We went to Rhode Island last week to visit relatives and to have a little summer fun. You’re probably wondering why a Floridian would go north for vacation. It’s already too hot here to spend more than an hour outdoors; The humidity is a killer, the heat is offensive. The pick your own farms have almost all closed for the summer. It’s not even August, the hottest part of the summer, and my once beautiful garden is starting to look like a post-apocalyptic landscape. With the exception of early morning and late evening, we’re stuck inside for the rest of the summer where it is nice and cool. Not what I’d consider summer fun.
We made a point to look up some of the local history while we were in Rhode Island. We came upon Kenyon’s Grist Mill. Kenyon’s is located in the village of Usquepaugh, Rhode Island, next to a picturesque waterfall. When we walked toward the mill, we noticed a sign that indicated tours were by appointment only. While we were taking a few photos of the mill and the waterfall, one of the employees came out to greet us. He let us in the mill, and we got to explore on our own. Kenyon’s is the oldest manufacturing business in Rhode Island. Kenyon’s has been grinding meals and flours continuously since 1696. They turn whole berries of grain or whole kernels of corn into meal or flour the old-fashioned way using original granite millstones quarried from Westerly, RI (read more about the Westerly quarries).
We stopped in Kenyon’s store after we finished exploring the mill. They sell many varieties of flour and meal. I had a hard time deciding which one to buy. I finally settled on a bag of graham flour and several bars of Lightfoot’s Pine Soap (this soap made the store smell so good). My son picked up a bag of Kenyon’s clam cake mix and a bottle of Dave’s Original All Natural Cold Brewed Coffee Syrup [read more about Dave’s]. I don’t know about the clam cake mix, but I’m willing to bet that he’s emptied the bottle of coffee syrup.
Graham flour is stone ground wheat flour. The stone grinding produces a rustic texture and preserves the vital nutrients of the wheat. Kenyon’s doesn’t add preservatives or additives to its products. The flour is aromatic and looks a bit like corn meal. Two recipes are printed on the bag of graham flour: graham carrot cake and honey graham muffins. The honey graham muffins were too tempting to pass up. I made the muffins exactly as stated in the recipe, but it didn’t work out as I expected. The oven temperature was too high, the baking time was too long, and the batter seemed too watery. The batch of muffins burned and the inside was still doughy. The dogs enjoyed them.
I slightly revised the recipe and tried again. I reduced the milk by 1/4 cup. I decreased the oven temperature to 350°F and baked the muffins for about 12 minutes. The texture was similar to that of a corn muffin. I sliced a muffin in two and dabbed each half with a smidgen of honey butter. The warm muffin quickly absorbed the melted butter leaving behind a hint of honey. The muffins were barely sweet (and I mean barely) and the wholesome flavor of the stone-ground flour was delicious.
The good thing about the stone ground graham flour is that you don’t know you’re eating whole wheat. It makes it so much easier to eat healthy when the food is tasty.
I think stone ground flour is my new favorite thing. It’s so incredibly better than processed flour. There’s that whole honey-butter thing, too.
Old-Fashion Honey Graham Muffins Recipe
- 2 cups graham flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup honey
- Heat oven to 350°F. Coat muffin pan using baking spray with flour or grease pan.
- Stir together dry ingredients.
- Add eggs and honey; mix until blended. Add milk and butter and mix well.
- Spoon into greased muffin tins filing each about 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes.