A few weeks ago, I worked at Point Roberts, which is a landform (not a 5-4 decision written by the SCOTUS Chief) that is part of the Canadian mainland, but part of the US. It's the western end of Boundary Bay, and because it noses south of the 49th Parallel, is part of the Lower 48, if not the contiguous United States. It is the northwesternmost part of the US outside of Alaska, and therefore I resolved to make some salt from this place.
Because I was camping, and because making a couple of international border crossings with a bag of white powder seemed like not such a good plan, what I brought back to Olympia were a couple of growlers filled with sea water. [Growlers being jugs--half a gallon in this case--that we Cascadians keep handy to fill with beer at the brewpubs spaced and conveniuent half-mile intervals throughout our land.] Customs and Border Patrol are unconcerned with this, although in the line-up I was wondering if I'd have to explain why I was transporting seawater.
Making the salt is pretty straightforward, as I've figured out before. It looks something like this:
This time around, I learned a couple of things. One is that you can burn salt. Set it to boiling, and get sidetracked by a phone call, and you end up with this:
The grey crust at the bottom bothered me, so I scraped off the good part, added water, and filtered it before starting over, paying more attention to the boil this time. Eventually, enough water boils off to leave a bubbling white paste, which with some stirring can be relieved of most of its water.
But not all. The penultimate phase is paste. This goes onto a stone tile that I use for baking and pizza:
|My favorite salt shot yet.|
But for whatever reason, I wanted this northwesternest US salt to be totally dry. So I spread it on the stone and cut furrows through it to maximuze surface area and make the drying quicker and more thorough. Popped it in the oven on the lowest setting, and when it felt dry left it in with the door open. It didn't take much. I'm pretty sure if I'd brought it across the border looking like this, I would have been arrested:
So, that's the story of making salt from the Salish Sea west of Boundary Bay. It's good,...salty. It came with less grit and arthropods than some of the salt I've made. Maybe not a fancy gourmet salt, no color or extra flavor, just the good clean merroir of the northwestest salt I could reach.