January 21, 2007

Where is your rock?

The first time a maid asked me that, I thought that piedra (rock) must be a colloquialism for something else. "Rock ... rock ... rock?" I thought to myself. "What could that stand for? She's in the kitchen, she's cooking. It must be a name for some kind of kitchen tool."

I finally had to say that I was sorry, I didn't understand, and I went to ask El Jefe. It turns out that rock means rock. So I went outside and found a nice flat rock that fit my hand comfortably. I washed it up and rinsed it well. Here's my rock!

It turns out that a rock is a handy kitchen tool. It can be used for tenderizing meat or caracol (conch), flattening chicken breasts, grinding spices, smashing garlic, giving a tap on the lid of a hard-to-open jar, and probably other things I haven't thought of yet. Because of the slight curve, it doesn't take much effort to rock it back and forth to crush things.

You could go out and buy $50 or so of kitchen gadgets to do those things. In fact, you could get this meat tenderizer, suggested retail $220, or you could get yourself a nice rock.

Tenderizer, $220, Williams-Sonoma . . . . . . . . Rock, free

I really like it. I keep it right between my KitchenAid mixer and my Cuisinart food processor.
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