Vintage Burr Mill Finds

Recently, my family and I went on a weekend trip to Jamestown, Ca. Located near Sonora, Ca, this sleepy town is fabulous for trains, old history, boutique clothing stores and a handful of amazing antique shops. We strolled the streets taking in the holiday decor and walking through all of the stores seeing what they had to offer. Each of us, in my family enjoys a good perusing of any quality antique shop. I look for odds and ends to enhance our home, my son cruises straight to the vintage toys looking for the coolest thing he can find while my husband looks over vintage sports anything and is generally overwhelmed and in awe of all of the genres of collectables available.

I have had a few items in mind that I have been looking to secure should I get a chance to browse vintage shops. I’m sure that I had only casually mentioned these desirables to my husband in passing. I certainly was not expecting him to remember. I am always working on some kind of project of sorts and usually will discuss the details with those around me. It is the way I process, I talk it out. Knowing this about myself, I never expect anyone else to tune in or retain the finer details of each project.

Lately I have been researching more natural ways to enhance our families overall intake of vitamins and nutrients. We have two small boys under five years of age. Getting these two to eat healthy can be a daunting task at times. I enjoy improving upon our families overall health yet the little ones can grow weary when I introduce new foods. One of my passions is finding ways to incorporate fresh, organic and wholesome food and nutrients into our daily diet. Yet one of my biggest challenges is getting this great food into my boys mouths.

I have become very good at camouflaging healthy food so that my four year old will eat it. Once he gets a taste it becomes easier, it is just the initial introductions that can be tricky. I turn cauliflower into “mashed”, I add meat into his quesadillas and raviolis. In order to get him to eat cantaloupe and honeydew I told a white lie and said that watermelon comes in various colors and that those melons were just different colored watermelon. The younger one eats whatever I place within his reach. We have yet to cross any food issues. However, I know as he grows into toddlerhood, like most children including his brother, he too, will be a picky eater.

A few weeks earlier I was discussing and discovering the idea of grinding up a variety of commonly misclassified kitchen scraps for various health benefits and adding them into our food for an additional nutrient supplement. I was reading that adding ground up citrus peels, egg shells and dried herbs can all be extremely beneficial and are virtually undetectable to my children’s sensitive pallets.

This seemed like our answer. I needed to secure a clean grinder for these new diet additives. We have an electric coffee bean grinder but I knew that would not serve well as that is reserved for coffee. In order to keep my powders pure, fresh and unaltered, I wanted a clean grinder designated for each the eggshell and the citrus. So getting back to our day in the antique shops, my husband was walking around for a while and when he resurfaced he had come up to me with a beautiful wooden box. Upon closer look it was a vintage wooden burr mill with dovetail joints and a cast iron mill. My excitement spilled out of me. I found, well in actuality, my husband found my latest desire, a beautifully hand crafted vintage burr mill.

Low and behold, my man had his Santa ears on and delivered a wonderful holiday gift early. I had him take me to where he had found this beautiful treasure and then I saw a second smaller mill. The second mill is not dovetailed and is pewter rather than cast iron. I grabbed both the larger and the smaller mill and headed straight to the register to purchase these “new to me” kitchen gadgets. Although I am extremely happy with my two new additions I will continue to look for a smaller mill that is cast iron just so I have the quality that will last through time.

After getting the mills home I disassembled them and deep cleaned every piece. These mills serve as great aesthetic pieces, yet they can be functional as well. If you, like me are intending on using any second hand equipment I cannot stress enough to clean it very well. In addition, this enabled me to better understand the mechanics of my new mills.

DSC_0480.JPGBoth of my mills are in great condition, all parts work very well. Both pieces had accumulated a very thick layer of dust within the metal mill from being out of use for so long.

I have been busy milling. Using what I have around I have begun milling dried clean organic egg shells and being the citrus season, dried orange peel. I have included pictures of the finished product. The dried orange peel as well as the egg shell can be added into baking, in smoothies or make a great facial exfoliant. There really are so many more uses. I have included a link for more suggestions on how to incorporate Orange Peel Powder into your daily use.

The eggshell is an excellent source of straight calcium. In addition, to make Calcium Citrate: add 1teaspoon of lemon juice per egg shell, place and store in covered container. The lemon juice will dissolve the shell powder and there you have calcium citrate.

Thanks for checking out today’s post.

All posts and creations are done by Jacquelynn Knoll.


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