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breakng-t-pot-msg - 2/9/12

 

Period recipes where you are supposed to break the pot to remove the food.

 

NOTE: See also the files: pottery-msg, pottery-whels-msg, chicken-msg, chck-n-pastry-msg, pies-msg, dough-contain-msg, merch-pottery-msg, potry-utn-care-msg, pottery-cookng-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 06:55:01 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

And of course the actual recipe is very easy to find by either Googling or

just going to His Grace's website and searching

An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century as Translated by  

Charles Perry

 

http://daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Andalusian/andalusian2.htm#Heading116

 

A Stuffed, Buried Jewish Dish[42]

Pound some meat cut round, and be careful that there be no bones in  

it. Put it in a pot and throw in all the spices except cumin, four  

spoonfuls of oil, two spoonfuls of penetrating rosewater, a little  

onion juice, a little water and salt, and veil it with a thick cloth.  

Put it on a moderate fire and cook it with care. Pound meat as for  

meatballs, season it and make little meatballs and throw them [p. 21,  

recto] in the pot until they are done. When everything is done, beat  

five eggs with salt, pepper, and cinnamon; make a thin layer [a flat  

omelette or egg crepe; literally "a tajine"] of this in a frying pan,  

and beat five more eggs with what will make another thin layer. Then  

take a new pot and put in a spoonful of oil and boil it a little, put  

in the bottom one of the two layers, pour the meat onto it, and cover  

with the other layer. Then beat three eggs with a little white flour,  

pepper, cinnamon, and some rosewater with the rest of the pounded  

meat, and put this over the top of the pot. Then cover it with a  

potsherd of fire[43] until it is browned, and be careful that it not  

burn. Then break the pot and put the whole mass on a dish, and cover  

it with "eyes" of mint, pistachios and pine-nuts, and add spices. You  

might put on this dish all that has been indicated, and leave out the  

rosewater and replace it with a spoonful of juice of cilantro pounded  

with onion, and half a spoonful of murri naq?'; put in it all that was  

put in the first, God, the Most High, willing.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:31:48 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

On Oct 30, 2009, at 11:01 AM, Susan Lin wrote:

I was fine with the recipe until I got to the "break the pot" part.   

Do they really mean break the pot or just take the lid off?

 

Shoshanna

 

... Then break the pot and put the whole mass on a dish, and cover  

it with "eyes" of mint, pistachios and pine-nuts, and add spices. ...

=============

 

There are a number of candy recipes where a mixture

candies in a pot and to get the finished dish out, one breaks

the actual pot.

 

Pots were cheap enough to allow for this is the best guess.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:52:46 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcarrollmann at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM, Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com> wrote:

<<< I was fine with the recipe until I got to the "break the pot" part. ?Do they

really mean break the pot or just take the lid off? >>>

 

According to Charles Perry's footnote, this is a version of adafina

(called cholent among Ashkenazi Jews), which is left to cooked slowly

overnight so that a hot meal can be served on the Sabbath.

 

There are two other chicken recipes in that section of the cookbook

that call for sealing the lid in place with dough.  (A chicken recipe

in de Nola also uses a dough seal.)  After many hours of baking, the

dough seal would turn into something hard that had to be broken open.

And if the pot was made of clay, it might be easiest to break that.

As Johnnae observed, clay is cheap.

 

Since this recipe doesn't specify sealing the lid with dough, this is

speculative, but it fits with what we know about cooking methods of

the time.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:14:33 -0500

From: Judith Epstein <judith at ipstenu.org>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM, Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com> wrote:

<<< I was fine with the recipe until I got to the "break the pot" part.   

Do they really mean break the pot or just take the lid off? >>>

 

It sounds like either dafina or a forerunner of pot pie. I would guess  

that one should break the dough seal, rather than the pot itself,  

given how wasteful it would be to break the pot. You could break it  

wrong and wind up spilling your dafina all over the counter, instead  

of merely making a nice neat crack that leaves the food intact and  

edible.

