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Period cooking gear. Utensils, trenchers, cast iron pots, wafer irons, salamanders.

 

NOTE: See also these files: p-tableware-msg, feastgear-msg, trenchers-msg, iron-pot-care-msg, lea-bottles-msg, forks-msg, spoons-msg, horn-utn-care-msg, ovens-msg, spits-msg, wood-utn-care-msg, mortar-pestle-msg, nefs-msg.

 

KEYWORDS: pots cast-iron pottery clay grills trivets gratings wafer irons.

 

************************************************************************

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

seperate 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 orignator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Date: 22 Oct 91 03:47:28 GMT

Organization: University of Chicago

 

Everyone knows that the fork was introduced at the end of our period.

In fact, the earliest known picture of people eating with forks is

about 12th or 13th century (I can check--it is shown in a V&A

pamphlet on cutlery that I have). There are two Anglo-Saxon forks in

the British museum, and the Cleveland Museum of Art has a Byzantine

fork that is quite early (10th century? I don't remember). The fork

does not seem to become a standard utensil until c. 1600, but it

exists much earlier.

 

Everyone knows that coffee has always been an important element in

Islamic social life. In fact coffee does not spread out of its

original home, probably Abyssinia, until about the middle of the

fifteenth century; Cariadoc (c. 1100) has never heard of it.

 

William de Corbie asks about the Swedish prejudice against eating

horse meat. I believe the same prejudice shows up in the Norse Sagas.

If I remember correctly, there is passage in one of them where

someone insults someone else by accusing him of eating mare's meat.

Does anyone remember where?

 

Cariadoc

 

 

From: tip at lead.aichem.arizona.edu (Tom Perigrin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: iron pots

Date: 13 May 1994 20:36:18 GMT

Organization: Department of Chemistry

 

locksley at indirect.com (Joe Bethancourt) wrote:

> ALBAN at delphi.COM wrote:

>> [synopsis]  bought a used pot, unknown past, how to clean, safety?

>

> So what's the problem? We cook in iron pots and pans around here all the

> time. You scour it with steel wool, oil it with olive oil, and use the

> silly thing. Just keep it oiled and don't let it rust.

 

errr, yes, but...   there can be a few problems... it could have been used

as a solder pot, or coated with stove blacking to look nice.  Some stove

blackings are made of black lead.

 

When I get a new pot or whatever, I test it for lead using a lead test

strip.   You can buy these at various ceramic supply places.   You get the

strip wet, and place it on the object... after a while a color change

indicates the presence of lead.

 

If there is no lead, I strip paints and blacking with paint stripper, followed

by a bath with Muriatic acid.  The acid eats a lot of paints and iron oxide

but attacks cast iron very slowly.   I then test it for lead again, just

to make sure nothing had been sealed below the surface.  Then I season,

etc.

 

Thomas Ignatius Perigrinus

 

 

From: charlesn at sunrise.srl.rmit.EDU.AU (charles nevile)

Newsgroups: rec.food.historic,rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Request:medieval feast

Date: 27 Sep 1994 06:12:25 GMT

Organization: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

 

[....]

 

Plates were certainly around - it is correct that trenchers were given

either to servants, or more commonly to 'the poor'. We use them quite

frequently, and we just use a heavy loaf, round and about a handspan or

more across, and thick enough to slice donwe the middle (more or less).

 

They work remarkably well, but people tend to eat them as they go, so

that they are both too full to enjoy the later and nicest parts of the

feast, and in any case have nothing left to put it on...

 

have fun

 

charles

ragnar hraldsson, new varangian guard, vlachernai garrison

 

 

From: hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu (Heather Rose Jones)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Pot Use

Date: 5 Jan 1995 03:28:10 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley

 

Thomas S. Arnold (tarnold at hamp.hampshire.edu) wrote:

: Does anybody know how they cooked over an open fire in-Period?  I've

: tried cooking without an iron grate, but find it annoying...

 

I believe one solution was to use a trivet -- an iron ring with three

longish legs.

