Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to clean my new mortar and pestle?
So, you have your new kitchen tool and you really want to get creating.
First of all, give it a good rinse and scrub with a scrubbing brush (do not use a pot scrub as you will find it will start to disintegrate) and air dry only.
Next, take a handful of rice and give it a good grind using your pestle of course. You will find it will turn slightly grey or the colour of your stone. Clear it out and repeat this easy process until the rice remains white. This should only take you a few handfuls of rice. Voila! Nice and simple. Done!
Then if you like you can give it a first seasoning. Take a few cloves of garlic, mash and grind, then add little salt. Again, very easy.
How do I clean my mortar and pestle?
Simply rinse out with hot water. Do not use any soap as it leaves a residue which will eventually taint your spices and pastes. What you do want, is the slow building up of its own residue, its own seasoning. In Mexico, they are often passed down generations to maintain the wonderful seasoning that is acquired.
If however, you wish to give your mortar and pestle a further clean, give it a spring clean with some rice, like for the pre-usage clean.
How are the mortars, pestles, bowls and platters made?
Amie starts with rock selection and what inspiration and creative idea is sparked. When Amie is looking for rock she usually has something in mind. However, some new pieces are developed by what the rock looks like and could potentially be and then we play around with different designs.
Amie handcrafts each piece from locally sourced rock. Therefore each piece has a natural aesthetic, some being close to round, some being very asymmetric. Each piece is very unique, with no two being exactly the same, as with most handcrafted goods.
We use a lot of diamond gear and tools to shape our rock and get those beautifully smooth finishes. Some items are polished to a high gloss, whereas others are more natural in their appearance.
How do you source your rock?
Our mortar and pestles here at Homeground, are especially crafted for durability. We select and use only top quality rock designed by nature. We aim to craft each mortar and pestle from strong, solid rock, forged by Mother Nature in her furnace.
Currently, most of our sourced rock is Igneous, meaning it is volcanic. We use andesite, basalt, grandodiorite, thachyte and granite. Also, we craft some greywacke, and schist hard sedimentary rock types.
Igneous rocks are formed by the solidification of magma, a silicate liquid generated by partial melting of the upper mantle or the lower crust.
Volcanic rocks form when magma rises to the surface and erupts, either as lava or pyroclastic material. The rate of cooling of the magma is rapid, and crystal growth is inhibited. Volcanic rocks are characteristically fine-grained.
Can the pieces break?
Our aim is to deliver literally a rock solid product. Amie personally sources all of the rock herself and aims to select rock which is as fault free as possible. This applies particularly for your mortar and pestle as they will get a hammering over time. If however your item does have a crack, think of it as character. For other items, for example, salt and pepper bowls, a small crack should not make your bowl unstable. The predominate class of rock I am crafting is volcanic and is very hard and durable.