Once upon a time, Mr. Wanderlust and would roast our own coffee beans. However, this process fell by the wayside with various responsibilities that we acquired with the title and role of parenthood. In the recent years, I started to purchase whole and coarsely ground coffee beans from a few of my favourite cafes. We use our espresso machine at home on a regular basis, and the grinder attached to the machine is set to fine espresso grind. On the weekend, when using the french press, we need coarsely ground coffee. However, since we do not drink french press coffee on a daily basis, the beans I used to buy ground would lose their freshness after the first couple of weeks. And so, I contemplated purchasing a simple coffee grinder. However, given that we are working to simplify our lifestyle and choose to eliminate from our kitchen anything limited to one purpose, I was reluctant to spend the money.
About a month ago, a dear friend who, like me, is a devoted fan of Outlander (the book and the TV series) and who, in fact, introduced me to the book, gifted to me at Christmas a charming miniature Outlander mortar and pestle set. For about a week, I admired the pretty white ceramic dish, decorated with green Celtic knots, until one day, while buying whole coffee beans and thinking about how much I missed drinking french press coffee, the idea flashed swiftly before me. At home, reaching my hand into the paper bag filled with aromatic freshly roasted coffee beans, I scooped a small batch and gingerly started to grind them, one small bit at a time. It might have taken some arm strength, but the effect was excellent. I will never again need to buy ground beans.
Upon seeing my newly discovered interested in the mortar and pestle, Mr. Wanderlust reminded me that he has an heirloom metal set, designed to practical proportions for the same purpose. For now, I prefer to use my new favourite handy old-fashioned kitchen gadget with a whimsical modern flare. I continue to explore my capacity for domestic resourcefulness and have started grinding cumin seeds, coarse sea salt, and this morning ground a few peppercorns to sprinkle on top of the beef roast that is currently simmering inside the crock pot.
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