Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Country Living Grain Mill

My KA is en route to the factory as we speak to be "diagnosed" and repaired. My discussion with their rep was not very productive. After becoming flustered speaking to their initial employee who attempted to assure me that the plastic housing does not affect the actual function of the mixer I calmly explained exactly how important it was in the entire function of the machine then politely asked for a supervisor. That first employee was also the one to inform me that KA had revamped their mixers with a better housing in '07. I explained that after extensive research on professional mixers I had bought the mixer in '07 so why don't I have the new housing as the box and manual all verify in bold the promise of all metal parts? She said, "You have a '06 model, even though you purchased it in '07. The Serial number indicates the year it was manufactured." Well, I feel cheated in a big way. How would I know that?

I'm also saddened because, all things aside, I really was impressed with the grain mill. I felt it did a great job milling the grains. It was quick and efficient. Now I'm a bit concerned whether I should use it on my machine once I get it fixed. I am thinking I will only do light softer grains with it so as not to stress the mixer. 

So $34 has been charged for shipping three ways (a box shipped to me to put the mixer in, the shipping to the factory, and the factory sending it back). From there they will check the mixer out. It could cost anywhere between $40-$140. If I choose not to get it repaired they charge me a $25 assessment fee and ship it back. I'm throwing a mini pout over this but with them unwilling to fix it on their own I don't have much choice but to purchase a new one or take the cheaper route and just pay to get it fixed. I'm giving you the evil eye KitchenAid. Yes, the evil eye.

Meanwhile, dearest Cowboy bought a hand crank grain mill after seeing the damage the KitchenAid mill did to my mixer and the sorrow it brought.

A 50lb bag of Yellow Dent Corn arrived at the doorstop along with the grain mill. Our first thought: Corn Bread! Cowboy purchased the additional extension handle to make the milling a bit easier along with an extra spare parts kit and a corn/bean auger.

This heavy beauty can handle anything. From the manufacturers:
"Solid I-beam construction from cast aircraft aluminum, double industrial sealed bearings, stainless steel shaft, and carbon steel grinding plates come together to make a rugged and durable mill, which we back with our lifetime warranty. "

First run through at very course setting

Second Run

The Supervisor

I think we only needed two passes through but we weren't sure how it was going to turn out so we just fine tweeked throughout the milling. Cowboy initially had it powdery fine on the last run and I had to adjust because I like my cornbread with a little crunch and texture to it. 

This was a brighter yellow than the popcorn we had milled with the KA. I had set out our store bought cornmeal to compare and we both wrinkled our noses at it. It was a pale washed out yellow, almost white. There wasn't much texture to it and the smell was non-existant. The fresh cornmeal was vibrant, crunchy, and had a great corn aroma. 

I admit, I can see where having a motor (sold separately) attached would be a bit of a luxury. Hand cranking that corn was quite the workout. Not strenuous, as the extension handle made the chore run smooth and snag-free. It just took a bit of time to grind all that. I think I will get quicker at it once I find out the settings to grind the grains on so that I don't have to make too many passes. This will also cut down on over heating the grains. I filled two quart sized mason jars with it (one hopper full) and ended up giving away one to my best friend- my sidekick of all things crafty. She texted me that night "Homemade cornbread with honey butter- yum!" 

Tomorrow I will be making a large batch of my favorite Black Bean and Sausage Soup to can in my pressure canner. I think corn bread is definitely in order! Pictures and recipe to follow, of course.

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