Its taken awhile but this week I’ve finally had a go at hand grinding my own corn. If you remember I’ve been trying to track down a grinder so I can turn our corn into polenta and other useful products. To date all I had been able to find was unbelievably expensive grinders only available from overseas. Our luck changed last month when we were at the Sunday market at Bairnsdale. There, lurking amongst the old hand mincers, TB spotted a hand cranked grain mill. It was not cheap, but as it was all intact and appeared to be in working condition we were willing to take the chance.
Since then the grinder has languished while we dealt with our self-inflicted apple glut. I finally got the grinder set it up this week and gave it a go. Wow it actually works!
The initial effort to break the dried corn kernels is definitely the hardest part of the exercise and I’m quickly convinced that I would be able to eliminate all upper body exercises from my gym program if I took this up on a regular basis!
Anyway, the job needs to be done in stages. Each time the corn is passed through the mill the space between the grinders is closed and a finer grain results.The best thing is that each successive grind is easier to do than the one before. It took me four grinds to get to a nice size suitable for polenta and I gave the corn an additional run through as I was wanting a fine grain to make polenta & apple muffins. I was pleased to get just under two cups of polenta from two cobs of corn with virtually no wastage.
I’m also sure that once I get the grinder fixed to a really solid surface the whole process will be easier. I came to this conclusion after I noticed the slots which allow the grinder to be bolted to a bench! Believe me you don’t want to try this exercise with your grinder clamped to a flimsy table.
I used dried cobs from last years harvest. I’m not sure how good the quality of this years corn will be as those cobs we’ve left to dry seem to have been infested with some type of aphid. Next up my blue corn – watch this space.