24 January 2010

Obscure Kitchen Tool

My newest obscure kitchen tool that I adore is my pestle and mortar. Eric bought it for me at Christmas, and I finally got around to using it today - to ground up some cardamom seeds. It was a lot of fun. As you can see in yonder first photo, the seeds started out very non-ground up. But I can assure that when I was finished putting in a teensy bit of elbow grease they were finely ground powder.

Before obtaining my pestle and mortar I used a variety of methods when encountering a recipe calling for ground spices when I only had the whole ones:
  1. Use whole ones anyway and hope that it didn't damage or otherwise negatively affect the dish being prepared. Usually for things like coriander seeds, this was okay, but not great.
  2. Try to crush the seeds with a bowl and spoon. This was usually rather ineffective.
  3. Put the seeds on a sheet of wax paper and cover it with another sheet of wax paper. Then pound the seeds with a rolling pin, which was the heaviest tool I had in my kitchen. This only made holes in the wax paper, and wasn't particularly effective in crushing the seeds.
Now I can cook properly, and I never imagined that grinding up seeds could be so satisfying. And I'm not just saying that; it really was an enjoyable experience. Now, I'm not saying that everyone should have a pestle and mortar, but I love to make Indian food, and there are a lot of seasonings that need crushing. Now that I have a pestle and mortar I can buy more of my seasonings whole, which will be nice because grinding them immediately before using them makes them taste a bit fresher.


Janssen said...

Funny to see you back in that house, since we spent so much time there back in 2006.

Packrat said...

You have a good mortar and pestle! Random, but I love that sweater. :)