 

Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn

 

 

From: corun at access1.digex.net (Corun MacAnndra)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Pot Use

Date: 5 Jan 1995 06:36:36 -0500

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA

 

Heather Rose Jones <hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu> wrote:

>Thomas S. Arnold (tarnold at hamp.hampshire.edu) wrote:

>: Does anybody know how they cooked over an open fire in-Period?  I've

>: tried cooking without an iron grate, but find it annoying...

>I believe one solution was to use a trivet -- an iron ring with three

>longish legs.

 

One year at Pennsic, as I was on an early morning walkabout taking some

photos of the various camps, I camp upon the Septentrians, and my friend,

Lady Tamarra, was making scones on an iron contraption that I thought was

rather unique. Not having the photograph with me, let me see if I can

conjure the image in my mind's eye for you. It was the basic three long

legs, bound at the top by a ring, and hanging from chains was a flat iron

disk suspended at a comfortable level above the fire. The scones, btw,

were delicious.

 

Septentria is known (at least to me personally) for their period cooking

accoutrements. One year they built a daub and wattle (if that's the right

terminology for mud and straw) oven. They baked breads and even a turkey

at Pennsic. If I remember aright, the oven was built up of firebrick,

and a large wok was inverted over the top of it. The whole was then covered

with mud and straw and left to harden.

 

Corun

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

   Corun MacAnndra   |  "Have Mr. Labreay mount the 50 cals, and tell him

Dark Horde by birth |   to watch out for icebergs and take no prisoners."

   Moritu by choice  |         An anonymous Coast Guard Captain in NY Harbour

 

 

From: greg at bronze.lcs.mit.edu (Greg Rose)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Period (Cooking) Pot Use

Date: 5 Jan 1995 14:05:48 -0500

Organization: Guest of MIT AI and LCS labs

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Thomas the Tent-Peg of Bergental, amidst a fair quantity of

jokery, asked a real question that no one else has taken up,

so I thought I'd give it a try.

 

>Does anybody know how they cooked over an open fire in-Period?  I've

>tried cooking without an iron grate, but find it annoying...

 

This isn't an area in which I've done a whole lot of research,

so this answer is rather rough-and-ready.

 

It rather depends on who you mean by "they".  If you mean people

preparing food for the middle and upper classes, there's little

evidence I've ever seen that they did.  Pilgrims ate their

hot meals at way stations (inns, etc.).  Other travellors, one

presumes, did much the same.  There is some evidence that some

hunting parties would have elaborate meals at midday, but none

whatsoever I have seen (I haven't gone digging for it, you

understand -- but I have had an active eye out for some years,

and have seen nothing amid the other stuff I've found) that

they were prepared over open fires (as opposed to prepared in

the kitchen, and brought out and maybe reheated (or maybe not)

under very controlled circumstances.

 

Armies certainly ate in the field.  But armies travelled with

huge trains of wagons that carried their food (and other gear);

the sensible solution, if you have those, is a portable kitchen.

My impression is that hot food preparation for armies was

semicentralized; if that is true, it suggests that they brought

lots of stuff with them, and what they were doing cannot

reasonably be called "cooking over an open fire".

 

That being said, there are a number of "cook over the kitchen

fire" techniques that can be adapted to a more rustic setting.

One is a good solid tripod (or good solid spit) from which

hangs chains with hooks at multiple levels, and a long-handled

instrument (usually iron) for catching the bail of a pot and

transferring it from one hook to another, to bring it closer

to and further from the pot.  Another is the use of a trivet

(iron stool, with a reasonable sized flat top, not solid --

in fact, mostly open) with long enough legs to keep the flat

surface out of the coals and flame.  Use it as you would a

stove-top burner, to set pots and pans on.  Adapt the heating

level by increasing/decreasing the amount of coals underneath.

(This is essentially a refinement of the pot-with-legs

approach.)

 

In either case, you want cooking implements (spoons, forks,

etc.) with _far_ longer handles than you are probably used

to working with.

 

I have such a trivet, made by Brock the Smith (Magic Badger

Iron Works).  He also sells tripods (and spits), and some of

the relevant implements, and would doubtless make others to

order. I've used the tripod through several wars.  I'm not

as handy with fine temperature control of fires as I might

be, so I admit to finding a gas stove simpler, but it works

fine, except that it really only takes one good-sized pot

at a time.  Three or four of them would make a reasonable

start at a decent kitchen for real meals; one works okay for

one-pot meals.

