Thursday, May 3, 2012

DIY Salt

One gallon of ocean, dehydrated.
As long as I'm behind on the seasonal updates, I may as well talk about something that can be done pretty much any time you can turn on a stove. Yeah, I'd like to make salt under the sun, but that's hard to arrange in the maritime Northwest. Making pa`akai ('solidified ocean) is a different matter. It would be a shame to make salt on a stove with the Hawaiian sun available, and one of my favorite memories from the island was pouring the kai into bowls carved into the lava by ancient Hawaiians, and coming back a few days later to peel off flakes of Kona crystal.

But here I am, next to Puget Sound, Spring hiding in the most somewhere. So I fire up the stove and start cooking. 

There's not so much a recipe for salt as some techniques. Like once you have the water, you should filter it, unless you want the added flavor or plankton. Then while you cook it (in a stainless steel or enamel pot, because iron rusts and aluminum gets skudgy), stir now and then, because you can actually burn it if the salt starts to cake on the bottom of the pan. Eventually, this gets impossible, and you want to scrape the salt slush onto a plate or pyrex dish, so you can spread it out and bake it in the oven. This you do at very low heat--all you're trying to do now is evaporate, not boil. I'd turn the oven on, pop in the plate, and then turn it off. Do not rinse, but repeat, until the moisture is gone.

And you have salt. A gallon of sea water (I got mine up near the Strait--the far South Sound is less saline) yields a cup or so of salt. Enough to last a while, unless you're in a rush to increase blood pressure.

No comments:

Post a Comment