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#40573 - 09/04/01 03:37 AM Re: salt cellar/shaker
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>I'm not sure about the usage of "salt cellar". I think a couple of you are confusing them with salt shakers.

Cambridge Dictionary:
A salt cellar (Am and Aus also saltshaker) is a small container for salt, usually with one hole in the top.
http://www.cup.cam.ac.uk

I suspect that it is just a matter of local usage, my family certainly used salt cellar for the thing with a hole in the top. Although, when I googled "salt cellar" and all the references that came up, even on UK sites, were to the kind of things that sit on a table and hold salt, you can either use your hands to get a "pinch" of salt for your food or use a tiny salt spoon. Even the British Museum site mentions salt shakers as different to salt cellars. From the items offered for sale I suspect that we are moving towards salt shaker gaining more universal usage.


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#40574 - 09/04/01 05:27 AM Re: clogged salt cellars
rodward Offline
addict

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 609
Loc: Portsmouth, United Kingdom
If the salt cellars had plastic caps with knobs on the inside that would just fit into the holes of the shaker, that would solve the (moisture/clogging)problem.
Don't rush to patent it, Dr Bill. Many cafés (naff caffs) in Europe use salt cellars with a hinged plastic top that do precisely this.

To me, a salt cellar is a table item, either as a shaker, grinder, or spooner. In our family we also have salt jars or salt caddies which are kitchen items with larger amounts of salt.
Rod


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#40575 - 09/04/01 08:02 AM Re: salt cellar/shaker
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Interesting-- i am sort of the middle of the road-- i use all the terms, and definately see a difference between all of them.
salt box- about the size of a small shoe box, made of wood, with a deeply slanted top.
nowdays, recycled to hold candles or something else.
salt cellar-- a small open dish, with a matching spoon, to serve salt-- my mother's were all fine china or crystal
salt shaker-- a small container, with 1 large hole(UK), or many small holes (US) for table use.
salt grinder-- Like Jo, i too, use sea salt, which comes in larger crystals, that i grind as needed. the grind mechanism is on the bottom, and resessed, so, just placing the grinder down, helps protect the salt.
Salt and pepper shakers--matching sets of shakers for both salt and pepper, some simple, utiliarian, some ornate, and collectors items.. tops usually have S and P patterned holes.


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#40576 - 09/04/01 11:08 AM Re: salt cellar/shaker
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Don't rush to patent it, Dr Bill. Many cafés (naff caffs) in Europe use salt cellars with a hinged plastic top that do precisely this.
Hey, RodW maybe you could get together with Dr. Bill and arrange to send him one!?
Also, Dr. Bill, the shakers (!) for salt substitutes, like Mrs. Dash herb mixes (salt-substitutes) have a plastic cap that can be removed for measuring out larger quantities. Perhaps one of those caps would fit your salt shaker.

of troy :
Enlightening definitions.That said, I have some crystal salt dishes with a spoon - what is defined in the list as a table salt cellar. Now I know the proper name! Cellar not dish.

It well may be - as jmh said - that the confusion, in part, is due to local usage. I hear both cellar and shaker used interchangeably here in New England.
I will try to be a good girl and use the correct terms from now on while staunchly resisting the temptation to correct my friends!





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#40577 - 09/04/01 11:35 AM Re: salt cellar/shaker
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
while we are on the subject of salt--
is the expression "above the salt" still used? I have read it, but i have never heard it, or used it
it came from when Salt cellars or Salters where elabrate, ornate and large (dishes? containers?), and one's social status was defined by how close (or how far) one was seated from the salt.

the same sort of snobbery is why many fancy dinners will have individual or semi individual S & P shakers for each guest. that way no on had to ask for the salt-- (and betray they were "too far" from it) My mother didn't have one salt celler, she had 4--each with two spoons, place between 2 place settings. -- and i bet other on the board have sets of fancy S & P, not just 2, but 4 or 8.

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#40578 - 09/04/01 11:49 AM Re: salt & sorrow
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
is the expression "above the salt" still used?

Funnily enough I heard it used recently when someone was describing a rather snobbish lady (a la Hyacinth Bucket, oops Bouquet.) The person said "She thinks herself quite above the salt."

Regarding salt superstitions : I was taught that when someone asked for the salt (shaker) to be passed to them, one should lift it and replace it where the other person could easily pick it up. (this repeated by other people if a long table, ok) the reasoning being that it brought ill luck to take salt from the hand of another person. "Take salt, take sorrow" the exact superstition words.
Anyone else hear this?
Any ideas why?


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#40579 - 09/04/01 12:04 PM Re: salt & sorrow
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear wow: I have never heard of this superstion, and it was not in a long list I found on the Internet. But I suspect that some observant hostess long ago noticed some slob offering a fastidious lady a dirty palm with salt on it, and on the spot invented the superstition to protect both parties.


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#40580 - 09/04/01 12:05 PM Re: salt & sorrow
Kupatchka Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 36
I thought that not handing salt directly to another person was a "southern" thing, since I learned it from my Louisiana born, Texas reared grandmother, and practice it, as does my family, religiously. As my grandmother used to say, " I'm not superstitious, I just believe in being careful!"


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#40581 - 09/04/01 12:21 PM Re: salt cellar/shaker
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
Hi, what do you do for a living?

I'm a salt salesman.

Hey, I'm a salt seller too. Shake!

----------------------

Something that I didn't know until relatively recently is that in the South when one is asked for salt one is expected to provide both the salt and the shaker. Us Northerners apparently feel that if you want the damned pepper you will ASK for it!

But I can't confirm the thing about putting the salt down rather than handing it directly to the person who is asking. Peggy, raised into righteous Southern womanhood, just hands the two containers to you.

TEd

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TEd

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#40582 - 09/04/01 01:03 PM Re: salt cellar/shaker
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
"I'm a salt seller too. "
I remember seeing a splendid documentary on TV a long time ago, which showed an enterprising ? Ethiopian
in the Rift Valley, with a rickety wagon pulled by a donkey, gathering salt from an outcrop in the suburbs of Hell, which he would then have to haul many miles before he could peddle it.
It is hard for us to imagine how much you can miss salt when you are long deprived of it. I remember an article in Scientific American long ago which attributed much of the inertia of the Dark Ages in Europe to the destruction of salt beds in France by their being uplifted geologically. Another article mentioned that a very large part of the pines on Cape Cod were cut for heat to evaporate sea water, when there was an unusual demand for salt in the 1820s. Remember Lear's daughter proving to him that her comparing him to salt was not faint praise. I still find it hard to grasp that salt could ever have been so expensive that only the bigshots had access to it at formal banquets. And let us rejoice that cretinism from lack of iodine need never afflict kids.
Lots more salt trivia out there.........


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