this awesome mortar and pestle was a holiday gift from r. carved from a single piece of carrarra marble in italy with brilliant classic looking symmetrical knob handles, and a serious heft to keep it in place no matter what. i love it. i've seen antique ones that look exactly the same. i've wanted one for ages. only problem is, it is so beautiful i am afraid to use it.
it seems more like a classical sculpture than a hardworking kitchen tool. i use a mortar and pestle a couple of times a month: to make a garlic chile cilantro paste, in vietnamese or thai dishes, to make a spice paste for biryani, to make sesame paste for japanese dishes, or salsa for mexican and central american dishes. oh such culinary adventures we will have together. i suppose you could say the discoloration and stains and scratches will only enhance it over time, and that a storied life is probably the very best kind, far better than gathering dust on a shelf.
time to break it in then, no more sitting up on the shelf watching the days go idly by for you dear mortar.