You know how some things are fresh, new and fun when you get them but, with time, the newness wears off and they find themselves relegated to some dark corner of a storage closet never to be seen again until you move or you die? I know we had a whole basement full of such items when it came time to pack up and relocate from the Midwest years ago.
Now that we live where houses have no basements, it is not so easy to just tuck things away for another day. Before long, there is no room to live in your home for all the stuff stashed away. And so, today I report the demise of the Himalayan salt block.
Some of you may recall from an earlier post that we were the recipients of a Himalayan salt block at Christmas time. We had some fun cooking on it both on the range top and on the grill. We did asparagus, eggs and a few other things but, by now, the novelty has worn off. Having to cook only what fit on the 8″ x 10″ surface…having to wait for the block to heat up slowly before cooking so as not to crack it and to get it hot enough to actually cook something…having to only cook thin items so that they would actually finish on the block…all of it added up to be more than our patience could bear. Quite frankly, the tried and true cooking tools just do a much better job and used less energy to do it.
Cooking took its toll on the beauty of the salt block as well. Straight out of the box, the salt block was a beautiful pink and white natural work of art but, after the first use, dark residues from cooking started to work their way into the natural seams in the salt. A simple rinse under running water didn’t do the trick to get rid of them. I even tried a scouring pad (soap-free, of course) to no avail. By the second or third use, the beauty of the block was gone for good.
Back when we first received the salt brick, we had gone on-line looking for tips and recipes to put it to use. I remember also seeing a site that listed the dozen or so things to do with a salt brick. Besides cooking on it, serving on it, cooling things on it, looking at it and a few others, it also listed some more unconventional options. Things like carving it into edible jewelry (hmmm), busting it up into bath salts, or using pieces as pumice.
In an effort not to tuck it away never to be pulled out again, today we sealed the salt block in a few zipped-top bags and took a sledge-hammer to it! Now we have salt crumbs to be used as garnish, or a year’s supply of bath salts, or a decade’s supply of coarse cooking salts.
I guess this is one area where the salt block outperforms the tried and true. You can’t do THIS with a cast iron skillet! ———->