Saturday, May 25, 2013


I asked for a molcajete (a mexican mortar and pestle) on our wedding registry. I love Mexican food and enjoy messing around in the kitchen so why not? It was among several splurge additions to the list that included the creme brulee torch, fondue pot, and kitchenaid ice cream mixer. They're all kind of random but I know I'll enjoy them. The molcajete was loving purchased by a friend and delivered last friday. Upon opening it and reading the seasoning instructions I realized that it was LITERALLY THE WORST DECISION IN ALL OF MY KITCHEN DEBAUCHERY.

Seriously. I can't think of a worst kitchen decision I've made in my ENTIRE kitchen life....well, other than feeding my parents a "butter and chocolate chip sandwich" for their hard work in the garden. I served it to them and then watched them chuck it into the woods from the kitchen window. Such is life. I mean, this ranks up there with The Great Cookie Massacre of 2011.

Okay so I'm mostly joking. After this tedious seasoning process the molcajete will be a rockstar in the kitchen but man, getting one of these things is not for the weak of heart....or upper arm. Bonus wedding gift: helping to tone up these spaghetti arms!
It has taken me a week to season the molcajete and it's not done yet. The instructions that came with it told me grind small portions of uncooked rice in it until the ground rice is not gray, followed by grinding rock salt until the surface is smooth, followed by letting a paste of 6 garlic cloves and one teaspoon of each of the following: salt, pepper, and cumin, to sit for 24 hours. The purpose of this is to wear down the volcanic rock so you don't get any grit in any of the guacamole/salsa/sauces you make. A more authentic way of seasoning is doing the following: 3 turns of uncooked corn, 3 turns of uncooked beans, 3 turns of uncooked rice, followed by the garlic and spices. I followed the instructions that accompanied my molcajete and went through one whole bag (about one pound) of rice to season it. I started in the kitchen but let me tell you, grinding up rice is messy business and I soon moved out to the balcony. As it stands I'm sure I'll be finding pieces of rice around the apartment for the next six months.
So I've been grinding and grinding and grinding uncooked rice and salt for a week. On Sunday I messed around with grinding rice for three hours and could not move my wrist on Monday. I have finally reached the last step in seasoning my molcajete: seeping it a mixture of crushed garlic, peppercorns, salt, and cumin for 24 hours. Hopefully after this I will be able to make guacamole with no grit. If not I'm ready to chuck the hunk of volcanic rock off my balcony. However it has been a good pre-wedding work out for my upper arms.
 Cleaning out rice powder.
 Rice powder. Super exciting.
Getting ready for the garlic/cumin/salt/peppercorn paste!
 Some sites recommend cover the molcajete with plastic wrap if the garlic smell bothers you. I am here to tell you that the only thing the garlic-cumin smell will do to you is make you crave Mexican food with a passion.
Unseasoned vs. seasoned volcanic rock.
Can you see the difference? You can certainly feel it.
The only thing left to do now is name it. I name any major kitchen appliance that I used often. If you spend an inordinate amount of massaging oil into it, hand washing it like a baby, or whispering sweet nothings to a kitchen item it needs a name! Although at this point I think the molcajete has heard more cursing than sweet nothings. Thoughts? I'm thinking about Mortimer or Osito (means little bear, a reference to an old series we watched in Spanish class in high school). It will join the ranks of Reggie the Kitchenaid Mixer, Wicket the Wok, Excalibur and The General. RIP Weggie the basil plant.

1 comment:

  1. Well, after reading this I will enjoy my guacamole from the Aztec all the more!