 

Judith / no SCA name yet

Master Albrecht Waldfurster's Egg

Middle Kingdom, Midlands, Ayreton, Tree-Girt-Sea (Chicago, IL)

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 11:55:06 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM, Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com> wrote:

<<< I was fine with the recipe until I got to the "break the pot" part.

Do they really mean break the pot or just take the lid off? >>>

 

Judith replied:

<<< It sounds like either dafina or a forerunner of pot pie. I would guess that one should break the dough seal, rather than the pot itself,

given how wasteful it would be to break the pot. You could break it

wrong and wind up spilling your dafina all over the counter, instead

of merely making a nice neat crack that leaves the food intact and

edible. >>>

 

Johnnae mentioned:

<<< Pots were cheap enough to allow for this is the best guess. >>>

 

Brighid ni Chiarain responded:

<<< According to Charles Perry's footnote, this is a version of adafina

(called cholent among Ashkenazi Jews), which is left to cooked slowly

overnight so that a hot meal can be served on the Sabbath.

 

There are two other chicken recipes in that section of the cookbook

that call for sealing the lid in place with dough.  (A chicken recipe

in de Nola also uses a dough seal.)  After many hours of baking, the

dough seal would turn into something hard that had to be broken open.

And if the pot was made of clay, it might be easiest to break that.

As Johnnae observed, clay is cheap.

 

Since this recipe doesn't specify sealing the lid with dough, this is

speculative, but it fits with what we know about cooking methods of

the time. >>>

 

Most common cookware was relatively low fire red clay, it was cheap

and as close to "disposable" as they had in Europe and much of the

Near and Middle East.

 

Many recipes in the Arabic-language corpus call for cooking in a new pot.

 

So breaking the pot wouldn't have been a big deal. There are a number

of other recipes in the Arabic-language corpus that also instruct to

break the pot of a cooked dish in order to serve.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 15:08:20 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

Could you adapt it to a slowcooker and use one of the liners?

(Reynolds? Slow Cooker Liners)

How about layering in an oven bag and lifting everything out while

in the bag?

 

Johnnae

 

On Oct 30, 2009, at 2:58 PM, Susan Lin wrote:

<<< okay after reading all of this the question now is - what is the substitute

because I'm not breaking a pot - even if I had a cheap earthenware one.  And

since it's likely I would use a piece of cast iron - it's not an option.

 

Shoshanna >>>

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:21:32 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

Shoshanna wrote:

<<< okay after reading all of this the question now is - what is the substitute

because I'm not breaking a pot - even if I had a cheap earthenware one.  And

since it's likely I would use a piece of cast iron - it's not an option. >>>

 

I'd say, cook it in any pot of appropriate material for the cooking

method which has a mouth the same width or wider than the base. When

finished cooking and cooled enough to handle, carefully turn upside

down into a dish that is a little wider than the mouth of the pot and

capacious enough to hold the food.

 

Well, ok, one trick is to have the serving dish be relatively heat

resistant (i.e., no plastic :-), place it bottom up with its mouth

over the mouth of the pot, then, holding them in place together,

invert both dish and pot so that the pot empties into the dish.

 

Won't necessarily have the same result as breaking a cheap low-fire

ceramic pot, but beats destroying modern cookware or expensive

re-creation cookware.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 15:22:49 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcarrollmann at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 2:58 PM, Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com> wrote:

<<< because I'm not breaking a pot - even if I had a cheap earthenware one.

?And since it's likely I would use a piece of cast iron - it's not an option. >>>

 

If you're using cast iron, why not use dough to seal it?  You might

need a knife to open it, but it wouldn't harm the pot.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:24:59 -0700 (PDT)

From: Euriol of Lothian <euriol at yahoo.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

I would also say it beats having fragments of said cheap low-fire clay pot winding up in your food too.

