Marble Mortar Finds True Soulmate

Mortar & Pestle


Finally, I have acquired a pestle to go with the marble mortar my dear grandmother gave me as a birthday gift last summer.

Okay, I make it sound like I’ve been searching high and low for one but it’s not quite true. It’s been on my mind all that time, I was thinking well, isn’t it a shame to have such a marble beauty and just use it as a vide-poche, a catchall for keys and loose change — but for some reason a part of me could not believe anyone would ever sell me a pestle without a mortar : who in the world would they then sell the pestle-less mortar to? (Well, whoever holds hostage the pestle that should go with my mortar, that’s who!)

So in fact I never gave the quest a real chance, until just recently when I found myself (an utter fortuity, I swear) at Dehillerin. I enquired about mortar-less pestles, preferably wooden, and the salesguy shook his head no. But his colleague, overhearing the conversation (they’re always eavesdropping on each other’s sales pitches, contradicting whatever is said or adding their two centimes, it’s fun to watch) said they did in fact have one left. He even went so far as to fetch it and hand it to me — probably they don’t see too many 25 year-old female customers.

Holding it in my hand, feeling its nice, balanced weight and waving it around a bit (causing the salesguys to look at me with alarm and take a half-step back), I had the sudden, almost magical certainty that this was a perfect fit for my lonely marble friend. This was confirmed when I got home and placed the pestle in its hollow, where it nested itself with an audible sigh.

They go everywhere together now, and look so happy it’s a joy to everyone who sees them. Ah, matchmaker to the cooking utensils, there’s a new career to consider!

  • Viv

    At long last! Bravo Clotilde! They look made for each other. Is the pestle made of beech wood? Dehillerin is fascinating, a dusty and dark “batterie de cuisine” archeological site of sorts. I’m always amazed at how the staff could find anything there–and I agree, the dynamics between the staff are quite the site to see and hear. I had a lot of fun just observing them out of the corner of my eye while browsing around–not to mention the cute way they wrap everything and the handwritten invoices and receipts. It seemed to me, just based on the store window displays that no person had dusted the shop or created an appealing and proper display since 1820. I do love its charm and find their prices to be very reasonable. Perhaps not paying for window design and housekeeping keeps it that way? Ha Ha! ;-) Enjoy your new coupling!

  • may


  • i am moved to haiku!

    i weep with great joy!
    at last the soul-mates unite.
    adventures await.

  • Awww! That’s sooo sweet!

  • Now you’re well equipped to prepare pesto according the traditional grandmother’s recipe…

  • That is a great store. Everytime I’ve been there it has been filled with middle-aged Americans, buying stuff that they used at a French cooking class. So they were probably glad to see you and search the store for your pestle. The pestle and mortar do look like a perfect match — enjoy.

  • emma

    i am pleased you are happy with your match, but i’m curious to know why you specifically wanted a *wooden* pestle to go with your *marble* mortar?
    i love your beautiful blog by the way!

  • Viv – Oh darn, the guy told me what kind of wood it was, and now I’ve gone and forgotten it. See, I’m such a city kid, incapable of telling trees apart! :)

    Emma – There was a whole debate about this in the comments after the marble mortar post! I wanted a wooden pestle simply because that’s what my grandmother had told me she used back then. And since the mortar itself is smooth, I needed a pestle with a “grainy” texture to grind things efficiently.

  • Clothilde, your mortar is more colorful than mine, but I love mine just as you do yours.

  • cris

    Hi clotilde
    check your receipt it is a potato masher .
    you sure can use is as a pestle from the picture it look like “hetre”.

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