Earth Day

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It's Earth Day and I have been thinking a lot about Sal del Mar and our impact on our environment. We have been proud of the fact that our product does not cause pollution. When we started our business, it was important to find a product that not only was a gourmet sea salt that would enhance the taste of food, but also didn't cause pollution. We found such a sea salt "farm" on the Sea of Cortez and the sea salt is harvested using traditional, non-mechanical means. 

Our "packaging" for Sal del Mar's hand-embroidered bags is made of natural muslin and linen and is hand-embroidered by the women in Sabinito, Mexico. We enjoy a partnership that doesn't disrupt the traditional lifestyle of the village but, in fact, provides additional income to the women embroiders to help support their families.

 

Coffee (and salt?)

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I love this photograph. My photographer friend, Brad Torum, photographed this setting for me to feature coffee and Sal del Mar. He captured that moment all of us who drink coffee relish... a quiet moment before the day begins with the morning paper, a cup of hot coffee and yes, even a bite or two of a muffin. 

Sal del Mar is part of the setting too because It is considered a "must" by many coffee connoisseurs who know that a pinch of Sal del Mar takes away any bitterness. 

Here is Alton Brown's (of Food Network) recipe for coffee:

24 fluid ounces filtered water

1/2 cup freshly ground coffee

Pinch (Sal del Mar) gourmet sea salt

Directions:

Bring water to a boil in an electric kettle or in the microwave. Meanwhile place the ground coffee and Sal del Mar into a French press carafe. Pour the boiling water over the grounds. Place the plunger in the carafe but do not press down. Brew for 4 minutes, then slowly push the plunger down. Drink immediately or hold in a thermos for up to 3 hours.

Super Bowl Sunday

I have to admit it. I am not a football fan but I do love the food and drink part.

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At our house the cocktail will be a Paloma... a "margarita" made with grapefruit juice.

It's easy to make:

Rub half the rim of a highball glass with a grapefruit wedge. Dip the glass in SAL DE COCKTAIL.

Combine 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice with 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Stir until the sugar is dissolved and then add a jigger of tequila, ice and top with club soda.

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Our new grey linen Sal de Cocktail bags make a great gift for the bar!

Scenes from our "Office" Party

It's holiday time and a time to gather ‘round the staff of Sal del Mar and celebrate our fifth year.  We drove to the small village of Sabinito Sur, where the women who embroider our muslin bags live. It is a beautiful drive with mountains as a backdrop in a region where the desert meets the tropics.  It's only a 20 mile drive from Álamos, but takes one hour to get there by car.

Arriving at the village, we were greeted by a Christmas display in front of the children's school... a tree with colorful ornaments and a red door wrapped like a package.  It really shows how the simple things are almost always the most beautiful.

Our gathering took place at Meche's home, who has been with Sal del Mar from the beginning.  Rosario, Aide, Natalia of course were there too with their babies and young children. 

We stuffed ourselves with decorated Chrismas cookies that Phillip and I made, drank orange soda and talked about our good fortune to have made 2014 the best year yet for Sal del Mar.... and they received bonuses that reflected our good year.

Before leaving, I tried, in my awful Spanish (I promised to be better next year), to let them know what artists they are and how they should be very proud of their work. The salt is the best gourmet sea salt in the world, but it is they, the embroiderers, who make a simple bag a piece of art to treasure. 

We headed home to Álamos at dusk, but ready to return soon to work on 2015.

This Little Mermaid Has a .....

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It's Thanksgiving week, but visions of the holidays haven been on my mind lately. This means that among many other ideas, I want to show off our Sal del Mar holiday bag design because (of course) it makes a great gift for the holiday season... for a hostess gift, a stocking stuffer or for any of the "little" gift needs that come up.

I have had the holiday Santa Mermaid bags tucked safely away . . . well, since last November/December.  When I opened the cupboard where they were "fast asleep," I immediately smiled.  There they were: all their little mermaid "holiday" faces looking up at me.

They made me smile and feel that "I love this time of year" feeling.  

As I looked through them, I saw something that I have never taken time to see before....they all have different personalities!

This little holiday mermaid has an innocent look with her blue eyes and pink lips.

This little holiday mermaid is "Hot" with her dark eyes and red lips.

This little holiday mermaid is Sweet.

This little holiday mermaid is happy...look at her smile!

There is also Bashful, Flirty, and Jolly. Each mermaid has her own special charm because  all of the Santa Mermaids are created by our embroiderers who reflect their own personal style, giving each mermaid her own special magic.

The women who embroider have a working partnership with Sal del Mar and they are able to earn money from their work to benefit their families.

You can order the Santa Mermaids on our website shop. And if you order by December 21st you should have them in time for Christmas (and you never have to pay for shipping!)

