Thursday, July 23, 2009

SEA SALT 'N PEAS

I had these here peas for lunch today. I grew them out in back of my house in a small garden. They were organically grown as I didn't use any chemical sprays or fertilizers.



On top of them there peas I sprinkled some fresh sea salt that I made myself from the nearby Dennis Port salt water ocean. I went down to the sea with an empty milk jug and scooped up some sea water and brought the jug home. I then put the salt water into a plastic bowl and set the bowl outside in the sun so that the salt water would evaporate and leave the salt crystals behind.

We had so much rain in the month of June here on Cape Cod that a few times I left the plastic bowl outside and the bowl filled up with rain water thus delaying the evaporation process.

I thought up the idea of making my own sea salt as there is a condominium complex called salt works village nearby in town. I did some investigating on the Internet and found that Cape Cod was one of the prominent salt producing areas of the country before the rise of the railroads and there used to be over 800 windmills on the Cape that were used primarily to pump sea water into large salt flats through hollowed out logs late in the 1800's. They also used to boil seawater in large kettles heated by firewood but that process was too labor intensive.

Salt has had a prominent role in the history of the world. According to the website salt works.us the Chinese Emperor Hsia Yu in 2200 B.C. levied the first ever tax when he taxed salt. Roman soldiers were paid in salt or "salarium" the Latin origin of the word "salary".Greek slave traders would often barter slaves for salt and hence the expression "not worth his salt".

Sea salt I find has greater flavor than common table salt. Many chefs are now using sea salt as one of their ingredients in the gourmet dishes they prepare at their restaurants. There are many varieties of sea salt available for sale such as Hawaiian sea salt, Irish sea salt, and grey sea salt among other varieties.

I had fun recently at the Soundings motel as I scooped up some salt water from the oceanfront there and met a middle aged couple from south of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who were vacationing at the hotel. I asked them if they thought that the sea level would drop because of the salt water I took from the ocean and told them that I was making my own sea salt. They told me not to worry as they doubted that the amount of water I took from the ocean would matter too much. I also told them that with all the talk of rising sea levels due to the supposed global warming that I was doing my part to make sure that the tide didn't rise too much by taking away a small part of the sea water from the ocean.

Sometimes in history "what goes around comes around" as there are plans on Cape Cod to re-introduce windmills for power generation both on the land as well as a 24 square mile project off the coast of Hyannis, Massachusetts. We do get our share of wind on Cape Cod and this form of energy production does not require any fossil fuel or generate any pollution. The wind is variable though as some days are windier than others.

So, if you are near a body of salt water you too should consider making your own sea salt. One note of caution however. PLEASE do not not put salt near a car battery or a regular flashlight type of battery. If you do you may be subject to arrest by the police for assault and battery.