 

One word of advice: if you want a spit to roast meat on, you

want more than just a piece of iron to go through the meat and

across to supports.  You want it to have a system of little

knife-like stickers around one end, to hold the meat in place.

Otherwise, you will turn the spit inside the meat, while the

same (heaviest) side remains stubbornly toward the flame,

giving you a roast that is burned on one side and raw on the

other.

 

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period (Cooking) Pot Use

Date: 5 Jan 1995 21:30:35 GMT

Organization: Memorial University of Newfoundland

 

I missed the original question, but I did research this once, and

tried out some of the results.  A warning, though - I don't have

my references handy.  This will give you something to look for,

though. I had a friend who's a potter investigate this as well,

and she custom-made some clay "pot-with-legs" after a 12th century

German design.  I used these at Pennsic one year and was greatly

pleased by them.  To cook, you put the pot directly over the coals

once the flames have died down.  The heat seems to stay concentrated

near the coals, and the pot can be lifted by hand using the two

"rings" of clay set into the rim.  The pot can also be lifted out

of the fire and set on the ground nearby, and will retain the heat

on the bottom long enough to do more cooking with nice gentle, even,

heat. Some things become quite trivial to cook this way.  My first

attempt was a period Spinach recipe.  With added instructions for some

of the the cooking implements, it became:

 

Clean spinach and remove stems.  Heat water to boiling in pot over coals,

boil the spinach leaves for a few minutes.  Remove pot from coals and

drain the water, pressing the spinach with a wooden spoon to help drain it.

Remove and chop up the boiled spinach.  By then the water has evaporated

from the pot.  Put some olive oil in the pot and let it heat.  Add spinach

and some ground nutmeg, and sautee, using the wooden spoon as a spatula,

for a minute or two.

 

Ten minutes to cook, only one pot, and not much fuss except for the

initial cleaning and de-stemming of the spinach.

 

: In either case, you want cooking implements (spoons, forks,

: etc.) with _far_ longer handles than you are probably used

: to working with.

 

Watch out of heat transmission through the handles of metal implements

of all sorts.  Wooden-ended handles are a good thing.

 

Miklos Sandorfia

andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca

 

 

From: Suze.Hammond at f56.n105.z1.fidonet.org (Suze Hammond)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period (Cooking) Pot Use

Date: Sat, 07 Jan 1995 02:37:00 -0800

 

On the subject of metal handles: some period utensils had split and

re-woven handles. For some reason, this keeps the handles cool. (This is

why those old-timey wood stoves have the spring-like handles. Same

principle. Ask your local smith!)

 

... Moreach

 

 

From: greg at bronze.lcs.mit.edu (Greg Rose)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period (Cooking) Pot Use

Date: 9 Jan 1995 18:00:11 -0500

Organization: Guest of MIT AI and LCS labs

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Eyrny responds to Moreach:

>>On the subject of metal handles: some period utensils had split and

>>re-woven handles. For some reason, this keeps the handles cool. (This is

>>why those old-timey wood stoves have the spring-like handles. Same

>>principle. Ask your local smith!)

>But they do get hot.  It may take longer but it happens.

 

Well, sure they get hot if you leave them on the heat.  So do wooden

ones.

 

The trick with any implement over _any_ heat source, is not to leave

it sitting exposed to the heat.  Use it.  Set it aside.  Use it.

Set it aside again.  Few handles heat intollerably while being used,

say, to stir something, faster than the hand and arm do on their

own.

 

But yes, the best metal implement handles are not solid -- and are

long enough to keep both the handle and the hand well out of the

fire.

 

-- Angharad

 

 

From: millsbn at mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca (Bruce Mills)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: cooking for fifty

Date: 19 Apr 1995 15:18:05 -0400

Organization: McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

 

Teach Mr T <teachmrt at aol.com> wrote:

]>Feeding the masses makes for happy masses.

