HARVESTING SEA SALTI was turned on to the idea of harvesting sea salt from the wonderful River Cottage Family Cookbook, which I first read about here.
This last week afforded the perfect opportunity, as we vacationed with our family at Fripp Island, off the coast of South Carolina.
The process was as simple as lugging a stock pot full of sea water back home and straining it (we used a kitchen towel and coffee filter in lieu of cheesecloth), then boiling it down for several hours. It reminded me of making butter. For the longest time, nothing seems to happen and you think it isn't going to work, and then, within just a moment or two, bam!, you have butter (or in this case, sea salt). It happens very quickly. It just looks like a pot of water for several hours until all but about an inch of water has boiled away. That is when you start to notice salt crystals forming on the surface of the water. One stock pot afforded about 7 heaping tablespoons of salt.
The men/critics of our group refused to touch our "toxic waste sea salt" but after copious amounts of googling, it seems that my sea salt is just as safe to eat as any I could buy. Even Fleur de Sel is harvested by a sea town, as is most salt, apparently.
I think harvesting sea salt will become one of my annual beach traditions.