some burning questions about cracked pepper

cracked pepper smile

Last night I made a simple salad with arugula (a.k.a. rockets) which, as many of you know, is leafy green with a rather “peppery” flavor. I put some cracked pepper in the dressing along with some lemon, olive oil, and fresh garlic. I added pepper to the salad. Then I ground some more pepper into the bowl after I chopped it. I ask you: is there anything more delicious?

arugula salad

(Actually, it might have been even one pinch better if accompanied by the peppery notes of a nice red zinfandel, but unfortunately I didn’t have any of that on hand or…in hand.)

I put a significant amount of pepper on just about everything: pizza, tucked into a grilled cheese, eggs — oh, definitely eggs. I do stop myself at Indian and Chinese cuisines, but just barely. I wonder: is it normal to get jittery if I’m in a restaurant where there isn’t a pepper grinder? I’ve considered carrying one of my own. Perhaps I could invent some kind of holster or purse-sized mill for ~Pepper Lovers on the Go~. Maybe it could double-time as a pencil, since I always seem to need one of those, too. James Bond could borrow it (endorse it?) if he ever needed to jot some blog notes and spice up his calamari with one quick sleight of hand.

I also wonder: how much of the allure is the flavor, and how much of this is about appearance? This butternut squash and sage ravioli was delicious with a bit of butter (btw, not home-made) but don’t those little speckles just seduce you? (Note to self: take a “before” shot first so you can demonstrate the contrast.)

black pepper on ravioli

And, finally, is it wrong for me to have introduced pepper to my toddler? This is the newest method of getting vegetables moving from bowl to spoon to mouth. A quick google search suggests that there aren’t any adverse affects. Except, one day, he kept asking for “more! more peppers!” and, in some kind of delirious flurry of pride and wayward desire to share my predilections, I kept turning turning turning the grinder as if it was filled with magic.

When his next bite resulted in coughing, red eyes and a look of confused pain, I apologized and said, “well, yes, there is such a thing as too much.”

Of course, I haven’t taken my own advice on that yet.

Did someone say peppers (sic)?

IMG_5257

Oh okay. I’ll eat some of those carrots.

IMG_5262

Yum.

IMG_5265

And this right here makes me a very happy mom.

Hey, if loving pepper is a crime, then lock me up and throw away the key. But just let me have this, okay?

pepper mill

How about you – are you a pepper enthusiast? Or are you of the opinion that I have officially…cracked? Please leave a comment below.

10 replies

  1. Hey, if he eats it, why not? I think tomato sauce (marinara, salsa, a can of tomatoes) is kind of like your pepper thing. I have to have it with everything– rice, pasta, bread, broccoli, you name it. And I love spicy food but I immediately get the hiccups. 😦 Great post. πŸ™‚

    • well, I guess hiccups are a small price to pay for something you love. But that is WEIRD. Kidding. I know someone who sneezes if she eats too much (which sounds like a good diet plan)…

    • Thanks, though if he becomes too much of a little foodie, I’ll really have to bring up my game in the kitchen πŸ™‚ btw, you’ll appreciate this tale of woe: my camera has been on the fritz for several months, or I thought it was – bubble juice was spilled on it and I presumed it dead – alas it was only the battery that was dead. I have been taking pics for the blog on my phone for the last few months and I was feeling very uninspired…let’s just say that awesome salad would have been poorly “served up” here by my camera phone… πŸ™‚

  2. I do love me some fresh pepper, but as I’m pregnant I’ve been instructed to salt everything LIKE MAD. I haven’t really introduced my toddler to pepper, but he’s usual down with anything ‘extra’ that get put onto food so I bet he’d like it.
    I will say though, if you can’t have the freshly ground stuff, there’s just no point in my opinion.

    • I am not sure I recommend offering pepper to a toddler – today he was requesting it for his applesauce – I told him that was an unusual choice, then I wondered if it was genius. And yes, the other stuff is kind of like confetti – tasteless! Thanks for visiting! πŸ™‚

  3. He has developed quite a palette…cracked pepper, hummus, Indian food, spicy foods etc…I never would have believed a toddler would literally ask for these things and then finish off plates of food that seemed abandoned seconds before they were added.

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