoy my time in the kitchen, love Food Network, and read Food and Wine magazine. For the most part, my skills are limited to recipes – but my free lance skills are slowly improving.

    Not grain grinder for me – then again, I wonder how well they are selling. Now, about that carrot cake ….. 🙂


  16. Just last night–I hadn’t done it in months–I called I-800-FOOD2G0–my husband and I both needed that.
    For sure there is no room in my kitchen for one of those items. BUT my daughter did get the most wonderful set of bowls from WS–a set of about a dozen nesting bowls.


    • W-S has wonderful, albeit expensive stuff. It would be fun if they had a gadget rental section so that we could try stuff and then return it without guilt!

      And nesting. As the only woman in a house with 2 guys, I am the only one who nests stuff. And it makes me crazy that they don’t. Why DO they insist on putting the big thing on top of the little ones???????


      • I thought it was just my house – I do not understand why the Y chromosome prevents one from putting smaller containers or bowls inside larger ones…My husband looks at me as if I have 3 heads when I start in about “nesting” things. He opens the door – shoves whatever it is in, and slams it shut real quick…


        • That really drives me crazy and I am a decidedly un-neat person. But there is only so much room! Glad you’re with me Katy!


        • John Erickson

          Hey, ya gotta look at it this way. Most guys geek out over socket wrenches, but you don’t nest the sockets, you lay them out in a row, smallest to largest (or vice versa).
          Explain nesting as being like poker chips – highest value on the bottom, up to the lowest value. That’s how you nest bowls and stuff. (Um … that IS how poker chips work, right? I suppose I should learn how to play something before using it as an example. 😉 )


  17. And here I was thinking it was hard to dump a box of mix into a bread making machine, then walk away.

    There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread though. I used to do things from scratch all the time when I was single. I always made my own pizza dough, banana breads. Now I barely take the time to use the microwave to defrost a Hot Pocket.


  18. bigsheepcommunications

    Does Williams Sonoma also carry meat cleavers because you really ought to be butchering your own meat, don’t you think?


    • Wait. Wait. Don’t you use that cleaver thing to de-bone chicken?

      There are some folks around here in a really big house that have started raising chickens. They run around the front of this mansion, making it look like a scene from Cold Mountain. Only with a Greek fountain in front. Maybe it’s the Beverly Hillbillies


  19. I make lots of homemade soups – my husband is very spoiled. I recently bought several brands of soup to eat during my recovery – they are truly awful – salt being the only detectable flavor. I used to make my younger son a loaf of cinnamon/raisin bread every week. If I have to start grinding and hunting…I think we’ll both lose a lot of weight…


    • Katy, you have found the silver lining! I now MUST buy that manual grinder, in red, to go with my blue and yellow kitchen.

      And I’m looking forward to fall and loads of homemade soups. Yum! And once I grind my grain and bake the bread to go with it, I will be in heaven!


  20. I buy that frozen brick kind, let it unthaw and bake. The house smells of bakery goodness and people think I’m Julia Chiles. SNORT. Forget the mill…what did our ancestors do before the freezer?


  21. Michelle Gillies

    Exactly where do people put all these “back to basics” new fangled contraptions? My counter space is full with a toaster and a coffee maker. The cupboards are full with everything but dishes. I would need a sub-kitchen to store everything.


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