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Mortar and Pestle; Survival Tool

March 5, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin

mortar-and-pestle

A good survival kitchen should be home to a mortar and pestle. A mortar and pestle set makes a great tool when working with spices and herbs and medicines.

They are used to crush, grind and mix substances. The pestle is the hand held tool that is shaped like a miniature baseball bat. It is used to crush or grind items that are put in the mortar. The mortar is the small bowl. A substance will be put into the mortar and ground or crushed with the pestle. Years ago many of them were made out of wood. As time went on, they were made out of ceramic, stone or metals. The one I have is made out of stainless steel.

When choosing to buy one, please remember that you do not want it to be made out of an absorptive material. You don’t want pieces of your mortar and pestle getting released into whatever you are grinding and you don’t want pieces of what you are grinding to get stuck in your pestle. Any food particles left on your mortar and pestle could very well support the growth of bacteria. Ceramic mortar and pestles can easily stain.

Why would you need to use a mortar and pestle? Well, in many recipes you may have to grind seeds such as Caraway or Coriander seeds. Another reason it’s useful in a survival kitchen is to crush or grind the dried herbs and spices you have grown yourself in your own garden. It’s also a nice aid in grinding pepper or making your own pesto.

In a survival home you may find medicinal uses as well as dietary. Also known as ‘the Apothecary Grinder’, the mortar and pestle were used in pharmacies as an aid in preparing prescriptions. They were used to crush several ingredients and then they were combined together to form one medicine. Often times a medication was ground before being taken to speed up the absorption process.

I encourage you to get a mortar and pestle and start working with it in your kitchen. I think you will start finding numerous uses for your new tool. 🙂

 

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