And don't forget... it's a gift that's already wrapped.

 

A Toast to Sal del Mar

Toast, honey and sea salt

Toast, honey and sea salt

I feel that I’ve been "living under a rock” as my friend Muriel (owner of The Hair Company in Chatham, MA)  would say, because as obsessed as I am with using Sal del Mar on everything from Bloody Marys to making meringue with it, it NEVER  occurred to me to use it on toast.

My revelation came recently in an editorial I read in Food and Wine that their features editor waited in-line for 20 minutes at a bake shop in San Francisco “just to pay $3.50 for a slice of sesame whole-wheat toast with local butter, honey and sea salt.”  It went on to say that even though it was inconvenient and expensive and a bit mockable, he was still talking about it five months later.

Pain D'Avignon, Hyannis

Pain D'Avignon, Hyannis

Thus I began my quest to pair bread, butter, honey and Sal del Mar for myself.  It began with a trip from Chatham, where I have spent the summer, to Hyannis to a bakery my husband and I discovered awhile ago.

Can you smell the bread?

Can you smell the bread?

Pain D’Avignon had the perfect bread that fit the Food & Wine description and was highly recommended to me by Andrew who waited on me.  When I told him that I wanted a bread to make the perfect toast, he sold me on their multigrain bread. It is rustic in appearance with a deep brown crust and is sprinked with seeds. 

Andrew

Andrew

Andrew told me that he personally recommended it for toast and that he has it all the time toasted with olive oil and sea salt! (I am taking him a Sal del Mar bag on our next trip to Hyannis). I definitely have been “living under a rock.”

Yum!

Yum!

So a toast to Sal del Mar...and toast!  Try it: Bread, Butter, Honey and Sal del Mar.

Simple is Sometimes Better

Radishes with Sal del Mar sea salt

Radishes with Sal del Mar sea salt

I have been thinking for days about what to post for a 4th of July picnic recipe. I finally had an idea flash... a crudités...something I always love to serve with barbecue picnics of hot dogs, hamburgers and corn-on-the cob.

Radishes are my favorite crudités. They are best served ice-cold and on warm summer evenings (I sometimes serve them on ice).  I use a variety of radishes, if available, especially French breakfast and baby Easter Egg radishes.

The classic way to serve them is with soft unsalted butter and, of course, Sal del Mar gourmet sea salt. Eating them with butter and Sal del Mar is absolutely decadent. (Use the European style of unsalted butter).

Of course, half the dish for me is stylizing it. Clean and trim the radishes, leaving a few pretty leaves on top. Arrange on a plate with Sal del Mar. Serve the butter in a small dish or ramekins. Simple!

The Hunt

The hunt is on. It is the peak season for tomatoes and I'm off to every farmers market searching up and down the stalls laden with the last of summer's bounty. Yes there are beautiful eggplant, beets, squash, arugula and green beans... but my eyes are only on the tomatoes.

I spot my favorite heirlooms and rush over to fill my bag with their vibrant red, yellow and even green succulent varieties. I buy three in one stall and five in another unable to resist leaving any behind.  My bag is so heavy that I'm almost dragging it.

I could go on till more bags are filled but stop myself with the realization that I have enough for a family of twelve and "it's just the two of us " to cook for the next week.

At home unpacking my treasures, I can't believe that I ever worried that I might have too many.

There are tomato pies to be made; caprese salads; bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches; tomato; squash; basil pastas; and gazpacho soup.

It will be time for another hunt soon.

This is the recipe I tried first. It is from "Food to Live By" by Myra Goodman. It is easy and features the garden fresh taste of the Farmer's Market tomatoes:

SPAGHETTI WITH FRESH TOMATOES, ZUCCHINI, AND BASIL

Serves 8 as a first course or 4 as a main course

2 medium-size ripe tomatoes (about 2 cups cut into 1/2 inch dice) or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon truffle oil, or l additional tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley Pinch of dried red pepper flakes Sal del Mar 1 pound dried spaghetti (I used linguini) 2 medium-size zucchini (about 8 ounces) cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups) l large clove garlic, minced Freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the truffle oil, basil, parsley, and pepper flakes in a medium-size bowl and stir to combine. Season with Sal del Mar to taste. Let the tomato mixture sit a room temperature until the flavor develops.  About 1 hour.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water (of course, with Sal del Mar) to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package directions.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a medium size skillet over medium low heat. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season the zucchini with black pepper to taste.

4. Drain the spaghetti into a colander and transfer it to a large bowl. Add the tomato and zucchini mixtures to the spaghetti and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding more Sal del Mar and/or pepper, if needed. Serve the spaghetti warm or at room temperature.

Buen Provecho!