Okay, now that I’ve gotten off my salt soapbox, let’s get down to it: There are so many types of salts, how do you know what to use? Well, for cooking, there are two basic “parent” categories: cooking salts and finishing salts. Some may argue that it’s more complex than that (what about pickling salt or brining salt?), but that’s how I see them and use them in my cooking. Continue reading
Salt, sadly, has had a bad rap lately. From a 2009 announcement by Penzeys Spices to a recent mediocre Angelina Jolie movie, it seems that everywhere we turn, we are discouraged in using salt.
I took particular offense to Penzeys’ rationale when I first saw it (and apparently still haven’t gotten over it), which I think echoes the rationale of some health advocates: “I feel things have gotten to a point where the specialty salts are glamorizing the use of salt and, with that, encouraging people to use more of it.”
Yes, too much salt in your diet is a health concern. According to the Mayo Clinic (my go-to Internet health resource whenever I want to self-diagnose any hypochondria), when too much salt builds up in your blood, it increases your blood pressure, which, we know, is bad for your heart. This happens to some people more than others, depending on how their kidneys work and whether they have confounding conditions, so if you are one of those who honestly can’t consume much salt, please stop reading now. It’ll only make you wistful. You have my sympathies. Continue reading
“But why would I want to make my own butter when it’s so easy to buy at the store?” you may ask. “And there are so few ingredients in butter, can it really be that much different if I make it at home?”
Although store-bought butter is perfectly fine, there’s something gratifying about making your own butter. First, you know the source of your ingredients. You know where your heavy cream is from, whether it’s Land o’ Lakes (please no!) or a local dairy farm (yes, please!), and you know how fresh it is. Then there’s the satisfaction of spreading your toast with something you made just a few hours before. Finally, there’s nothing like the pure, creamy flavor of the freshest butter you’ve ever tasted. Continue reading