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Old 07-03-2007, 06:17 PM   #11
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Location: near Niagara Falls, Ontario
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We finally bought a good mortar and pestle, we had our local potter make us one with fine ridges on the bottom and up the sides a bit. It works very well. I had taken a look at a similar one to what you bought and was not pleased with the smooth surface, as my hand strength is no longer good - too much arthritis.

As has already been suggested, with a bit more pressure on the mortar you should get good results.


All things are difficult before they are easy. -Thomas Fuller (1608-61)
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Old 07-15-2007, 10:03 AM   #12
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I recently got a very small but heavy mortar and pestle for small delicate jobs like saffron. It's stainless steel with a fine wire mesh like a rounded sieve that you place flush against the mortar bottom. You can then use the pestle to grind spices through this sieve.

'Never eat more than you can lift.' - Miss Piggy
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Old 07-16-2007, 09:38 AM   #13
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I just bought me a beautiful marble one on Friday. I haven't got to use it yet but I'm so looking forward to it.
Se non supporta il calore, vattene dalla cucina!
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:31 PM   #14
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Mine is an unglazed ceramic Mason Cash. It works great. I do everything in it from various herb seeds to cracking peppercorns to mashing garlic. But I can see where one that is too smooth might be a problem.
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:48 PM   #15
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I have several M&Ps. The spices that are more ball bearing like are easily done in a smooth marble. At my wifes cousins house she asked me to break up bay leaves in the same smooth marble M&P they just skiddded around. Grooved porcelain, granite or basalt or those course mexican mortars cut more than a smooth suface and would have quickly broken the leaves. When I am making a rub I find a little olive oil in the mortar keeps the seeds from jumping out. Anyone use the goove and wheel M&P's?
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Old 07-22-2007, 12:32 AM   #16
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[quote Anyone use the goove and wheel M&P's?[/quote]

Sorry, don't know what those are...Could you explain?

I have a marble, a wooden and a lava rock mortar.
Have to say I use the molcajete the most.
Find that the marble and the wooden ones are too smooth for most jobs.

Have to admit though, I've never tried to smash a single seed on its own, it is always a mixture of them, or with some wet stuff.
Marble works if you have more seeds, different sizes and shapes.

The wooden one is beautiful, but...supposedely it is traditional thai..Must be my falt that I can't find it useful..

Oh dear, someone has to teach me
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:02 AM   #17
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I have seen the grove and wheel M&P in several stores but not bought it as I have to much stuff now. It is a wooden disc adout 1/2" thick and 4 or 5 inches in diameter with a shaft through the middle. The edge was rounded. This wheel had a wooden base about 10" long with a groove about 8" long and 1/2 " deep down the center. The wheel just fit the groove and instead of using the pestal in a stirring motion with one hand you put two hands on the wheel and rolled it back and forth in the groove like a rolling pin.

I thought it had an ergonomic advantage as one could put all the weight of their upper body onto the rolling pestal without the wrist twisting motion.

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