]>

]>Actually, we'll have a fire pit, plus big pots and all the usual

]>accoutrements.

]>

]>Liam O'Donnabhan

 

Something that I have devised that I have found handy: Make a frame of

angle iron, drilled at the corners so you can bolt it together (and take

it apart), sized to fit grills from ovens.  The grills actually stand up

to the heat of a fire pretty well, although you could probably make a

heavy duty grill out of welded rod if you wanted.  The one I have devised

will fit three oven grills; you can cook stuff right on the grill, or it

will hold reasonably sized pots and pans.  What I am looking for now is a

flat iron griddle, about the size of one of the grills, that will fit

right into the frame, and fry on that, instead of having to use pans (I

find the eggs don't stay on the grill very well).  Steam trays would be

nice, too.

Akimoya(-dono)

 

 

From: gheston at nyx.cs.du.edu (Gary Heston)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: cooking for fifty

Date: 23 Apr 1995 20:10:33 -0600

 

Diana Parker <parkerd at mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca> wrote:

>I'd just like another set of ideas for using my forged iron tripod.

>I can't afford the $300-600 for a cauldron, and I'm not sure what else to

>use it for.  So far I've cooked a whole ham.  It worked great, and the

>ham turned out fine.  

 

What size cauldron are you looking at? I've found one of about

2 gallon size at an auction for $10. Bean/wash pots are also

common for about the same price/size (these have straight sides

instead of the indentation at the top).

 

>What's next???

 

I suppose you could attach a grate to the legs, and cook

on that.

 

Gary

 

 

From: jtn at cse.uconn.EDU (J. Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Cooking for fifty

Date: 23 Apr 1995 16:37:08 -0400

 

Greetings, all, Angharad ver' Rhuawn here.

 

Tabitha asks,

> I'd just like another set of ideas for using my forged iron tripod.

> I can't afford the $300-600 for a cauldron, and I'm not sure what else to

> use it for.  So far I've cooked a whole ham.  It worked great, and the

> ham turned out fine.  

>

> What's next???

 

Any pot or dutch oven with a bail (that is, a hoop, usually wire or

iron, to hold it by, like pails have) can be hung from a tripod.  I

have a number of these that I picked up cheap (in the $5 to $15 range),

mostly at flea markets or Good Wills or the like; some are cast iron,

some aluminum.  I don't use that many of them, because I also have a

trivet, roughly stool-high, that I use as a camp stove, but they

certainly work.  Get a length of chain that will hang from the tripod

to not much above fire height, and some S-hooks.  Put the S-hooks into

the chain at different heights; you can now suspend your pot high up

to stay warm, slightly lower to simmer, or quite low to boil.

 

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: STDDLY at TINY_TIM.SHSU.EDU (7/11/95)

To: Mark Harris

 

>         Reply to:   Cauldrons

>

> What did you cook in your cauldron? How big of a cauldron was

> it? Was it made of iron or something else? Did you season it

> first?

>

> You mention that it's like a giant round bottomed skillet.

> Does this mean you can brown meat in it first, then add

> the other ingredients? Or did you simply throw everything

> in and cook as a stew or soup?

>

>    Stefan li Rous

 

Greetings once more! Ya, they are just like a _big_ cast iron

skillet. Clean them thoroughly, season them well with cooking oil.

Yes you can brown meat in them, or just toss it all in and hope for

the best. It's always best to cook everything in the same order that

you would at home i.e. meat, onions, potatoes, celery, right down to

mushrooms last. This is for a stew, of course. Rule of thumb:

Hardest/longest to cook...first in. My cauldrons are about 15-20

each, cast iron, and _heavy_. For feasts I use hi-pressure burners to

bring the large amounts of water/food to a quick boil...then turn

them way down to simmer. On spices...for most spices, use handsful.

Of course, be careful with them, taste often, enjoy. After the meal,

clean well, season well, and store in a well ventilated, dry space.

Happy cooking!!

 

A. Kief av Kiersted (sometimes cook) L. Cockerham, Texan

 

P.S. Do NOT "nest" your cauldrons to transport...they will crack.

