The Great Salt March

Recipe for making salt
1.  Find a reference to it on the internet.  Get obsessed, the way you do.

2.  Mention it to your daughter, who gets obsessed, the way she does, and asks if it can be an outing for her 21st b-day.  Without discussing it, we're probably compelled for the same reasons:  making salt involves a trip to the beach; salt is full of taste, smell, and texture; it's used for eating.  And making it involves something transforming from a liquid to a solid, which, if I had to choose, is my favorite direction.

3.  Mention it to her little brother, R., who immediately says, "I'm in."  Undoubtedly for different reasons, because every few days he says, "wait, what is it that we're going to do again?  Oh, right, salt."  Or, "Wait, is that a normal 21st birthday thing that people do?"

4.  Go to Sports Authority to buy another cooler, because if you're going all the way to the salt water, you should get as much water as possible, right?

5.  Have that awkward conversation with the clerk where he tries to help you with your sporting needs, because they are, after all, The Authority.  On sports.  I don't need to spell it out for you, but imagine talking to a jock when your sport is evaporating water.  "You may want this," he says, pointing to a chair with all-terrain wheels and a Hawaiian floral cover.  "It may be tough to get the water from the beach to the car."  Decide not to buy another cooler after all.

6.  Invite The Amazing B. and her most excellent children over to make 22 pounds of chocolate cake.  Borrow a cooler from her.

7.  Round up the offspring, two coolers, and one bucket, and 11 pounds of cake.
    8.  Drive to the beach.  On the way, tell the kids that I'm okay with assisted suicide, if it ever looks like the quality has been completely sucked out of my life. 

    "So, Mom," says M., "how would we bring that up?"

    "You might just ask if I'm still enjoying life, and if I want to keep going.  Don't be afraid to bring it up."

    Spend the rest of the ride with R. saying, every few minutes, "So, are you enjoying this?  Did you want to keep going?"
    9.  Get very hungry on the way.  Stop to eat eggplant sandwiches.
      As we eat, M. says, "I have an amputation story."

      "Hmm, I'm not so sure I want to hear it."
      "It's really not bad, as far as amputation stories go."

      "Ok then." I say reluctantly.

      She tells about a woman who was just about to break up with her boyfriend because he was so arrogant, but before she could get around to it, he had a terrible accident and his legs were amputated.  "So now," she continues, "it's a terrible time to break up with him."

      R. interrupts.  "Wait, I might need to know this someday.  How long do you have to wait to break up with someone who's legs get amputated?"

      "Actually, it looks like it's turning out okay, because he isn't so arrogant without legs.  She doesn't need to break up with him after all."

      "I don't think I got my question answered," comments R.

      11.  Get back in the car and really drive to the beach this time.

      12.  Notice that it's raining, extremely windy, and 35 degrees.

      13.  Take a walk and snap pictures of M & R playing in yoga poses that look, when captured on film, like a stick-up in progress.

      14.  Ferry buckets of water from the water to the parking lot, slowly filling up two coolers and a collapsible water jug. Get wet up to mid-thigh in the process.

      15.  Answer questions from random passers-by, who say, "You know, you can just buy salt."

      16.  Drive back to the ferry.  Stall on the steep ramp to the car deck because you're driving so slowly to avoid sloshing water all over, which is happening anyway, leaving a briny smell to the vehicle.  Make a few cars behind you back up and endure the kind condescension of the ferry worker, who is sure you haven't dealt with a stick shift before.

      17.  Eat cake!

      Oh, and then the rest:  cook at a 170 degrees for a few days.  Pictures to follow.


      1. You know you can buy salt don't you? lol

      2. LOVE it! Sounds like a genuine family experience! Can't wait to see the results!

        a* (or c*, whichever you prefer)

      3. Quite the satyagraha, Betsy. Keep it up and you might make Mahatma while you're still enjoying life & wanna keep going.

      4. omg you make me laugh- meg

      5. You had me at "Find a reference to it on the internet. Get obsessed, the way you do."

        If anyone wanted to tell me an amputation story, I think I'd cut her off.

      6. Thanks for reading, everyone.

        I know, BabyJohn, you CAN just buy salt. I just this minute got a text that said, "Now, what about the pepper?"

        Murr, I will definitely cut off the next amputation story. I seem to be hearing a lot of them lately.

      7. How much salt do you get per gallon of water?

      8. Q. What do you call an amputee floating in a swimming pool? Oh wait -- we don't want to make salt out of pool water; better make it "floating offshore at sea" ... oh heck! there he goes, taken away by a riptide, and we never even found out his name ... help! There's - um, somebody! - floating out to sea!

      9. I'm with Murr, you had me at 1. Interestingly, I have lately become obsessed with salt, because I read about it on the internet. There's some guy who uses regional salts to flavor his amazing cooking and he's become a salt connoisseur (I had to look up how to spell that). Anyway, the idea of salt with color and flavor variations made me look down my nose at the plain white kind, and I now have a few varieties of fancy kinds, besides the kosher salt. I'm trying to teach my tongue to tell the difference.
        Anyway, good for you. It's great to do interesting things, especially if you share them with your friends and family.(says the lady who spent a day photographing pressed leaves with her daughter :)


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