daily food photo: cracked black pepper

cracked black pepper

Look closely. Doesn’t it look like beach rock, something volcanic, craggy and ancient?

We grind our pepper by hand, in the mortar and pestle. Result — imperfection.

I love that.

Since the Chef moved in, we store kosher salt and cracked black pepper in red ramekins or the small earthenware pots that once contained soft St. Marcellin cheese. There they sit, stock little soldiers of seasoning, ready to be of service. I long ago let go of the need for a pepper grinder, with a handle, which left my hands clean. Instead, I love to dab and pinch, let the fleur de sel settle down into the folds of leeks slowly simmering, or watch the black pepper rain down onto the lamb and roasted tomatoes to flavor that stew.

Everything in the world fascinates me.

8 comments on “daily food photo: cracked black pepper

  1. shuna fish lydon

    “Everything in the world fascinates me.”

    this line is so you. childlike, wide-eyed, magnificent intrigue! I feel the format of your blog changing, tilting. I like it…

    Happy almost Spring!

  2. terki

    i’m a new reader to your site, and i have to say – i love it. i love that you point out these kinds of things. i completely understand. and despite being fully capable of digesting gluten, i can’t wait for your book!

  3. cally

    the intense joys of freshly pestled pepper!

    just found your blog via Orangette, I’m gluten free too (and dairy,meat and ahem, sugar free[naughty on last]) so I’ll be having a good read through your posts. Lovely images too.

  4. Shauna


    You are right, my dear. In fact, this comment is inspiring the next post. Thank you for noticing.


    Thank you. It’s easy, with food, to focus on the fancy and ahh-inspiring. But at its most basic is all this beauty. At least for me.


    Oh, the smell.

  5. Tea

    I’m a big fan of little pots of salt to grab with my fingers–I keep two, kosher and Maldon. But I am madly in love with my pepper grinder(s). After not having one for years I suddenly have three! (one for here, one for there, one for company). I can’t imagine how I managed for so many years without the joy of pepper.

  6. Sea

    I have to admit- every pepper grinder I’ve ever owned has let me down in the end.

    The one my dad gave me that was as tall as my arm is long and just didn’t fit into my life.

    The one which worked perfectly, until I dropped it and it cracked.

    The one which only dribbled pepper and made me stand over the dish squeezing the handle over and over again, seething the whole time.

    The grinder that started out well and then just stopped grinding properly, no matter how many times I adjusted it.

    So- maybe I’ll try a mortar and pestle. At least that won’t let me down. Besides, Martha Stewart says it’s the only way to go to achieve a real uniform grind. *hahahaha* Ah, that crazy Martha. But, maybe this time she’s on to something. 🙂

    I really enjoy your ingredient photos.


    visit my gluten free blog

  7. Pritya

    Nice to have someone talk about why they are writing. Your post on your ‘interests’ is truly vibrant. Great! In the image, the pepper looks nice and fresh. Good to see pestled pepper. It goes well with many dishes and adds the much needed taste to soups as well.

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