Friday, April 12, 2013

Making Our Own Salt

Several months ago a friend gave me a sandwich baggie with white lumpy crystals in it. Natural sea salt. She had gathered in from depressions in the lava along the coast line. Mother Nature threw sea water up into these lava bowls, then using the sun, evaporated the water. After many weeks, a significant number of salt crystals formed in these little pools. One can walk up to these remote lava depressions and scoop up salt by the spoonful. When I tasted this salt I was amazed. What a great salt!

Since then I have been making my own sea salt, but taking a few precautions. I'm sure there are people who think I'm not careful enough, and others that will say I am ruining the naturalness, but I am doing what satisfies me.

I pick up seawater by the gallon along a section of fairly pristine coast where there is a lot of wave action on the rocks. I avoid coves or pooled areas. These coastal areas can be dangerous, so I take precautions. Never turn your back on the ocean! Expect a rogue wave at anytime. That being said, I have found a safe method of gathering water is a simple small bucket on a heavy duty fishing rod & reel. It works. I borrow the rod and reel in exchange for some of the salt I make.

Once home with my treasure, I filter the water through a standard water filter. Being that most people around here are on catchment water, the local hardware store carries the filters very cheap. I suppose a coffee filter would work just as well, just slower.

Once the water is filtered to remove any particulate debris, I boil it atop my wood burning stove. I use a rather heavy duty stainless steel pot with a vented lid. This pot sort of lives atop the stove, gradually evaporating off the water and forming salt crystals on the bottom. I scoop out the salt and let it dry before storing it in a jar. And as the water boils away, I add more clean seawater.

My husband and I do not use much salt. But when we do, this salt is incredibly delicious. The excess salt I make is wonderful for presents to my mainland friends. And it is a good trade item locally, too.

Making my own salt is just a fun thing. It is one of the baby steps to being self reliant. Of course it cost money to drive the truck down to the coast, but hey, I'm already there to gather coral....and clean up trash....and enjoy an afternoon by the ocean.....and take a swim. This is Hawaii!

1 comment:

  1. For years, my brother and I used to go to the windward side of Aruba [very much like Hawaii] and collect buckets of the rock salt formed in the shallow pools, very clean stuff, since it was barren rock that really big waves threw the water into. The sun there would dry the salt quite thoroughly. Our purpose was to get that salt for use in the ice cream maker! I rarely get back there now, but I still collect some and mail to myself every time I'm there. You know it's the best-tasting stuff!