Monday, October 5, 2020

The Grit Rolls On

The Grit Rolls On... At one point water-powered mills or Grist mills were a common part of the landscape. One of the most important businesses in the 19th century was the miller and his mill.

Millstones for Wheat
The best stones were called burrstone and were typically imported from France. It was believed the French millstones made a superior wheat product due to the hardness of the stone and its ability to grind a much whiter flour.

Two sets of stones, a lower, fixed "bed" stone, and an upper "runner" stone could rotate at more than 100 times a minute. Each stone face was cut with a pattern of grooves called furrows. Furrows worked like scissors to cut and grind the grain into meal flour. 

The runner stone was adjustable so the miller could raise or lower it in relation to the bed stone to adjust the gap between millstones and control the coarseness or fineness of the meal or flour.

Since my husband was a former history teacher, he enjoys joining me on my research trips. My middle son is not always so easily impressed. While doing research for my newest release, Magnolia's Mission, they accompanied me to visit two historic Grist Mills in North Georgia. 

Zachary really enjoyed our visit to the Hambridge Mill in North Georgia. Perhaps it was the beauty and soothing sound of the water as it made its way to the mill.

We were fortunate to be able to see the Hambridge Mill in action. 

The Process
The water enters the mill through a wooden box known as a flume or penstock. The miller opens a water gate from inside the mill to release water into the wheel to operate the machinery. 

The grain is fed through a hole in the runner stone know as the eye and then ground between the two stones. 

Keep Your Nose to the Grindstone 
Grindstones made from domestic stone was utilized for corn. The dust from the grain (corn) is more explosive than gun powder. If the stone gets too hot, they can spark. Millers knew if you keep your nose and ears facing the grindstone, you can hear or smell if there is enough grain between the stones. Second, turning the stone without grain will cause unnecessary wear and tear. 

The result...Grits and Cornmeal 

A Cook and a Grist Mill Owner - A recipe for love or disaster? 

Choosing to participate in a matrimonial agency as a mail-order bride, Magnolia proceeds methodically and uses her skills as a cook to create the perfect recipe for a husband. A successful businessman, the idea of putting another person's needs in front of his own is foreign. He's shocked when a cook from an orphanage intrigues him. Can he measure up?
About Kimberly Grist:

Kim has enjoyed writing since she was a young girl. However, she began writing her first novel in 2017, "
I wear so many hats working inside and outside the home. I work hard, try harder, and then begin again the next day. Despite my best efforts, sometimes life just stinks. Bad things happen. I need and want an outlet, an opportunity to relax and escape to a place where obstacles are met and overcome." 

Fans of historical romance set in the late 19th -century will enjoy stories combining, History, Humor, and Romance with an emphasis on Faith, Friends, and Good Clean Fun. 

Connect with Kimberly:

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1 comment:

  1. This was so interesting. I have found in trying to spell our last name, I wanted to say, “like a grist mill” and so many never heard of a grist mill!

    Love you and I am so proud of you.