 

Euriol of Lothian, OP

Clerk, Order of the Pelican, Kingdom of ?thelmearc

Chronicler, Barony of Endless Hills

 

----- Original Message ----

Shoshanna wrote:

<<< okay after reading all of this the question now is - what is the substitute

because I'm not breaking a pot - even if I had a cheap earthenware one.  And

since it's likely I would use a piece of cast iron - it's not an option. >>>

 

I'd say, cook it in any pot of appropriate material for the cooking method which has a mouth the same width or wider than the base. When finished cooking and cooled enough to handle, carefully turn upside down into a dish that is a little wider than the mouth of the pot and capacious enough to hold the food.

 

Well, ok, one trick is to have the serving dish be relatively heat resistant (i.e., no plastic :-), place it bottom up with its mouth over the mouth of the pot, then, holding them in place together, invert both dish and pot so that the pot empties into the dish.

 

Won't necessarily have the same result as breaking a cheap low-fire ceramic pot, but beats destroying modern cookware or expensive re-creation cookware.

-- Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 16:40:54 -0300

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Break the Pot

 

Susan Lin wrote:

<<< I was fine with the recipe until I got to the "break the pot" part.  Do they really mean break the pot or just take the lid off? >>>

 

They really do mean to break the pot for hygienic reasons. Soapstone

pots, especially, were used only once because they absorb organic

residue. Nowadays we overlook this instruction as pots are made of other

materials which do not absorb food being cooked in them.

 

Suey

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 15:41:44 -0400

From: Craig Daniel <teucer at pobox.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

How about buying a terra cotta flower pot? Those are awfully cheap,

the saucers they come with can be used as lids and sealed on with

dough, and they should be foodsafe (I've heard of them being used as

cloches for baking before without trouble, anyhow).

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 15:49:20 -0400

From: Karstyl <karstyl at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Break the Pot

 

<<< They really do mean to break the pot for hygienic reasons. Soapstone

pots, especially, were used only once because they absorb organic

residue. Nowadays we overlook this instruction as pots are made of other

materials which do not absorb food being cooked in them.

Suey >>>

 

Porous pots are not necessarily non-hygienic. Especially if you heat

them when you cook. There was also a lack of understanding of germ

theory in period, so this would not be a period reason to not re-use a

pot. The reason given for using new pots in certain recipes is that an

old pot would absorb flavors. In something like a tagine this is

considered a good thing, the flavors transfer from one dish to the next

and build on each other. In some dishes you would not want the flavor of

old food, so the instructions would include to use a new pot. Also, if

they used a new pot for everything, it would probably not be written

down in a few recipes, it would either be in every recipe or, more

likely, just assumed for each.

 

-Hrefna

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 17:47:24 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Break the pot

 

On Oct 30, 2009, at 4:52 PM, Suey wrote:

<<< I do not recall any English recipes calling for breaking those pots.  

Do you? >>>

 

This is from Delights for ladies 1609

 

33 - To candie Nutmegs or Ginger with an hard rock candy. Take one  

pound of fine sugar, and eight spoonfuls of Rose-water, and the weight  

of six pence of Gum Arabique, that is cleere: boyle them together to  

such an height, as that, dropping some thereof out of a spoon, the  

sirup doe rope and runne into the smallnesse of an haire: then put it  

into an earthen pipkin; wherein place your Nutmegs, Ginger, or such  

like: then stop it close with a sawcer, and lute it well with clay,  

that not aire may enter: then keepe it in a hot place three weeks, and  

it will candy hard. you must breake your pot with a hammer, for  

otherwise you cannot get out your candy. You may also candy Orenges or  

Lemmons in like sort, if you please.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 17:49:28 -0400

From: Karstyl <karstyl at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Break the pot

 

Hrefna wrote:

> Porous pots are not necessarily non-hygienic. . . .

 

Suey wrote:

<<< I have never seen a PS saying do not throw out a tagine cause one wants

the flavors to transfer from on one dish to the next. I have only seen

'break the pot'.

