Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Jolly Miller and other Nursery Rhymes

Charlie and I have been reading nursery rhymes.  He loves the Richard Scarry book best.  But today he wanted to know that "that" was!  And he pointed to the windmill.  I explained it the best I could.  "A building where the wind blows and turns the windmill which turns gears....which turn stones...and they can take wheat...that's a seed that grows on a stalk, kind of like grass....and then they grind the wheat seed and it becomes flour....that we use to make bread.....blah blah blah"...over his head.  Move on La La.

Then we came to ANOTHER rhyme with a windmill!  And he wanted me to explain it again.  So I did the best I could.

But I thought to myself, "Too bad we don't live in Northern Virginia and I could take him on a field trip to the real restored and functioning Colvin Run Mill."  I can still remember as a child, watching the large stones turning as the intricate system of gears worked soley off of water power.  I remember seeing the bits of corn being ground up into meal between the enormous stones.

Or maybe we could have gone on a field trip to the real Dutch windmills!  And seen how the wind blows and turns the gears of a mill.  As a teenager, I visited the Netherlands and saw these huge majestic buildings rising up out of the horizon.  They were amazing!

Instead, we went on a field trip to LaLa's kitchen and found out how her mill worked.  We touched and played with the wheatberries and held our ears while the mill ground the wheat into flour. (It sounds like an airplane taking off.)

Then we stirred up our flour with yeast and salt and sugar and warm water.  Let it rise once and pinched it into 3 balls.

It was fun playing with the dough.  Almost as fun as "playdough!"

Dough in the we have to wait for it to grow!

Wait and wait and wait and wait.  Luckily, Charlie could make some drum music while we waited.

Hurray!  It's ready!  We put the pans in the oven and went off to read yet another story I know about wheat and mills and flour and bread!

"The Little Red Hen!"  A great story about bread and where it comes from!  (And also why having a work ethic and helping out might be a good thing!)

FINALLY, the bread was done!

We took the golden loaves from the oven and buttered their tops.

Then with a basket of apples....

And a basket of hot bread....

...we set off like "Little Red Riding Hood" to visit great-grandma...."who lives down the lane."

Yep!  We've got the nursery rhymes down pat!


  1. what an awesome field trip! Does Lehi Roller mills do tours? I think I should go if they do. This is so awesome. The perfect thing. thanks for being so sweet to my baby

  2. Every child should have this kind of grandmother.


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