Along with my grandmother’s Franciscan Desert Rose china came an adorable pair of saltshakers. As I began using the china on a daily basis, I decided I should fill up the shakers and use them as well. However, it was easier said than done. The shakers had small red cork stoppers in their bases that were ancient and crumbling. I managed to get one of them out fairly intact, however the other one pretty much disintegrated.
So now what? I wondered. Could I carve a new stopper from a wine cork? And so as usual when I have a problem and need a solution, I went to the web in a flurry of searching. Low and behold, after nearly an hour’s ceaseless searching I found Rubber Age a small company who has been making lamp parts, cork stoppers and seals for almost 50 years. I sent an email with a photo to Angela Mandic the owner, and found out that this was indeed the company who had made the original stoppers for my china and she was happy to let me order two stoppers by mail. It was really neat to happen upon the original company, almost like a little touch of the past brought into the present.
So yesterday on my trip to Whole Foods I stopped by their bulk spices departments thinking I would quickly pick up some ground sea salt and white pepper to fill up the shakers. Silly me, as I looked around I found that there were dozens of kinds of salt in every color of the rainbow from all around the world. I actually thought for a moment about filling the shaker with pink salt from the Himalayas because it matched the rose color, but then gave myself a good shake and decided that was just too girly even for me.
I finally settled on a fine ground Sel Gris (grey salt) that is hand harvested from the coast of Brittany near the town of Guérande because it reminded me of my trip to Amiens, France in 2007. I found a picture of the marais salant (salt marsh) where the salt is made from Google Earth.
My husband wants to actually put in black salt from Hawaii and white pepper, just to confuse the guests. That is a small sample of my husband’s sense of humor.