Living in the middle of Texas, there is no such thing as “Homemade Sea Salt” so this may be more appropriately named “Vacation Sea Salt”. But that doesn’t really explain what we are doing and I just don’t like it… so Homemade Sea Salt it is.
As most of you have gathered, Evan and I and the kids spent 10 glorious days at his family’s home in Cape Cod a couple of weeks ago. It’s the only time of year that we get to that part of the country… that part of the ocean. I’ll talk more about this in a future post but that house and that town and everything about it reminds Evan of his mom. A food writer I follow lives up that way and mentioned how she had made sea salt from the ocean. So my research began.
Not only is that such a cool thing to do. And such a neat thing for the kids to be a part of. But if there was something we can do to bring a part of that house and that town and that feeling back to Tate Farms, I am all for it. Being able to craft something from nature with our own hands that brings a tangible piece of that home with us… is irreplaceable.
The method itself is simple, yet so sacred. Salt… is sacred. In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his followers, who are mainly fisherman and other simple people, “Ye are the salt the Earth.” “Salt of the Earth” simply means; basic, fundamental goodness, an individual considered as representative of the best or noblest elements of society. Jesus used the word salt to refer to, not just good people, but the BEST people. The Bible contains numerous references to salt. In various contexts, it is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty, durability, fidelity, usefulness, value, and purification. Jesus also talks about being salt and light. Both salt and light have properties which can drastically affect things around them. To ‘be salt’ means to deliberately seek to influence the people in one’s life by showing them the unconditional love of Christ through good deeds.
In the culinary world, salt enhances flavor. It has a greater impact on flavor than any other ingredient! Than any other ingredient!! Learn to use it well, and your food will taste good. Add it in the right amount, at the right time, in the right form, and your food will be delicious. Salt has been used as a preservative for ages. It dries food and kills bacteria. It is how we get beef jerky and pickles and it’s how people in other countries who have no refrigeration preserve their meat. Their only source of protein. Salt does that!
The human body can not function nor regulate itself without salt.
Salt… is sacred.
And you can make it. All on your own. From the water in the ocean and your two bare hands.
I had planned on making the salt all week while we were at the Cape house. But everyday seemed to be filled with activities and meals and cleaning and resting that it wasn’t until the very last day that we took the time to make it happen. On the last night, as the sun was setting… we took the kids down to the ocean. Each with an empty plastic gallon container, and had them fill it up.
We made some good memories just in those few minutes as Emily slipped off the rock right after I took this picture and soaked herself, for the last time on our trip, in fresh ocean water.
The method itself was more time consuming than I had planned so I ended up doing half the steps in Cape Cod and then finishing off the process at home.
I’ll say it again, salt is sacred. And just making it felt like magic.
Making sea salt is definitely a new tradition of ours. If you find yourself near an ocean, I hope you will try it. And I hope you will remember how sacred salt is. And how you are making it from the Earth with your own hands. And how YOU too can be salt of the Earth.
I just love this, I hope you do too.
Homemade Sea SaltDifficulty: Easy
Non-polluted saltwater from the ocean or sea
- Fill a clean one gallon container with non-polluted saltwater from the ocean or sea.
- Using a coffee filter, cheesecloth or something similar pour the water from the gallon container, through the filter and into a large pot. The filter will trap any debris that may have been gathered.
- Boil the water. I kept mine on high heat most of the time. You are basically boiling the water off until it just leaves salt. You will see the water level go down but for the majority of this process, you won’t see much else change. It took about an hour and half, maybe 2 hours, to boil down.
- Once you see a salty sludge start to form in the pot, begin to stir frequently. You don’t want the salt to scorch. The goal is to get the salt to the consistency of wet sand. Which is sort of ironic to me 😉
- From here, pour the sludgy salt into a shallow baking dish. Here’s a picture of what mine looked like at this point. See how it’s still wet? That’s fine.
- At this point, you can do one of two things… you can put this dish in a dry area near a window and let the moisture naturally evaporate (which could take days to weeks) OR you can put the dish in the oven and bake at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes or until all moisture is gone. I baked mine. I would have LOVED to do it the completely natural way but I was too excited. I think next year, I’ll try it that way. After baking, you will have sea salt.
- Wonderful, natural, crunchy sea salt.
- I broke mine up and placed it all in a jar. 2 gallons of water yields about a cup and a half of salt. Maybe a little more. This salt, or at least mine, is not like table salt. I can’t put it in a shaker. It’s not quite that consistency. But it is perfect for cooking. It’s perfect for boiling pasta and making sauces and sprinkling over meat.