A long, long time ago, my friend Jaxon gave me a Christmas present. Or maybe it was a housewarming gift, when I bought the chicken-cooped sized condominium on Hampton Beach. Or was it a birthday gift? The details have faded into the distance but the gift remains…gourmet peppercorns with a grinder.
I took it with me when I moved from Hampton to Lisbon Falls and it survived the move from my apartment on the outskirts of town to this house. When I first started sharing meals with Handy, little did I know he was such a pepper fiend. But after having a few dinners at his house, I knew my feeble pepper offerings were not going to be adequate. Handy knew it too because he brought me another kitchen appliance. A coffee bean grinder. Which, as you know, can be used to grind all kinds of things besides coffee beans.
The woman who lived most of her adult life without a microwave oven and other counter top cluttering kitchen appliances now has practically all the major contrivances. This includes a coffee bean grinder, a stand mixer, a food processor, an immersion blender, AND a microwave oven.
But I can’t throw the gourmet peppercorns with the laborious hand grinder out just yet. There are still a few peppercorns left in the jar and the grinder is glued on the top. With my “use it up” Type A ethos, I’ve got no choice but to grind every remaining peppercorn before it heads to the recycling center. Oh, how it irritates Handy when he sees me bringing out the jar and giving it a few twists.
He gives restaurant servers the same irritated shrug of the head when they pop up table side with their bowling pin-sized implement and ask if he wants some freshly ground pepper.
Today’s the day I finish it off, I’ve decided. There are less than 100 peppercorns left in the jar and I’m going to keep it with me at my desk. Every break I take from my work will be devoted to the last of the peppercorns. If I have to read a long report, I’ll have my eyes and mind glued to the screen while grinding pepper.
A rainy, inside the house kind of day is the perfect atmosphere for “grinding it out.”