|Mortar, meet pestle...|
I don’t own a peppermill. I mean, I did, but then I broke it when I dropped it not once, but twice in my tiny kitchen. It was a gift from my brother – one of the only thoughtful ones he has produced – from Williams-Sonoma, a clear, glass mill that cracked some wonderful black pepper into every sauce, soup, and pasta that I cooked. We were pretty good friends.
Once I dropped it, breaking it beyond repair, I was lost. Shattered bits of glass mixed with half cracked peppercorns and I knew that life would never be the same. How would I ever crack fresh pepper again? I tried buying pre-ground stuff. No good. I priced out peppermills at the store. They were way out of my student budget.
I looked around my kitchen, carefully eyeing my options. There it was: my mortar and pestle. I took the peppercorns and started to smash, grind, and pummel them into a fine powder fit to coat any chicken breast steak. Instead of a few quick turns of the peppermill, I now spent around ten minutes working my upper body ragged to obliterate the tiny black grains that shoot all over, falling into every crevice in my kitchen. It felt wrong, but it felt good.