Several years ago we came across Castle Valley MIll. The Mill was in its second infancy as it was being refurbished and rebuilt. When we visited they were stone grinding grains in the barn and working on the mill and milling equipment. At the time we were exploring local and "new to us" grains for cooking and noodle making. Castle Valley Mill supplied the spark. That is where we first came across emmer, a distant cousin to semolina. It was also where we were introduced to freshly milled rye and spelt flours. The flavors of the grains were aromatic, nutty, and intense. There aromas translated into flavorful noodles. Unfortunately, for my noodle fetish, soon after diving down the rabbit hole we transplanted ourselves to New Hampshire.
Getting back in touch with Castle Valley Mill was on my to do list when we moved back to PA. As we set to work on American Noodles, getting our hands on the freshly milled flours was high on my must do list. It turns out the mill is only 12 minutes from our new house in Doylestown. I called them up and chatted with Mark, trying to refresh his memory in regards to our contact and conversations from years earlier. He treated me like an old friend, while vaguely recalling our previous interactions. His lack of memory may be directly related to his increased growth and commitment to revitalizing the Mill. He happily took my order and we arranged a time for me to pick up my flours.
I was fortunate to be shown around the mill when I arrived for my flours. My timing was fortuitous and Fran was able to show me around the up and running mill. It was amazing to see what has happened in the last few years as Mark and Fran had poured their efforts into refurbishing the mill and revitalizing a forgotten process. I left with a lighter pace in my step and a quicker pulse in my body as I looked forward to making fresh noodles with the emmer, rye, bolted spelt, and hard wheat I had purchased. The grains had importance because of their freshness and flavors. They also connected with me because of the experience I had cemented at the Mill.