I was the daughter my mom never had. My brother was seven years older, so he was always out of the house with his friends. It was my place in life to grow up next to mom. I was her helper around the house, cleaning, washing, dusting, cooking. She took me everyplace, including the “unmentionables” sections of department stores, and the resulting trauma.
She also took me to the grocery store, where we would pick out and buy our food for the week. Life was simple back then, there was only one kind of salt when it came to food. Table salt. That was it. No choices.
Today, there are shelves of different kinds of salt: sea salt, lake salt, kosher salt, iodize/non-iodized salt, Himalayan pink and black salt, Celtic salt, pickling salt, ice cream salt, Hawaiian red and black salt, grey salt, smoked salt, truffle salt. And then there’s the granddaddy of them all, the Mount Everest of salt: Fleur de sel.
Salt is one of the few things we eat that does not come from another living thing. Also, salt has to do more than just come in contact with food, it must penetrate and changes what it's put on. It’s one thing to talk and write about salt, but it’s an entirely different thing to taste what it does to food and flavor.
When it came to steamed crabs, we splurged and got special salt. We mixed kosher salt with Old Bay and liberally sprinkled it on the crabs. I don’t know how it works, the physics, or the chemistry. But the combination of crabs, salt, and those seasonings, is just magic.
I cannot imagine life without salt. I really can't imagine steamed crabs without salt. Can you? Salt makes the crabs savory, bringing out all the flavors that we’ve come to love. What would steamed crabs be without salt? How bland. How unremarkable. How dull.
Hope is like salt; it enhances the flavor of life. It lifts us up and gives new meaning, excitement, and purpose to daily life.
But like salt, hope only works when it comes in contact with life. Hope must then be allowed to penetrate life, changing us, and our perspective on life.
When was the last time you sprinkled hope, the salt of life, onto yourself? Into yourself? Onto someone else?
Does it seem like your “hope shaker” is empty?
It’s time for a refill.