Friday, August 10, 2012

new trellis - a month later

a month after we put up the trellis. the pumpkins, "san choy" and taiwanese cucumber are all growing well. the passion fruit is really slow.

i have also put in 4 pvc pipes and planted some pitaya (dragon fruit) plants. this is necessary as some kids treated this trellis like a football net and started kicking football towards it! i caught them in action when i heard someone shouting "goal!!!!!"

once the pitayas grow, these thorny buggers will ward off the keeps and give us some nice fruits. hee hee...

bread from hand milled flour

i have been baking bread for over 2 years now and experimented with lots. 2-3 years ago, just before martin left for uk (he's now back in malaysia), martin gave me a hand mill. i used it once but made such a mess of it as i didn't build a proper stand for it.

so at blog visitor's chan's prodding, i tried this mill again. fabricated a proper mount and managed to mill some wheat berries.

note, i finally found a use for junk mail!

as this is a hand mill, it took quite an effort to mill the wheat berries to flour. however, if you modify the mill, you could hook up a bicycle chain, thus you could cycle, have some exercise, while you mill the flour. not bad an option! who says men can't multi task?

as for me, it took about an hour to mill about 1 kg of flour. i have scrawny hands...

so, what's the point of milling flour? other than bragging rights, well, with whole wheat flour, the most valuable part is the wheat germ oil which is also the most nutritious part of the flour. and oil, being oil, will turn rancid if left too long. so some manufacturers take out the wheat germ oil or put in some preservatives to preserve this oil. yes, even the organic flours. by the way, wheat germ oil is sold separately for some really serious mullah.

in white flour, only the wheat endosperm is milled to flour. the wheat bran, germ and oil is all taken out, so white flour do not have this problem of the flour turning rancid or smelling bad. white flour is also a lot less nutritious.

furthermore, freshly milled flour is still active with enzymes and nothing is as fresh as working on them to make bread just after you milled the wheat berries!

also, hand operated stone mill is better as the stones won't heat up too much as we can't spin them too fast, thus the nutrients and oil is kept fresher.

so the flour is all whole wheat.

from experience, not an easy bread to bake and don't expect monster rise unless you add gluten which i'm not interested in at all.

still, the bread turned out pretty well.

okay, burning question, what's the difference compared to bread baked from store bought flour?

taste wise, there's less "wheat" smell. this is only apparent if you bake with 100% whole wheat flour. if you only bake with white flour, then you have no idea what i'm talking about. now this "wheat" smell, could it be the rancid wheat germ oil?

texture wise, it's more tender compared to 100% whole wheat bread made from store bought flour. also, it stays tender longer.

so all in all, i like this bread much better. the effort to mill the berries is justified! so don't think i'll be buying flour any time soon!

the mill i used is this "little ark" from this company called retsel in the usa.

you could buy wheat berries from most organic stores. the variety i bought is described as "hard wheat". i think it's protein content is higher, thus suitable for making bread. the wheat berries range from rm7-rm12 a kg.

2 great documentaries

nic from redboxstudio emailed me about this awesome documentary. "jiro dreams of sushi" is an award winning documentary about this awesome guy, jiro, who despite his age of 85 years old, still makes sushi every night at his 3-star michelin rated retaurant, which has a waiting list of 1 month and a sushi dinner that starts from 30000 yen per person! (that's rm1200 or close to usd400)

what you could learn from him is his attitude and perseverance for improving his craft. he is always striving to elevate his craft to a higher level. you think sushi is so simple but after watching this documentary, i will not look at it at the same way again.

beautifully filmed with a very stirring classical piece accompanying the narration.

watch it. you will not regret it.

for a limited time, or until someone complains, this is the link to download the documentary.
jiro dreams of sushi

dying to have known is a documentary that tackles the dicey subject of cancer treatment using  gerson therapy.

i blogged about gerson therapy some time back (check the labels) but if you are still on the fence, watch this documentary. watch how the director (a fence sitter) eventually sided with the gerson therapy and poses serious questions of whether the medical industry is suppressing the effectiveness of the gerson therapy.

if you are having health problems, cancer or not, watch it and learn something. if the therapy is good for curing cancer, just imagine how it could improve your health.

again, i have put them on a server for you to download. for a limited time only...   dying to have known

if you are the sort who only watches mindless action movies, or stupid repetitive serials, give yourself a break and watch something informative.

if you have to pick just 2 documentaries to watch this year, i highly recommend this 2.

i can't think of a higher recommendation than this.

over to you.