The perfect pestle and mortar

Pestle and Mortar Having been torn from my well-stocked kitchen back in Ireland, there are many items that I miss and recently I’ve been searching for a second hand pestle and mortar. Well, I do need some excuses for constantly going into the fantastic second hand shops – known as ‘opp’ or ‘opportunity shops’ – here! I’ve been able to get all my cake tins, roasting tins and many utensils replaced at a fraction of the cost of buying everything new. And they’ve much more character too – very important in a kitchen!

Today, though, the Boyfriend got thoroughly fed up with me going on and on about my latest holy grail, ie the pestle and mortar, so he upped and bought me one at the swanky department store in town. Not that I’m complaining, as this fine white porcelain piece is an upgrade on my beloved old marble pestle and mortar. But the purchase is not the end in itself – there’ll have to be a shift in my thoughts about cooking as I’m now able to grind my own fresh spices, pound herbs into fragrant pastes and maybe that’s a pesto-making evening I feel coming upon me?



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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2 Responses

  1. Fran says:

    Hi Caroline, seeing as you are a pestle and mortar fan, I wonder if you might be able to help out? Recently I bought some flax seed and I tried to pound it in the pestle and mortar but nothing happened! They just ran around in circles following the pestle. Can you suggest how I might get them to a paste? Fran

  2. Caroline says:

    Fran: If salt is included in your recipe, I suggest you use that in the pestle and mortar with the flax seeds. I always find that salt, especially if you’ve got large flakes of sea salt although any type helps, puts a halt to the spices/seeds trying to escape. Hope this helps!

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