Like the bellows, the galvanised bucket, the snips, I often find the best tools are the simplest, strongest, most charming, and can be had for a song if you know where to look. I was ever so pleased to come across an antique grinder in a village shop, and knew it would be worth its weight in, well, breadcrumbs.
When I was a child one of my chores was to grind the dry crusts of bread into crumbs for this recipe or that. When the paper bag was full of crust, my mother would tighten the mincer onto the counter, and we’d cover the floor in breadcrumbs, turning and grinding. Excellent and useful tool, not only because it is almost entirely metal and likely will never break, not only for the economy of using up those crusts; but for people who suffer from food sensitivities, it is nearly impossible to find good organic, wheat-free breadcrumbs!
Of course, this is a mincer, for ground meat, and though the thought of the process does little for my former-vegetarian sensibilities, I must say it would be amazing to make my own sausages one day. For now I shall happily grind a hill of breadcrumbs.
(some time later…) My little one loves to mill and was so charming about it, I made a movie.