Friday, August 8, 2008

I found a place that makes St. George look good!

Well, no… Not really. But what is it with this part of the country? When I was in Springfield, Missouri a couple of weeks ago I thought I’d found the replacement for Rogers, Arkansas as the “Bubba” capitol. This week I’m in Overland Park, Kansas. Right next door to Kansas City… The last bastion of civilization before heading out West… HA! Imagine my surprise while awaiting breakfast at the local IHOP (Couldn’t find a Waffle House) when I hear this “shink… shink… shink… sound. Curiosity got the better of me and I glanced over to see Billy-Bob with his big ‘ol oil stone, sharpening his big ‘ol Buck Knife right there on the table… What is this? Deliverance, the Live Act?!?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I’m not an Alarmist… (I think).

I enjoy bread baking. Real bread. There is something in the perfect execution of creating bread, the manipulation of time and temperature, evoking the fullest potential of flavor from the grain that twirls my beanie… That’s why I conned my beautiful wife into letting me build a hearth oven in the backyard.

I generally order fifty pounds each of 14%, 12% and 8% protein flour and a fifty pound bag of hard red wheat about every eight months or so from Honeyville Grains. Two years ago I was paying $45.00 for the wheat; today it’s $55.00 a bag. The milled flour has also seen similar price increases. So the price is up twenty cents a pound, big screaming deal, right. It now cost me 73 cents to make a loaf of bread instead of 53 cents.

But what is driving the cost of wheat up? Fuel has gone through the roof along with just about everything else so it makes sense that wheat and flour should too… Honeyville will still ship your entire order for $4.49 anywhere in the United States. No, the cost is going up because grains that were once so abundant are becoming scarcer. In the fall of 2000 wheat was trading at $2.55 a bushel. This spring wheat was nearing $20 a bushel. We still feed a lot of the world so when stories like this pop up about the number five producer of grains in the world being taken over by their government I can only assume that the costs of our foodstuffs will increase even more.

I’m really not Chicken Little but now might be a good time to lay in some of the wheat stores we have been putting off if only to save a few bucks. Besides that, homemade bread is so much better!!