Saturday, October 02, 2010

Shopping expedition into the Northwood

Taking inventory at Northwood Country Market

I just realized, I'm coming up on a year of making almost all our bread here at home, from scratch (except for 2 loaves of store-bought that were sneaked in against my will, and hotdog/burger buns, which I don't always make from scratch). And I don't have a great source for flour yet.

After reading about Wheat Montana flour from Judy Laquidara, I determined that I would try to track some down. First of all, you can order it from the website, but the freight charges are a deal killer. So I called my friend Jan who has made her own bread for a long time and asked where she gets her flour. I didn't mention Wheat Montana in particular, but she told me she gets her wheat (sometimes flour, sometimes wheat berries that she mills herself) from a Mennonite market in Sparta, Wisconsin, and that it comes all the way from Montana. I asked if it were Wheat Montana brand and she said it was, and that it's great. My next question was how much is it? She pays just under $25 per 50-pound sack. Not bad.

She offered to have her husband pick me up a sack, since he works very near to the store, but then I realized I had to come into Onalaska today anyway, and that I had some time to spare - so we made a field trip out to Northwood Country Market. I took both the girls out there with me. I, at least, had a wonderful time. The girls didn't mind too bad. I bought 100 pounds of the white whole wheat flour. I also wrote down a few other prices:

  • Mindoro Blue cheese (a local blue), 6.99/lb
  • smoked swiss cheese, 4.49/lb
  • local honey, $8.50/3 pound bottle OR you can get it in bulk if you bring your own container for about $2.65/pound - I forgot to note exactly
  • very dark brown sugar, 91 cents a pound
  • toasted wheat germ, 2.77/pound 
  • farina (cream of wheat), 43 cents a pound
  • fruit gelatin in bulk, 1.82/pound
  • instant vanilla pudding, 1.65/pound, or chocolate, 1.80/pound 
  • liquid caramel, 5.17/pound (like for baking or for dipping apples)
  • red wheat berries, 60 cents a pound
  • stick cinnamon 6.48/pound 
They have quite a bit of local produce (pie pumpkins!), an extensive meat section and do their own cutting, and they have a deli section with lots and lots of cheeses cut to order. Not all they carry is organic or even supposed to be healthy, but most of it is available at bulk order prices.

For the flour alone, it is probably worth the trip for us every so often. Not sure how long 100 pounds will last me, but if I make that trek a couple of times a year, it will probably be worthwhile.

P.S. - I just talked with Jan on the phone, and she said that they grind their own peanut butter at Northwood! It's done fresh every couple of weeks. Yum! I didn't see everything, obviously.


JudyL said...

Looks like a fantastic store! That's about what I pay for a 50 pound bag of the Wheat Montana flour. I think you'll be pleased with it.

Catherine said...

I sure do envy you. What a great place to shop. There is nothing like that here.

Catherine said...

I forgot to say you are wise to make your bread. I make whole wheat bread for myself (glad you posted about that store) and make my pancake mixes, instant hot chocolate, biscuit mixes etc. I try to slip extra nutrition into bread for DH. He does does not care for whole wheat. I also make my sourdough from scratch and healthy granola not loaded with high fructose corn syrup and other sugars.

Sorry to go on. You are doing good things for your family.

Maria Stahl said...

Catherine, could you please give me your recipe and/or directions for homemade granola? I have never made any that didn't break everyone's teeth. :(