I bought my pepper mill because it was on sale at Anthropologie and it was cute, not because I expected it to grind peppercorns as cleanly as mills five times its price. Should I have waited and saved up for a better grinder? I'm still not sure.I appreciate quality kitchen tools and agree that it is better to spend a little more on a tool that is a joy to use every day. But as the descendant of several generations of Presbyterian missionaries, I cannot ignore the extreme thriftiness in my blood. If given the choice between a pricey gadget that is guaranteed to last a lifetime and an inexpensive one that wasn't built to last, I think my family would choose the inexpensive one — and make it last a lifetime.
So my little blue pepper mill chugs along, not wowing anyone with its grinding finesse, but doing just fine. Will it break on me someday? Maybe. But until then, I'm happy to have it within reach, looking cute on my countertop.
Anjali is a former private chef who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in nutrition, with plans to become a registered dietitian. She lives in Los Angeles. You can read more of her health-focused writing at Eat Your Greens.
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