Monday, 19 March 2012
Salt of the sea
I have baked all our bread since I learned how to make sourdough when Darcy was a baby. Using only flour, salt, water and my hands, the chewy, crusty loaves are unsurpassed by anything I have tasted from a shop. We buy big sacks of flour from a biodynamic farm, and filter our water as we do not have access to a rainwater tank. Which leaves the salt. And while there are big salt lakes inland, their product is hard to come by here. Most of the less processed salt stocked on the supermarket shelves is shipped from overseas. Which seems crazy when we are surrounded by some of the cleanest waters on the planet.
The ocean surges over granite headlands all along this coast, leaving little shallow puddles which dry and crack in the sun. I peeled off a layer of salt and carried it home in my hat. We used it to make bread and pizza, sprinkled it in our cooking, and mixed up a quick saline solution for a tiny mollusc that came home from the beach in a small boy's pocket.
That ocean in a jar kept him entertained for days. I am not sure if it was the constant shaking, the water being too salty, or his ultimate demise being tipped onto the carpet, but the snail never made it back to the beach. Already the sea has replenished the rockpools and the salt sits drying and ready for harvest. It beats any trip to the shops that I have ever had.