To salt or not to salt ?

This is only a small rant. In our house I didn’t have salt and pepper shakers on the table until my boys were grown up. And only then because my best friend came to lunch and needed to salt her food and I had to tell her that I didn’t own such a thing as a shaker. Well next thing she arrived with  a’gift’ for me. Ah, my first pair of salt and pepper shakers! They went up into the cupboard to be stored there out of sight. That is until  my friend came to visit and then they miraculously appeared on the table.

As a ‘so so’ cook , I salt my vegetables as I am cooking them. I was taught this by a chef who taught chefs. The figuring was that enough salt would go into the food to enhance the taste but for the most part the majority of the salt got poured off in the water. It’s a win win for people on salt restricted  diets.

Here is where my rant comes in. I watch people in restaurants and at private functions. Very often their food is put in front of them and ,without even tasting it ,they pick up the salt shaker and shake lots and lots of salt on their food. So the question arises – are they eating food or are they eating salt?

My younger sister was a good cook but invariably she would pick up the salt shaker and let rip with the white stuff after her own cooking was on the table. It didn’t matter whose dinner table she was at either, her own, a family dinner or a restaurant she still had an obsession with the salt shaker.  I made excuses for her as she was a life long  smoker and had absolutely killed her taste buds  so the salt gave her food some semblance  of taste . Maybe all those other people I notice salting like crazy are smokers too and have no taste buds either. Poor souls! I would also be suspect of their health too!

This can be their excuse for insulting the cook because yes it is an insult to the cook to salt your food before tasting it first. Please keep that in mind next time a dish of food is put in front of you and you habitually reach for the shaker. Hesitate ,taste and then reach for the shaker only if the food needs a bit of help.

Salt and pepper at the dinner table should only be used if needed and the only way to find that out is to taste first, salt later. If anyone ever sees me salting food, then you know the food has got to be absolutely tasteless.

I have included a variety of salt and pepper shakers I have for my table when I have  company for a meal. Which ones do you think I should use? I’m leaning towards the poodle salt and pepper shakers.




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