I don’t recall how exactly we got into it, but over the past couple of months or so my family has started easing into what you might call a “prepper” lifestyle. No, we are not survivalists, do not own a remote cabin or farm, or have any intent on joining the modern homesteading movement. We do, however, realize that the just-in-time shipping model our world runs on can break, that our electrical grid is sensitive to the effects of man and nature alike, and that our place in the world is not as evergreen or assured as we would sometimes like to pretend.
With out getting too deep into the philosophy of it, we view prepping as dead-simple common sense. We save money for retirement. We put aside money for college for our kids. We have life insurance and medical insurance, and firearms and concealed carry permits for personal security. In our house, prepping is nothing more or less food insurance, and we just tried it out for the first time, hand-grinding hard white wheat to make flour for pizza and muffins.
We have a Victorio hand grinder, and we learned quickly that while it was fun and new, it was also tiring. While the mill performed wonderfully and consistently, our shoulder muscles just aren’t used to the repetitive grinding motion, and so we found ourselves cranking with one arm and then the other, and then we started taking turns. Between my wife and ‘tween daughter and I, we managed a fun little workout and eight cups of hand-ground whole wheat flour, which we turned into pizza dough last night and blueberry muffin mix for this morning’s breakfast.
The pizza dough turned out what was, in my opinion, a crust superior to the stuff you normal get from the local pizza joint and was on par with some of the gourmet pizzas I’ve had.
The blueberry muffins didn’t come out so well, with a bran muffin-type texture that my wife and kids didn’t like. I thought it was different, but pretty decent, and I ate three of them.
We proved that we could grind our own flour, and make edible food out of raw materials. It isn’t ground-breaking, but it was a little bit of a confidence builder letting us know that we’re on the way towards being able to handle some of the unexpected events life tosses out way.