It makes sense that Sunrise Flour Mill operates a stand at the Mill City Farmers Market. After all, Marty and Darrold Glanville are selling their small-batch flours, oatmeal, grits and pancake mixes in the railroad shed of what was once the planet's largest flour mill. Their small tabletop mills -- one looks like a wooden Mr. Coffee, and their oat flaker resembles a small meat grinder -- garner a lot of curiosity seekers, particularly from young shoppers, who are quickly offered a hands-on demonstration. "I love showing kids how this works," said Marty, a retired Minneapolis Public Schools teacher, as she walked a young girl through the simple oat-flaking process. "City kids don't know where their food comes from."
The Glanvilles do. They source their grains from Minnesota and North Dakota organic farms. The couple got into the milling business when Darrold, a retired manufacturer, began baking bread, and the loaves were "coming out like doorstops," said Marty with a laugh. The search for better high-protein flour (and portable milling machines -- the Glanvilles import them from Germany) was on, "and here we are," said Marty with a laugh. "We learn a lot from our customers."
And vice versa. My mini-tutorial was fascinating. Particularly when Marty began talking fresh-flaked oats, which start as hulled oats, which sort of reminded me, looks-wise, of long-grain brown rice. With each turn of the flaker's crank, the hard grains lose their tough outer bran shell, instantly converting into soft and gently moist rolled oats that are so fresh that the Glanvilles suggest storing them in the freezer. The beauty of this hyper-nutritious product is its simplicity. Add water (in a 3-1 water-to-oats ratio), bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring often. The result: a good and good-for-you breakfast, with a rich taste that far exceeds the Quaker Oats standard. Brown sugar optional.
Organic flaked oats ($5 per pound) at Sunrise Flour Mill (www. sunriseflourmill.com) at the Mill City Farmers Market, 2nd St. and Chicago Av. S., Minneapolis, 612-341-7580, www.millcity farmersmarket.org. Open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Find oatmeal recipes at Table Talk, the Taste food and restaurants blog, at startribune.com/tabletalk.