 

 

From: WILLIAM MICHALSKI <wjmichalski at beta.delphi.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: cast iron repair?

Date: 30 Aug 1995 12:45:27 GMT

 

ook at u.washington.EDU ('Riff' Beth Marie Mc Curdy) wrote:

>       My household been looking for a big cauldron for some time, and I

>finally found one.  Beautifully shaped, cast-iron, and easily two feet

>across the mouth... and some *idiot* had drilled a pair of holes in the

>bottom so as to use it as a planter.

>        In addition to knocking an easy $200 of the value of item, these

>holes render the cauldron fairly useless for boiling water, bubbling

>stews, and doing other cauldron things.

 

I don't know about patching, but I do have pricing info from a place

called "Iron Craft", out of Ossipee, NH.

 

A new "sugar kettle" of 24" diameter is about $750 plus tax, shipping,

etcetera. It has 24 gallon capacity, and weighs just over 100 lbs.

They also offer ones in other sizes, ranging from 1.5 quart to 100 gal.

 

To get a catalog, write:   Iron Craft

                          PO Box 369

                          Ossipee, NH  03864

 

or call 800-527-2079 (In NH 539-4114)

 

Mikhail

 

 

From: woofie at capital.NET (Susan Evans)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Trenchers

Date: 10 Dec 1995 22:48:02 -0500

 

>I've been thinking about doing this at the next event we go to.  Is

>there anyone upon this bridge who has actually done this, or who can

>refer me to some reliable sources?  What kind of bread?  (Ie.  white,

>wheat, etc.)  What dimensions are period/preferable?  Does it have to

>stale a bit before use?  Should I make a bread "bowl" for soup, or

>would it be more period to use a wooden bowl for hot liquids?

>Should my lord and I share the bread trencher?

>I'll be grateful for any advice.  I do regularly bake my own bread,

>so I don't need help with the basics.

>Robin Carroll-Mann ** rcmann at delphi.com

>SCA: Brighid ni Chiarain, Settmour Swamp, East

 

A good source of this information is "A Boke of Nurture" which is part of

the old Early English Text Society publications.  It may be available on

inter-library loan.  Also available from Falconwood Press as a reprint.  The

bread quality varies depending upon the status of the diner - nobles get the

good stuff and the peasants get coarse.  We've used trenchers locally for

stews. Obviously you want a bread with a decent crust and some body to the

loaf. The high table had a trencher seated upon several other trenchers -

sort of a place-mat effect, I think.  I strongly recommend the book as it

even gives the proper ceremony for cutting up the bread, setting the table,

etc. It's way too long to write out here.  Yes, you can share a trencher

with your lord, BTW.  If you can't get an inter-library copy, you can get a

copy of the Falconwood catalog from me.  

Shoshonnah jehanne ferch Emrys, OL

 

 

From: jtn at newsserver.uconn.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Trenchers

Date: 11 Dec 1995 06:46:44 GMT

Organization: The University of Connecticut

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Mistress Shoshonnah Jehanne ferch Emrys wrote:

: A good source of this information is "A Boke of Nurture" which is part of

: the old Early English Text Society publications.  It may be available on

: inter-library loan.  Also available from Falconwood Press as a reprint.  The

: bread quality varies depending upon the status of the diner - nobles get the

: good stuff and the peasants get coarse.  

 

I'm a little confused.  From my reading of Russell's Boke of Nurture (which

I assume is the one you mean?  in Furnivall's volume called _Early English

Meals and Manners_?), the only distinction among kinds of bread is that

the lord of the hall gets today's baking, others who are not servants get

one day old, servants get three day old, and trenchers are made of four day

old. There is no suggestion that the original quality varies -- and no

mention at all of feeding peasants.  By peasants, did you mean servants?

And by coarse, did you mean, less fresh?  Or have you found something I

have not?

 

:     We've used trenchers locally for

: stews.  Obviously you want a bread with a decent crust and some body to the

: loaf.  

 

But Russell describes squaring the trenchers, and slicing them vertically,

eliminating the crust.  Are you inferring a strong crust from the fact

of good body, or from something else?

