Draco took a deep breath, fixing his tie nervously. He had finally built up the nerve to ask you to the ball and he refused to back down.

Draco slowly approached you from behind. You were currently in the library with your nose deep in a book. Draco cleared his throat catching your attention.

You turned to look a him a grin spreading across your face. “Everything okay Malfoy?”.

“Yes of course” Draco said fighting to keep the serious expression on his face. He didn’t continue to speak however. He had almost forgotten what he was supposed to say.


“Well I came to see if you’d like to go to the ball… With me” he added quickly.
His voice was shaking a bit by the end of the sentence and he wanted to punch himself for sounding so ridiculous.

You didn’t respond for a few seconds but you then nodded. “Sure”.

“Oh… Ah wellhead great I’ll see you then I suppose”. He wasn’t sure why he was so surprised.

“Yeah can’t wait” you replied with a smile.


Holiday feasts are always in need of something special.

Can a sprinkle of artisanal salt noticeably pump up the experience?

Let’s meet a new Appalachian salt-maker in West Virginia and find out.

J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works is nestled in the Kanawha River Valley, just southeast of the capital city of Charleston in the small town of Malden (not to be confused with Maldon, a sea salt brand from the U.K.). It’s mostly pasture land, with cows nearby.

Amid the livestock, there’s a new, small — you could call it micro — salt works.

“This is our well, in the field over here. It goes down 350 feet,” Nancy Bruns, CEO of J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, says.

The wellhead is simple, white and about 2 feet high. It took a couple of weeks to drill, and then came the salty water.

Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

Photos: Noah Adams for NPR