field trip: Cedar Creek Grist Mill

Cedar Creek Grist Mill, June 2011

Because this week is cold, wet, and gloomy here in Portland, I'm returning in memory to a warmer month (June) and a bit of local travel. The Cedar Creek Grist Mill, not far from Portland in Washington State, has been milling grain with waterpower since 1876.

millstone, Cedar Creek Grist Mill, WA

Volunteers in overalls and work boots detail the mill's history and then give a hands-on demonstration, milling whole grains from Bob's Red Mill in Milwaukie, Oregon, into whole-wheat bread flour, pancake flour, and cornmeal that, when parceled still friction-warm into paper bags, visitors can take home for free, along with recipes—though preferably in exchange for a welcome donation to museum operations. I carried home and stored in my freezer (in 29-cent Goodwill-thrifted Kerr jars) bread flour and cornmeal, the latter of which makes good polenta. (I'm still working on my bread skills.)

cornmeal, Cedar Creek Grist Mill
The mill also hosts special events throughout the year, including butter-churning, wool-spinning, and (most years) apple-cider-pressing. I'm hoping to return this year on May 26th for the Spin In, along with a forest picnic. Sound fun?

wheels, Cedar Creek Grist Mill, WA

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