Jul 5, 2009

The Replacement

Eight years ago, I fell in love with a pepper mill on the first twist of the handle. I remember the crisp, winter afternoon when the waiter approached our table and asked if I would like an extra dash of pepper on my pasta. I had no idea what he meant, but said yes anyway. The fresh whiff of cracked pepper aroused my culinary senses and the very next day I went out and bought my first pepper mill. It was a transparent plastic bottle, with the grinder in the bottom and a salt shaker attached on top. I would grind the pepper on eggs, popcorn, in curries and vegetables. Just about everything I could imagine that would go well with pepper got a dash of pepper. I could adjust it to produce fine to coarse powder and everything in between. Till the mill ran out of pepper and I had to refill it.
I am not the most dexterous person in my house and to fill the mill with tiny peppercorns was, to put it politely, a pain in the corn. However, I couldn’t part with my beloved pepper mill. After all, I only had to refill it once a month. I could deal with it.
The cycle went on till last week, when a twist of the mill produced not only pepper powder but chunks of plastic. My pepper mill was dead and I knew it. I quietly gathered up the plastic pieces, emptied the peppercorns, wrapped the mill in paper and dropped it in the trash can. I stood over the can in silence for two minutes and came back inside. I couldn’t bring myself to go to a store for a week to look for a replacement. Tushar and I started using our mortar and pestle to grind pepper. But it wasn’t the same.
Finally, I took a deep breath, resolved to go out and shop for a new pepper mill. At the local discount store, I browsed a couple of pepper mills and ended up buying a pair of shoes and a toy train for my three year old. I popped into the local BB&B next door to return a pair of curtains and there on the third aisle sat the pepper mill of my dreams.
Unlike its predecessor, it had a screw top to fill the peppercorns; the grinder was on the top instead of the bottom, so there were no leftover pepper crumbs on the counter. It didn’t have a salt shaker, which was just fine with me. I didn’t use the one on the earlier one either. This was perfect.
I checked it out and now I am grinding the peppers again. Not to talk ill of the departed but I don’t miss it. May it RIP.

I believe in silver linings, light at the end of tunnel... You get my drift. A couple of days ago, when I was mourning the loss of my beloved pepper mill, Jyoti sent me this lovely award, my first ever. Thank you Jyoti, I will remember this forever.

Pepper Grinder on Foodista


  1. Nice ode to the pepper grinder , sure no one has done that before ;)

  2. I know the feeling, specially if it's a pepper mill. Nothing beats that twist followed by aroma of fresh pepper.

  3. Congratulations on your award, oh i totally know how you are feeling, i have experienced the same :)

  4. Thanks Dips and Parita.

    I totally agree with you Simran.

  5. Lovely post Jaya. I remember my first peppermill too. You have a lovely blog and I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks!


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