Monday, January 10, 2011

Eureka Springs part 3

On Christmas Eve, we drove out to War Eagle Mill, a working water-driven grain-grinding mill. If you have been following me for long, you know I love baking, and you know I can be something of a food snob, so it was a given that we had to visit the mill and get some flour and other grains. I bought bread flour, wheat flour, soy flour (haven't used that one yet), blue cornmeal, and regular cornmeal. Whew.

The War Eagle river as it passes the mill.
 It was a cold, gray day, but the water was still, and the mist made everything seem like it was out of a fantasy novel or something.

An honest to goodness grinding stone.
We had originally planned to eat lunch at the restaurant at the mill, but it was only a little over an hour or so after our latish breakfast, so we just walked around the mill for a bit, taking pictures.

Water wheel!
 I love seeing things done the old way. Yes, technology is pretty much necessary to feed the billions of people on the planet now, but somehow, foods grown and processed in ways that our ancestors used for thousands of years just seem to taste better.

Plus, the machinery just looks cooler. I mean, if your grain is ground by an electrically operated machine, you don't get to look at the water wheel turning, at the water falling in crystal droplets...and you don't have the chance that beavers will chew up your wheel (apparently that was a problem with previous wheels. Who knew!).  This is one reason (the coolness, not the beavers) that I really like the steampunk aesthetic and the maker's movement. It is all about seeing how things work, being able to work on machines yourself, fix problems, being intimately involved in what you are making and using. And it has cool gears.
All dressed up and ready for Christmas Eve Dinner
Anyway, Christmas Eve we had a lovely dinner at the Grand Taverne in Eureka Springs. I got tipsy in front of my mother, which was odd, and made me giggle a lot. We had a tasty buffet breakfast at the hotel on Christmas morning, complete with chocolate fountain, and a few tiny snowflakes to accompany us on our way back to Little Rock. I thoroughly enjoyed Eureka Springs and surrounds, and look forward to going back at another time of year. We passed through the Boston Mountains on the way home, and it looked like there is probably some good hiking up there...

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