 

:        The high table had a trencher seated upon several other trenchers -

: sort of a place-mat effect, I think.  I strongly recommend the book as it

 

What I see, is a description of two separate things.  First, there is a

layering of the table linens -- to provide a showy presentation surface.

(In fact, the poem specifies, at one point, that a top layer is to be

pleated elaborately to provide such a surface for the Sewer, whose job

is to arrange dishes.)  Second, the high table's bread, including the

sliced and restacked trenchers, start out elaborately wrapped in linen

in front of the lord's seat -- but as soon as service starts, they are

moved away, and the lord winds up only with his own trencher.  At least,

this is how I read the passage from line 208 to 268.  Have I missed a

reference elsewhere?

 

:                                       I strongly recommend the book as it

: even gives the proper ceremony for cutting up the bread, setting the table,

: etc.  It's way too long to write out here.  

 

No kidding.  Yes, it's outstanding -- though after a while, I get frustrated

at the things it doesn't bother to mention, as it takes them for granted

(including, for instance, when the pottage gets into bowls, and what sort;

exactly how the kitchen serves out, and what the Sewer does with the stuff

once he gets it; and so on).  And it's worth remembering that all this is

just one man's notion of how it should be done....

 

: Yes, you can share a trencher with your lord, BTW.  

 

This makes sense, but can you specify a reference for it?

 

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: "L. HERR-GELATT and J.R. GELATT" <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Pots ( was: Re: Pennsic cooking)

Date: 10 May 1996 21:38:26 GMT

Organization: ProLog - PenTeleData, Inc.

 

To quote those in the know about metalurgy (quoting ME):

 

kellogg at rohan.sdsu.edu (kellogg) wrote:

>David Friedman (ddfr at best.com) wrote:

>: Lady Aoife Finn wrote:

>: > Of course, I am referring to a large, heavy, round, footed, flat-top

>: > cast-iron pot, such as is frequently illustrated hanging over the open

>: > fires (!) in ancient kitchens.

>: Can you give period examples of such pictures? I associate cast iron pots

>: with something a little later than our period, but don't really know. The

>: metal cooking vessels I have seen from early period seem to be rivetted

>: together.

>: Messibugio (16th century) has pictures of pots, but I can't tell if they

>: are cast--the handles appear to be rivetted on, which suggests a raised

>: metal pot (why not cast them if you are casting the pot)? My vague memory

>: is that the English were casting iron cannon before 1600, so you would

>: think they could do it. On the other hand, cast pots tend to be heavy, and

>: if iron was still expensive ....  .

>       I believe that the blast furnace, needed to cast iron, was not

>invented until after 1700.  All the cast cannon I've seen from before that

>were brass.  However, the Chinese could cast iron during our period.

>They used a different process, and I believe had access to better ores

>than the West.

>       All the examples of iron pots from viking sites are raised (hammered)

>peices. Small pots may be of a single piece, but large cauldrons are

>frequently several lames overlapped and riveted together.  These, of

>course, are early/middle period.

>       Unfortunately, all my references are at home, and a fairly exhaustive

>Web search has turned up nothing that might provide an answer.

>               Avenel Kellough

And, I reply:

 

The first volume off the bookshelf proved to be Farmhouse Cookery

(English), Reader's Digest association, London, copyright 1980, with an

illustration that appears to be a wood-block, but source not being given

we shall never know. At any rate, there is a large pot in the picture  

hanging from a chain  attached to the overhead beam (caption: the price

of poverty.......), with a spit and drip-pan underneath, in the section

entitled The Medieval Peasant's Kitchen. Included are illustrations of

various cooking instruments including a boiler (riveted) and a legged fry

pan (either raised or cast, it is unclear). It is possible the large pot

I referred to was also raised.

 

A few pages over, an Elizabethan kitchen is shown, with a smaller version

of the very same pot now hanging by ratcheded chain in a large fireplace

(spit and drip pan still in place, but now operated by a pulley and

weight system rather than a small child). Side illustrations show (sorry

it's secondary scholarship) "Chimney crane. A crane was a *cast iron*

bracket--fixed to the wall beside the fireplace--that could be swung out

to support the pot. Designs were often highly ornamental."

