Mills, Grinders, Pigs and Shakers: My Homage to Salt and Pepper

Mills, Grinders, Pigs and Shakers: My Homage to Salt and Pepper

Every civilized table has a standing invitation to an intriguing couple: Salt and Pepper. 

Sometimes, the duo arrives as shakers, ready to be sprinkled with the flick of the wrist.  Other times, the pair are mis-matched, one being a grinder and the other being a mill.  In any case, those with a discerning eye for culinary detail inevitably zero in on the placement, shape and form of the salt and pepper vessels — to set a table without them is just not right!

Now, I must admit, as the cook, I get peeved when I see the shaker or mill used on food I’ve prepared.  Especially before the first bite is taken (see if you receive future invitations to my house — you won’t!)  But as a host and entertainer, I know that salt and pepper have rightfully earned their place at the table.  After all, how could I serve poached eggs at brunch, a steaming shrimp boil mid-day or even popcorn for movie night without salt and pepper for my guests?  It would be unthinkable.

As I look through my kitchen supplies, I’m intrigued by the number of salt and pepper containers I own.  When I cook, I love having my salt pig handy, a small bowl with its belly full of salt and a mouth wide enough for my fingers to take a pinch.  Salt pigs are a cook’s delight simply because it’s a convenient way to reach for salt.  I keep mine filled with kosher or sea salt as I find these to be less pungent and easier to work with than regular table salt.   

I have several grinders for peppercorns as well.  Many recipes often call for freshly ground pepper because the flavor of the spice is stronger and much more vibrant if it’s just been cracked.  Because I love the mild spice pepper brings to dishes, I keep a variety of peppercorns handy including: red and black tellicherry, green and even white.

This Sunday, I will be part of the HSN Cook’s Event (a 24-hour live show dedicated to all things culinary) featuring the Trudeau Elite Graviti Salt Mill and Pepper Grinder.  These interesting objects use the force of gravity to dispense their contents.  Simply turn them upside down and voila!  Either salt is sprinkled or pepper is grinded — what fun!

In addition to the innovative technology, I happen to love the sleek, contoured design and chrome finish.  I admire the way they stand so tall and proud on my kitchen countertop.  The ceramic grinders allow for storage on a stovetop (condensation won’t rust ceramic gears) and the see-through chamber lets me know whenever they need to be refilled.

Salt and Pepper are indeed, the two spices no kitchen (and certainly no table) should be without.  Whether we admit it or not, most of us own a collection of shakers, mills and grinders, simply to fit our needs and decorating tastes.  If you’re looking for something sleek, modern and incredibly innovative, be sure to tune in.  As for my friends, we now have a new conversation piece on the table!

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