Monday, February 12, 2007

A grain of salt

Boy! Does this blog look dusty, with old posts laying around and nothing new since last year...

Hope you all had a wonderful start of 2007. I've been very, very busy these past few months, to a point where I had to choose between cooking and blogging. The former was obviously more important, for survival reasons among others... And I guess the rush at work gave me a mild case of the writer's block... I seem to be on the way to recovery, though, as the hectic schedule is slowly coming to an end. Things should go back to a more human pace in the coming weeks.

Until then, let me introduce you to our new friend:


This adorable chick is an original creation of F. Personnaz, an artist living in Bessans (a remote little village at the end of Maurienne Valley in the French Alps). It is a wooden salt box that Pierre's parents gave us for Christmas. We keep coarse salt in it and use it by the handful in pasta water, soups and stews. I love how different the sculpture looks from the left and from the right.


Have you noticed how salt always seems to be kept in nicely decorated containers? I imagine, for the longest time salt was the main seasoning in France and all around Europe (along with garlic and aromatic herbs –which had to dry in the open air, and maybe a few spices –which were expensive and sparse, and kept in very small quantities). Salt had to be stored away from humidity, yet it had to be handy as it was used in most dishes. Hence the pretty box that could stay out of the cabinets at all times... Or so I see things. That would seem like a valid explanation, wouldn't it?

By the way here is a French food idiom: "mettre son grain de sel" (literally "to put one's gain of salt in"). This means to put one's 2 cents in, but in situations when it's not really appropriate or welcome to give one's opinion. Not what I did in the previous paragraph, I hope...

1 comment:

Betty C. said...

Glad you're back, blog template-mate!

I usually choose blogging over cooking, much to my family's dismay...