 

Next tome off the shelf: Old Cook Books,An Illustrated History, Eric

Quayle, Studio Vista Books, London, copyright 1978. we see a piece of

artwork by Pieter van der Borcht, showing a 16th century kitchen with a

very clearly arranged pot and chimnet crane. If the crane is cast, why

not the pot?

 

Gentlemen, will that do?

Aoife

 

 

From: powers at brain.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Pots ( was: Re: Pennsic cooking)

Date: 10 May 1996 19:27:32 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

>A few pages over, an Elizabethan kitchen is shown, with a smaller version

>of the very same pot now hanging by ratcheded chain in a large fireplace

>(spit and drip pan still in place, but now operated by a pulley and

>weight system rather than a small child). Side illustrations show (sorry

>it's secondary scholarship) "Chimney crane. A crane was a *cast iron*

>bracket--fixed to the wall beside the fireplace--that could be swung out

>to support the pot. Designs were often highly ornamental."

>If the crane is cast, why >not the pot?

>Gentlemen, will that do?

>Aoife

 

 

Good Aoife; I really doubt the crane was cast iron;  I have never seen a

cast iron crane and since I am a smith I do look!  Are you sure the authors

know the difference between wrought iron and cast, (especially after long

exposure to the fire/water/ashes?.  I have checked a couple of references

and none contain a cast iron crane while all refer to "wrought iron" cranes.

 

Perhaps the Reader's Digest book has a typo.  Does anyone have knowledge

of "cast iron" cranes?

 

wilelm the smith who supports later period cast iron pots but *not* cast

iron cranes.

 

 

From: ddfr at best.com (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Pots ( was: Re: Pennsic cooking)

Date: 11 May 1996 03:39:19 GMT

 

"L. HERR-GELATT and J.R. GELATT" <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net> wrote:

> The first volume off the bookshelf proved to be Farmhouse Cookery

> (English), Reader's Digest association, London, copyright 1980, with an

> illustration that appears to be a wood-block, but source not being given

> we shall never know.

 

Could easily be post period. And any way, as you make clear, we don't know

if the pot illustrated was cast iron.

 

> A few pages over, an Elizabethan kitchen is shown, with a smaller version

> of the very same pot now hanging by ratcheded chain in a large fireplace

> (spit and drip pan still in place, but now operated by a pulley and

> weight system rather than a small child). Side illustrations show (sorry

> it's secondary scholarship) "Chimney crane. A crane was a *cast iron*

> bracket--fixed to the wall beside the fireplace--that could be swung out

> to support the pot. Designs were often highly ornamental."

 

And secondary scholarship by someone we know nothing about. I don't know

the book, but the title doesn't suggest anything particularly scholarly.

> Next tome off the shelf: Old Cook Books,An Illustrated History, Eric

> Quayle, Studio Vista Books, London, copyright 1978. we see a piece of

> artwork by Pieter van der Borcht, showing a 16th century kitchen with a

> very clearly arranged pot and chimnet crane. If the crane is cast, why

> not the pot?

 

But how can you tell from the picture that the chimney crane is cast and

not forged? So far the only evidence for that is an assertion by an

unknown secondary source. And besides, casting a pot is a whole lot harder

than casting a chimney crane.

 

For what it is worth, Molly Harrison in _The Kitchen in History_ describes

chimney cranes as being wrought iron. She describes utensils as being made

of "iron, copper or brass" but doesn't say (so far as I have spotted so

far) whether they were cast.

 

> Gentlemen, will that do?

> Aoife

 

No, but it's a start.

 

David/Cariadoc

--

ddfr at best.com

 

 

From: kellogg at rohan.sdsu.edu (kellogg)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Pots ( was: Re: Pennsic cooking)

Date: 13 May 1996 16:10:28 GMT

Organization: San Diego State University Computing Services

 

       I believe I accidently sent the information I meant to post

directly to his Grace Cariadoc, rather than here, so I will try again.

