The daily grind

Finally found: the ultimate salt and pepper grinders.

I have searched high and low for this particular tool indispensable to any respectable kitchen – a salt and pepper mill (or, more accurately, one of each). Like the lot of you, I prefer my kosher flakes and my heat freshly ground. But as salt and pepper mills are something of an investment (there are some with the same brand as a car manufacturer, for crying out loud), I’ve found it hard to commit, to actually buckle down and make a purchase.

Most of the mills on the market are too hefty, too unwieldy, too trophy-like. No, no, and no. I’m kind of a lightweight, and the space in my kitchen is greatly reduced when little girls show up to help. The last thing I need when we’re all hungry is to elbow one of my darlings in the eye while attempting to grind pepper on salads they’re going to turn their noses up at, anyway.

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Which is why I was thrilled to find these at Olive and Gourmando in Montreal (there they refer to them en français, les salières et les poivrières). Compact, they can be toted from countertop to table easily, yet they’re still sturdy in stainless. And they are the ultimate in usefulness: a cinch to employ mid-stir, they’re made to be held in one hand, with a punch-down top. One punch with the thumb, and your dish is the recipient of a freshly ground shower of your current favorite sel de mer.

This I can handle.

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