 

A curious point is that we have to break the pot in Spain where pots

were clay or of other materials. During the Middle Ages, Spain was

exporting clay pots to England. I do not recall any English recipes

calling for breaking those pots. Do you?

 

Also I cannot find my reference but I clearly remember someone between

the 13th C Al-Andalus MS and Nola saying that the cooks did not trust

the dishwashers. They took the pots outside and lay them on the ground

bottom side up so the pots acquired the bad elements from the earth!

When you publish that ditty make sure you quote me hey ;-) !

Suey >>>

 

The note about tagine's is one from modern sources, but I used it as a

point of what is carried over in an unglazed clay pot. I have, and use,

a few unglazed clay pots. I never fear poisoning my guests.

 

It would make more sense for an area that made more pots to treat them

as more disposable. I do know that there were pots being made in Britain

throughout the middle ages, that is where I have studied pottery forms

the most. They had both production centers and at home/small town

potters. I would think that the fuel to fire the pots would be way more

expensive then the clay and the labor to make them, so maybe Spain had

more fuel, or cheaper fuel. Imported pots were always more expensive,

they are heavy, bulky, and break easily. There were imported pots, but

many of the home cooking hearth pots were not imported. (I would add

sources, but I am on my way out to a Halloween party, and am still

sewing my costume.)

 

Most of the 'break the pot' recipes I remember have to do with the

contents solidifying and the neck being smaller then the body, so if you

did not want to break up your food, you would have to break the pot.

 

The bit about cooks not trusting the pot washers with the clay pots

shows that they did wash them, if they were never washed then you would

not complain about the washers!

 

-Hrefna

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 19:40:25 -0400

From: Elise Fleming <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

To: sca-cooks <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Break the Pot

 

There is also the English recipe (1400s?) about making a meat dish in

the shape of a jar - appraylere.  You can see two videos of it on the

Tudor Cook YouTube site: http://www.youtube.com/Gandi54 . Scroll down to

find "basting the appraylere" and "appraylere removed from its jug".

Both videos were shot two years ago.

 

Alys K.

--

Elise Fleming

alysk at ix.netcom.com

http://home.netcom.com/~alysk/

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 19:51:27 -0400

From: Elise Fleming <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

To: sca-cooks <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] to break or not to break is the question

 

Greetings!  I think our modern view is clouding the issue here.  We

think clay pots are something to be kept and relatively costly (to us).

 We wouldn't toss out our pans.  But... we do.  We use disposable foil

containers for roasting meats, baking pies, and so on.  We think nothing

of throwing out valuable metal dishes.  To us, they cost nothing and are

disposable.

 

Stefan wrote:

<<< But are we really referring to breaking the pot, vs. breaking the (a)

seal of dough or whatever? We've been working from a translation, not

the original wording. What language was it originally written in?

Could the word translate as "breaking the pot" but actually be a

colloquialism that actually meant breaking the seal, although

literally it means breaking the pot? There are modern examples such as

"breaking a record". >>>

 

I helped translate the Anonymous Andalusian recipes from Spanish into

English, and it was breaking the pot, not the seal.  Perry agreed with

the translation of pot when he went back to the Arabic.  While the

English don't seem to have broken pots with the frequency mentioned in

the Anonymous Andalusian recipes, perhaps the Spanish were more

accustomed to making cheap clay pots and using them in a disposable

fashion.  I'm not sure that the Spanish used dough coffins with the

frequency that the English recipes mention their use.

 

As to leaving fragments of clay in the food, I'm wondering if there is a

commonality among the texture/thickness/solidity of the foods where the

pots were broken.  I certainly wouldn't expect a broken pot with a soupy

mixture, but I would suspect that with solid foods, and with skill,

there wouldn't be lots of little bits of clay pot hiding in the

resultant food.

 

Alys K.

