Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my family and friends.
Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar aan al my familie en vriende.
Bonne Année à tous ma famille et amis.
Buon anno a tutti i miei amici e parenti.

Thank you to all my readers, and hope to see you in 2016.

Remember to take everything I say with a pinch of salt!

Salt spilled from blue-glass salt shaker.
Salt spilled from blue-glass salt shaker.

Salty tip of the Week

When baking, anything from bread to pies, it is essential to add salt, even if just a pinch, for taste. It is so easy to taste the difference between unsalted and salted bread or pastry. Pastry chefs agree. Why salt is important in baking.


Vongole Arrabbiata, chile spiced clams

Two good reasons for sharing this recipe, that I discovered in another blog, A Food Obsession.

Firstly, it is a tasty dish, and really easy to prepare.

Secondly, in the description of the dish, the writer makes a comment, that is an essential cooking tip. You can always add salt, but you cannot remove it, from a dish.

We have all fallen into this trap, at some time. In my case, usually, the reason is that I have not been tasting the dish frequently enough, or have simply overlooked the amounts of salt or seasoning in the recipe. This is, of course, another reason for under seasoning a dish, but that is easily remedied.

An easy way to be thrown off is when cooking with bouillon or stock, as the salt content can vary enormously. So, now I have learned to taste the stock on its own, and to taste the dish after it has been added.

Tasting throughout the cooking process is the cardinal rule.

Now relax, and savor this recipe.



What is Salt?


Salt, any salt! my kingdom for some salt.

What is Salt? Common salt, or sodium chloride, is the chemical compound NaCl. Salt occurs naturally in many parts of the world as the mineral halite and as mixed evaporites in salt lakes and salt oceans. Salt varies in color from colorless, when pure, to white, gray or brownish, typical of rock salt (halite).

Source: What is Salt? | SaltWorks

Motivated by Motifs

This article is going to make me pay attention for sure, whether watching a movie or reading a book.

The Daily Post

When faced with a difficult decision, it’s tempting to ask the universe to send us a sign. While life isn’t black and white, the pages of literature are. In real life, it’s impossible to be completely sure of how a decision will turn out. Authors, on the other hand, can sprinkle signs and motifs throughout their work to guide their audience and characters to an end result.

These motifs give us, readers, a taste of omniscience. I’ll never forget my high school film teacher explaining his theory on the use of oranges in The Godfather movies. Each time we see oranges on the screen, he explained, that’s a foreshadowing that someone is going to die or be killed. Once I became aware of this tidbit, it was impossible to not see oranges throughout the movie, and I subsequently reveled in my prescient glimpse of what would happen next.

As inspiration this week, explore the…

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Salt, and more Salts: The First Crystal


Promising that this may not be an exhaustive site, but hoping to share something new or interesting, one or two salts at a time.

Iodized sea salt in black plate
Iodized sea salt. Photography by Wayne Stanley.

Let us start with sea salt and table salt.

Sea salt is produced by the evaporation of water from seawater or saltwater lakes, and little processing. Table salt is mined from subterranean salt deposits.

The differences between sea salt and table salt can be found in their coarseness, color, processing, taste, and texture. Notably, the more processing, the more trace minerals, and elements, are extracted.

Sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value, despite the fact that sea salt is often promoted as being healthier. The sodium content is about the same in sea and tablet salt, but most table salt also has added iodine, that helps maintain a healthy thyroid. Table salt usually contains an additive to prevent clumping. Use both, and you’ll be fine.

Salt never gets old, so it can be stored for years. Bacteria don’t grow in salt. In fact, salt has been used for centuries as a preservative. 

The earliest recorded history of salt use, in 6000BC,  is by the Chinese, and Lake Yuncheng gave birth to the earliest salt works.

The Egyptians also highly valued salt, and put it to a myriad of uses, from preserving food to mummification. Salt from the Natrun riverbed, they called Netjry, and Natron as we know it. These archived records reach back to 4000BC.

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