Thursday, March 31, 2011

An Amish Adventure for Hard White Wheat

A few years ago Matt bought me a wheat grinder in addition to my Bosch for my birthday. Since then I have endeavored to make and master homemade bread with my own freshly ground wheat, which I am told has more protein and fiber than even week-old wheat flour. This sends me in search of wheat. I am surprised at just how hard it is to find wheat berries. In the past I've purchased it from the LDS church, or have had it given me from my mother, but in my current living conditions, neither of these options are very practical. I figured living in the middle of so many farms would make this easier but after calling around to the country stores I know of, only one had any idea of where I might procure it. She wasn't sure of the name but told me what town it was in. I tried finding it online, finding it in the yellow pages, but no luck. The town of Allensville has only two phone numbers that can be obtained through modern technology. I called one of them and asked a very kind woman if she knew the name and number of the store in question and, heavens be blessed, she did. I called and verified that my needs could be met for a decent price and, with my excitement about me, put off for my hour drive into the heart of Amish farmland, PA. Coming into Allensville, I passed a horse-drawn buggy, complete with it's slow moving sign. The parking lots of this super tiny town had two types of parking accommodations - painted lines for the cars and hitching posts for the horse buggies. One store I patronized had an Amish man and woman (full beard and bonnet) purchasing supplies. How very fun!! I didn't think to take my own picture (sorry NicHole) so the picture below will have to suffice. I made it to the sought-after store and procured 100 lbs of Hard White Wheat (my current favorite for making very tasty yet completely healthy bread). Hopefully this will last me for the time being. As I drove into State College I thought, hmmm back to civilization. But not with a sense of relief, rather with a sense of disappointment. I think it could be fun to live off the grid - no taxes, no bills, no commutes, no worry about finding and keeping a job. I realize I can't give up the life I lead, but it is nice to escape for a few hours from time to time. I also realized that when all said in done, it would have been much cheaper for me to work the two hours spent driving and pay the extra money to buy the wheat online, but I would have lost out on a very valuable adventure! A look into another life where one realizes that material possessions and wild earthly ambitions can be very silly indeed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mostly Dead Plant

I do not have a green thumb my any means. I'm not a death threat to plants either, but I can get, shall we say, forgetful when it comes to watering on a regular basis. I am even worse about reminding my husband to water while I am away. Hence the picture above. This used to be a beautiful hydrangea Matt bought for me years ago. It had beautiful white blooms. But after one such vacation away, it almost died. It withered to practically nothing, but my mother told me to just cut it way down and it would miraculously come back. So I did, and it came back, but never to its original glory. Even still, I nursed it to a new kind of health and fawned over it when it did anything remotely amazing.

But then I left for CA and Matt didn't water it at all while I was away. It was probably fairly dry from my own neglect, so I don't fault Matt at all, but even still it was pretty dead when I came back. But as you can see, not completely. Do you see those little budding leaves? I wanted to just toss it, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. It has the willpower to live, can I really just throw it in the trash? I thought about planting it outside, where I wouldn't feel so responsible about it's livelihood, but the ground is still in permafrost mode and wouldn't be dug, at least not with my kitchen serving fork.

Oh, what to do.

I eventually ended in compromise. I needed the pot to give some other plants the much needed space. So I scaled some up and scaled this little struggling plant way down. I think I actually like it in the tiny pot. It doesn't look nearly as pathetic down there.

But I couldn't help but think that this whole scenario says something about me. Or is it human nature? Would you have been able to toss the struggling but mostly dead plant? I NEED to know.