You Can Make Salt?

I apologize. I meant to write this back in December. Obviously, it didn’t happen, but hey, better late than never right?

As you recall I went down to the Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco right before Christmas. I had two reasons for that, the Fair (to buy crafty stuff I couldn’t make) and I needed ocean water to make sea salt for gifts.

I had read somewhere that is it was fairly easy and free to make your own sea salt. Since I am a foodie, I have like 6 different kinds of salt in my kitchen already; this project was right up my alley. I started buying gallons of water so I had clean bottles to bring my salt water back in, this worked great!

On our way back from San Francisco we took the long way home. We went over the Golden Gate, and went to Muir Beach to procure my seawater. This is where I realized I was not as organized as I thought. I didn’t think that I would literally have to wade into the ocean to get water, I forgot about a little thing called waves.

See? Trying not to get wet as I make a new animal friend. This did not work.

See? Trying not to get wet as I make a new animal friend. This did not work.

I couldn't get salt water in my boots and skinny jeans, so off with my shoes and socks!

I couldn’t get salt water in my boots and skinny jeans, so off with my shoes and socks!

The downside to skinny jeans is they are skinny and won’t roll up. Since I wasn’t smart enough to realize the ocean has waves and I should have brought shorts or a change of clothes, I had to flat out commit to get my salt water. It was cold.

When I get an idea in my head I am like a dog with a bone. Come hell or high-water, I finish what I start.

When I get an idea in my head I am like a dog with a bone. Come hell or high-water, I finish what I start.

Did I mention it was cold? And I pretty much was in the ocean from my waste down? COLD.

Did I mention it was cold? And I pretty much was in the ocean from my waste down? COLD.

We met kayakers that were crabbing (I totally want to do that!) and I met more animal friends.

We met kayakers that were crabbing (I totally want to do that!) and I met more animal friends.

After I got the salt water, it was still a four hour drive home. Plus I always have to stop at Whole Foods to look at meat and buy Lucero olive oil (even in wet pants). Let me tell you what, those 4 hours in wet jeans were not fun, but I learned my lesson and next time will bring a change of clothes.

I ended up with 6 gallons of seawater. I was very proud of those 6 gallons.

I ended up with 6 gallons of seawater. I was very proud of those 6 gallons.

I recommend straining your seawater through several layers of fine weave cheese cloth. Get all the sand and floaty things out.

I recommend straining your seawater through several layers of fine weave cheese cloth. Get all the sand and floaty things out.

I went to the second hand store and bought a big pan I wouldn’t feel bad about ruining. Since I had a woodstove, my plan was to place the seawater pan on my woodstove until it was all evaporated. It worked really well. But the 6 gallons of seawater took a lot longer to evaporate than I planned. My salt was not ready in time for Christmas.

My woodstove evaporation method.

My woodstove evaporation method.

The woodstove evaporation method was messy. I had to re-blacken my stove after doing it.

The woodstove evaporation method was messy. I had to re-blacken my stove after doing it.

It took almost a week to evaporate all 6 gallons. The really upsetting part was, it looked like this project was a complete fail until I started on the 4th gallon. I didn’t see any salt crystals forming. It just looks like murky gross water. I was sure that I had screwed up simple salt making and felt like a prize idiot!

Finally I noticed salt crystals forming. As I saw them I gently used a slotted spoon to remove them from the seawater and place in paper towel lined bowl to dry further. I kept doing this until just a small amount of water and salt were left. I was told not to use the very last salt and water because that is where all the impurities would be and since I love my friends, I didn’t want them getting anything but perfection.

SO much salt. It made more than I imagined.

SO much salt. It made more than I imagined.

The 6 gallons of seawater made several cups of salt. This bowl is what I had leftover after giving out late Christmas gifts.

The 6 gallons of seawater made several cups of salt. This bowl is what I had leftover after giving out late Christmas gifts.

This was a fun and cheap project! The salt, which I call Muir Salt, is quite tasty. I have enough Muir Salt leftover to make truffle salt for late Christmas gifts (what I’m only 3 months late!).

20 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, arts & crafts, Field Trip, food, Humor, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized

20 Responses to You Can Make Salt?

  1. Anjanette

    Your boots and socks stayed dry 🙂 Your friends REALLY appreciate your gift even more now after all the love you put behind making it!!

  2. Ann

    Wow! Dedication!! The salt is very pretty with all of the flakes.

  3. What a cool idea and great as a gift! I wish I lived close to the ocean, I would love to try this.

  4. This is so great. I love the way you threw yourself into it, literally.
    .

  5. Looks like you got quite a lot of salt!

  6. This is so cool. I had no idea that you could do this. The truffle salt that you gave me is my favorite for steaks!

  7. Pingback: Giveaway: Muir Salt | The Beef Jar

  8. Pingback: Giveaway: Muir Salt | The Beef Jar

  9. Tanya Parish

    I thoroughly loved this blog post! I can see myself doing the same thing – especially the part about wearing my pants in the ocean but not coming out with such a great end result, Good stuff!

  10. Amy Lou

    I never imagined you could make salt. How nifty! I love it.

  11. I love that you did this…. and I so remember a couple of photos way back when!

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