A quick search of the internet will find you multiple sites where people describe making their own sea salt. The process isn’t that hard, just have salty water, a filter, and patience, and you’ll have a fairly unique and distinctly local gift.

The salt yield will depend on the salt water content. Our little gulf over here gave me more than I was expecting with one gallon of water providing 8 ounces or so of salt.

Will I do this again and again? Maybe. It can make quite a mess if you are distracted at the wrong time.

So, process:

1. Collect water. (Wide mouth containers work best.)

2. Filter water into a big boiling pot. (I’ve seen posts of people using coffee filters, cheese clothes, etc.) I double filtered my water with a mix of coffee filters and layers of cloth napkins.

3. Boil water…and here is where it gets tricky and consuming. (Ironic, no? Boiling water is one of the easiest culinary skills we all know next to placing pre-sliced bread in a toaster.)

As the water boils down it’ll start to become the consistency of wet sand. This is when you really need to be stirring. If you are sitting in the other room and already hear popping you are a little late to the show and what you’ll have is a very salty kitchen. (Trust me, I’ve had 2 salty kitchens. They are easy enough to clean (just requiring a cloth and fresh water, but who needs that extra work? And I’m talking about salt all over the stove, counter tops, floor, in the range hood, etc. That salt can FLY.)

4. You won’t be able to boil away all the water so there is a final drying step. Transfer to a dish in which you can spread out your damp salt to let it either evaporate (can take days to weeks dependent on the humidity of your area) or if you are short on time you can speed up the process by using either a food dehydrator or your oven. I set the oven as low as possible (170 degF) and set the timer for every 5 mins. Checking and stirring to make sure I didn’t burn/scorch the salt…because you can over dry it.

5. When it gets to desired salt consistency pull it out, let it cool, put it in a container, and enjoy it where ever you would enjoy salt. (I’ve read that poached eggs are just the thing for this sort of culinary treat. Sounds so fancy! I’ve never poached an egg. Maybe that’ll be on my “to-learn-list” for this year.)

I specifically embarked on this project to make holiday gifts for my mother and mother-in-law. Because we flew home for the holidays I had a bunch of gifts mailed to my mother-in-law’s house, thank you internet shopping. Included in that were the cute little glass jars I planned on gifting the salt in. This then required me to bag up my salt and put it in my carry on. Let’s just say I was a little nervous what a plastic zip-lock baggy of white powder would look like going through the airport security screening. Thankfully, no pat downs and no extra screening for me.