I’d like to preface this by telling you that I am one of those people who HATES paying high prices for things that I can get for less money. Especially cooking supplies. I order most of my kitchen items from restaurant supply stores because a) they’re durable and b) they’re cheap! Christmas is one of the hardest times for me because people know that I love to cook, so they buy me things related to my hobbies. The problem with that is, if it’s a kitchen item, I already have a nicer version of what you were going to buy me, or I have very little use for it. Which is why gift cards come in handy. But then the gift cards are to places like Williams Sonoma, which sells some very nice stuff, but at very high prices. I received a $50 Williams Sonoma gift card for christmas this year (I can totally talk about this because the person who gave it to me doesn’t read my blog). It was a WONDERFUL, and thoughtful gift, but totally wrong due to my obsession about getting the best price. I spent 4 days finding the best deal on aluminum half size sheet pans. ($5 each, shipped).
Already knowing about what I was going to find, I went to http://www.williams-sonoma.com/ to see what the hell I’d be able to find that I had any interest in owning and wouldn’t bring tears to my eyes to buy, even with someone else’s money. I couldn’t find anything. After Craig got frustrated at my hour of guffaws, he told me just to go into the store and look around. And I did. I spent 30 minutes wandering through the store trying to find something that I justify spending that kind of money on. I eventually found a pepper grinder. Yes, a pepper grinder for $46. Inorite!?!?!?!? I would have normally passed this up, but just days before had read a post on smitten kitchen about nice kitchen things that everyone should have (nice chef’s knife, great cookware, big cutting board, and…. a nice pepper grinder). Anywhoodle, after spending about 10 minutes fondling them, I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy the damn thing, thinking about how angry I’d feel every time I used it because of how much it cost.
Well I got it home, tried it for a few days, and totally fell head over heels for it. It has 6 separate grind size settings, is built by Peugeot (the French car company), is made of walnut, and has a 20 year warranty. I mean- it better for $50, but it was worth every penny that I didn’t have to spend. I’d like to show you all about the separate grind settings.
This is I. Use it for things that you don’t want a notable pepper presence in, but you want the flavor. I used this for a risotto.
This is II. Use this for something like topping a soup or stew.
This is III. Use this for peppering eggs. It’s a good all purpose grind.
This is IIII. Use this for pasta topped with some parmesan and pasta water, or a caesar salad.
This is IIIII. Use this for seasoning steaks before you sear them.
This is IIIIII. Use it for whatever you’d normally use pan crushed peppercorns for. It makes huge chunks and way less mess than using a heavy skillet. I used it for my bacon dry cure.
Here are all of the grinds compared to one another on a sheet of parchment(clockwise from bottom left, small to large). This alone was reason enough to buy the pepper grinder. I honestly never thought I’d make use of all 6 settings, but I do. Like, every few days. It’s one of those things you never knew you were missing until after you had it.