Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 368

Salt, Mustard, Vinegar, Pepper


Hello Everyone

Last week Bill and Bob found out why the sea is salty.


People throughout history have taken salt from water and used it for preserving food.


Because it was so necessary to preserve food in order to keep it through the winter months; salt was thought of as a very precious substance.


People obtained it by just boiling salt water until the water evaporated leaving behind salt deposits in enormous pans that they had placed over fires.


The water would have been taken from the sea or salt-rich water springs.


Salt could also be processed from salt mines.


Salt was traded across the Mediterranean and Sahara Desert since ancient times.  lt was a very important commodity (thing to sell).


Salt is essential for a body’s health.  We are often told that too much salt is bad for us – but we do need some.  lt helps to make our cells work efficiently.


Table salt has anti-caking agents added to it like sodium aluminosilicate or magnesium carbonate.  Anti-caking means that these chemicals stop the salt sticking in clumps when it becomes a bit damp – maybe in a steamy kitchen.


This might make the salt easier to use, but lots of people prefer to use sea salt on their food because it is full of healthy minerals.  You can buy it in grinders.  


You can also buy rock salt or pink Himalayan salt.

This week we were all sitting around the dinner table at Auntie Alice’s house and Bill and Bob started playing with the bottles and jars from the cruet set that had been put in the middle of the table.


You may not know what a cruet set is because you may not have one in your house.


A cruet set contains bottles and jars holding salt, mustard, vinegar and pepper.


They asked me where all these things came from.


Well, they already knew that salt is a mineral, but what about the other things?


Well, mustard is made from the seeds of the mustard plant.


These plants are grown as crops in fields, and are grown in many countries.


The mustard seeds are cracked or ground to a powder and mixed with other ingredients to make the mustard we know as a condiment.


The seeds can be mixed with water, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, spices and other flavourings.


Mustard can be bright yellow or dark brown.


English mustard is very hot compared to French or American.  These mustards have a milder and sweeter taste.


Mustard can be used to flavour mayonnaise and vinaigrettes and many other dishes.  lt can be eaten just as it is with hot dogs and other foods too.


Vinegar is an acid produced through fermentation.  lt can be made from many things.


Apple cider vinegar is made from apples; they are fermented until all the sugars have gone.  Many fruits can produce vinegars too: like raspberries, blackcurrants and pomegranates.


Balsamic vinegar is made from grapes.


Vinegar can be made from sugar cane and grains like rice, wheat and millet as well.


Fermentation of vinegar can take from a few hours to a few months.


Sometimes, people add flavourings to vinegar, like sprigs of herbs such as tarragon.  They put the sprigs into the bottle with the vinegar.


Vinegar is so strong that it can be used for pickling things, like onions, to preserve them.  


lt can even be used as a household cleaner or weed-killer!


Pepper also comes from a plant.


Black pepper is a flowering vine grown for its fruit.  This fruit is known as a peppercorn and is dried and used as a spice and seasoning.


lf you have black peppercorns in your house, these are cooked and dried unripe seeds.


White peppercorns are ripe seeds.


Pepper, unlike mustard, is grown in tropical regions.  lt is native to south lndia; but Vietnam is now the world’s largest producer and pepper is the world’s most-traded spice.


lt is extensively used in cooking and is usually ground into a powder before use in a pepper mill.


You may have a pepper mill in your house rather than a cruet set.


So that was a tour around the world from a cruet set – which was quickly used as soon as we were all dished up with some plates of chips!



lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob:  What was the cruet set arrested for?


Bob:  l don’t know.  What was the cruet set arrested for?


Bill:  A salt with a deadly weapon!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to



Picture Gallery


Salt crystals at the edge of the sea drying in the sun


Harvesting sea salt by hand


Sea salt being processed by machine


Mustard plants









My Auntie Alice has made Emily’s doll some lovely underwear this week. 

If you have some left-over bits of lace that you can’t use for anything else, here is your opportunity to play about with them and see what designs you can come up with.







  1. Cut a length of 2cm/¾ inch wide scalloped lace long enough to go around your doll’s bust and sew two small snap fasteners or a tiny piece of Velcro onto the lace at the back to do the bra up.
  2. You can make two narrow ribbon straps if the bra keeps slipping.
  3. You can decorate the front with a ribbon bow.




  1. Cut a piece of scalloped lace 6cm/2½ inches wide to fit around your doll’s hips with an overlap for a small seam at the back.
  2. Catch-stitch at the bottom between the legs.
  3. Gather the waist into a thin length of elastic or anchor a length of narrow ribbon about 22cm/9 inches long to the back of the waist with a few stitches and tie a bow at the front.










Quick Quiz


What do these phrases mean?


  1. to rub salt into the wound
  2. the salt of the earth
  3. take something with a grain/pinch of salt




lt’s the Weekend!







1 cup salt

1 cup water

2 cups plain flour



Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the water gradually then mix everything together.

Knead the mixture for about ten minutes before you start modelling.

Add more flour if it is too wet and more water if it is too dry – but try only little additions as you go (otherwise it could swing the other way).

Leave your models to dry in the open air before you paint and then varnish them.

(A few drops of vegetable oil make the dough more workable and a few drops of lemon juice make the finished models harder.)


(But it isn’t poisonous either)


Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. to make someone’s sorrow even worse
  2. a very good person
  3. to not believe some information completely


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