I didn't give much thought to my tiny, ancient salt and pepper set until I received a new pepper mill as a gift. It was at a work holiday party and each of us had to complete a questionnaire about our favorite things. We then each received someone's favorite item as a gift. At the time, I wasn't a big fan of the dullard who chose pepper grinder. But today, it's a pretty important staple in my kitchen.
Really, this pepper mill is a memory of the party and coworkers of years past. I also ended up with a red spatula and a DVD of The Royal Tenenbaums, neither of which I can remember seeing in my apartment for a long time. The grinder has stayed front and center in my cupboard, if not on the counter, where I kept it when my kitchen cabinets were too short to accommodate a tall grinder.
This 10-inch Trudeau pepper mill rescued me from non-uniform chunks of pepper. It is a precise thing; grinding is next to effortless and it's as easy to refill as it is to change the grind setting. Amazon.com tells me it's made with carbon steel which makes it more durable and less susceptible to rust than those made with stainless steel. Who knew?
• Find it: Trudeau Seville Pepper Mill, $21.22 at Amazon
(Images: Stephanie Barlow)