--

Elise Fleming

alysk at ix.netcom.com

http://home.netcom.com/~alysk/

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 10:57:38 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jewish Chop Suey

 

<<< There are two other chicken recipes in that section of the cookbook

that call for sealing the lid in place with dough.  (A chicken recipe

in de Nola also uses a dough seal.) >>>

 

As does "Capon Stwed" in _Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books_.

 

But we've never had to break the pot.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 08:15:55 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] to break or not to break is the question

 

One important thing to remember about the confectionery instructions

is that the expensive part was the sugar followed by the spices or  

fruits.

 

Breaking a pot to get the finished candied product out was just easier

and apparently worked.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 08:21:13 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Break the Pot

 

1430's actually.

xxvij - Appraylere. Take the fleysshe of the lene Porke, and sethe it  

wel: and whan it is sothe, hew it smal; nym than Safroun, Gyngere,  

Canel, Salt, Galyngale, old chese, myid (Note: Crumbed) Brede, and  

bray it smal on a morter; caste thin (Note: Thine)fleysshe in to the  

spicery, and loke that it be wil y-ground, and temper it vppe with raw  

Eyroun; than take a longe Pecher, al a-bowte ouer alle that it be  

ransched; (Note: Rinsed) than held (Note: Cast) out thin grece, and  

fulle thi Pechir of thin farsure, and take a pese of fayre Canneuas,  

and doble it as moche as thou may ceuyr the mouthe with-al, and bynd  

it fast a-bowte the berde, (Note: Rim) and caste hym to sethe with  

thin grete Fleysshe, in lede other in Cauderoun, for it be wyl sothin;  

take then vppe thin Pecher, and breke it, an saf thin farsure; and  

haue a fayre broche, and broche it thorw, and lay it to the fyre; and  

than haue a gode Bature of Spicerye, Safroun, Galyngale, Canel, and  

ther-of y-now, and flowre, and grynd smal in a morter, and temper it  

vp with raw Eyroun, and do ther-to Sugre of Alisaunder (Note:  

Alexandria) y-now; and euer as it dryit, baste it with bature, and  

sette forth in seruyce.

 

Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books

http://www.medievalcookery.com/cgi/display.pl?tfccb:180

 

Johnnae

 

On Oct 30, 2009, at 7:40 PM, Elise Fleming wrote:

<<< There is also the English recipe (1400s?) about making a meat dish  

in the shape of a jar - appraylere.  You can see two videos of it on  

the Tudor Cook YouTube site: http://www.youtube.com/Gandi54 . Scroll  

down to find "basting the appraylere" and "appraylere removed from  

its jug". Both videos were shot two years ago.

 

Alys K. >>>

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 15:53:49 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] to break or not to break is the question

 

On Oct 31, 2009, at 2:19 PM, Cheri or Anne wrote:

<<< I'm just wondering if it would be akin to baking a chicken in clay on a fire?

 

anne >>>

 

Probably. My suspicion is that while ceramic pots, and even terra  

cotta, are something of a fancy foodie commodity now, they were cheap, plentiful, and easily replaced in many of the cultures our period  

recipes represent. I STR Le Menagier speaks of throwing away burnt  

pots (as well as the plethora of period references to putting foods  

into a new, clean, "fair" pot).

 

Talk to anyone using or making period-type clay pots today, and within minutes you get a dozen horror stories of pots that cracked when  

improperly used, placed too near the coals, or through simple  

cussedness.

 

Now note the Islamic recipes that speak of using a hot potshard as a  

means of browning foods on the top without an oven or broiler; I  

suspect broken clay pots were an everyday thing for these people,  

rather like coming up with uses for stale bread.

 

Broken potshards also turn up as rubble for filling hollow wall  

structures, for example.

 

If a recipe says to break the pot, my suspicion is that if the  

translation is accurate, they probably mean exactly that; or at least  

the seeming outlandishness of the statement to us is no reason to  

assume the translation is wrong.

 

Adamantius

 

<the end>



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