There’s something satisfying about a mortar and pestle. There’s the timelessness of the act of grinding food between two stones—people have been doing that probably since we first used tools. There’s the rewarding transformation of some seed, herb, or vegetable into a powder or paste. There’s the lovely aroma of whatever it is you’re crushing. And there’s the joy of the physical work (which always makes me think of the Luddite’s Kitchen Weight Loss Programme). You just don’t get all that from a spice grinder or food processor.
We grow all of our own herbs, and some of the spices, too, so the mortar and pestle gets used regularly on herbs and spices. It’s great for crushing the dried garlic we use at this time of year, too. And with the milking season underway, I’ll soon be using it to grind rock salt to just the right consistency for salting cheeses.
A very handy tool to have around!