 

       I did some looking up this weekend, and I was flat wrong on

casting iron.  According to the _Encyclopaedia Brittanica_, the Chinese

were casting iron by the 6th century BCE, and iron casting technology

appears in Europe by the 12th century CE.  However, it remained a marginal

technology until the 17th.  Early Blast furnaces were used to produce

pigs of iron that would then be wrought.  The technology to produce malleable

cast iron, however did not appear until the 18th century, which is probably

what I was thinking about.

 

       According to _The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms and Armor_, most

cannon were wrought iron until the 15th century, when cast bronze became

predominant. However, some iron-rich countries, like England, experimented

with cast iron cannon, as they were much cheaper than the bronze ones.  

Henry VIII established a foundry in Sussex for just this purpose.  The cast

iron cannon were vastly inferior to the bronze ones, and tended to explode.

 

       Burke's _Life in a Medieval Castle in England_ shows a cast bronze

cooking pot, with no date attributed, that has three very long feet and rings

for hanging.  _The Viking_ by Almgren, Blindheim, and Eldjarn shows two iron

pots. There is a small one made by raising from sheet iron, and a larger

one made by dishing 6 - 8 lames, and riveting them to each other and to a

dished bottom.

 

       I feel that cast iron pots for late period are likely.  While I

haven't yet found one, it makes sense that if cast iron cannon are cheaper

than cast bronze cannon, then cast iron pots are likely cheaper than

cast bronze, of which we know that at least one was made.

 

               Avenel Kellough

 

 

From: Karsten Shein <K.Shein at uea.ac.uk>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Pots ( was: Re: Pennsic cooking)

Date: 14 May 1996 09:03:09 GMT

Organization: Climatic Research Unit-University of East Anglia

 

kellogg at rohan.sdsu.edu (kellogg) wrote:

>David Friedman (ddfr at best.com) wrote:

>: Lady Aoife Finn wrote:

>: > Of course, I am referring to a large, heavy, round, footed, flat-top

>: > cast-iron pot, such as is frequently illustrated hanging over the open

>: > fires (!) in ancient kitchens.

>: Can you give period examples of such pictures? I associate cast iron pots

>: with something a little later than our period, but don't really know. The

>: metal cooking vessels I have seen from early period seem to be rivetted

>: together.

>: Messibugio (16th century) has pictures of pots, but I can't tell if they

>: are cast--the handles appear to be rivetted on, which suggests a raised

>: metal pot (why not cast them if you are casting the pot)? My vague memory

>: is that the English were casting iron cannon before 1600, so you would

>: think they could do it. On the other hand, cast pots tend to be heavy, and

>: if iron was still expensive ....  .

>       I believe that the blast furnace, needed to cast iron, was not

>invented until after 1700.  All the cast cannon I've seen from before that

>were brass.  However, the Chinese could cast iron during our period.

>They used a different process, and I believe had access to better ores

>than the West.

>       All the examples of iron pots from viking sites are raised (hammered)

>peices. Small pots may be of a single piece, but large cauldrons are

>frequently several lames overlapped and riveted together.  These, of

>course, are early/middle period.

>       Unfortunately, all my references are at home, and a fairly exhaustive

>Web search has turned up nothing that might provide an answer.

>               Avenel Kellough

 

I'll quote "Norwich Households: Medieval and Post-Medieval Finds from

Norwich Survey Excavations 1971-78" p.90..."IV. Vessels (copper alloy;

iron; wood; glass)  Copper alloy vessels... In general, the assemblages

contain very few copper allow vessels, which reflects their high cost as

compared with ceramic or wooden vessels....  Part of a large bowl made of

hammered copper alloy sheet with an everted rim survives (566).  Cast

cauldrons and skillets [3-legged bowl shaped with long handles--not to be

confused with modern definition] are represented.  Legs of two types are

known; straight ridged legs (565), and legs with feet, perhaps from ewers

(567B, 568, 569).  .... Cauldrons are shown in use in a marginal

illustration in the 14th-century 'Romance of Alexander' (Fig. 56): they

have [looped] handles, and at least one has three legs; the two smaller

cauldrons contain other vesssels, probably ceramic, and presumably

functioned as double-boilers.  Such vessels were in use throughout the

Middle Ages, eityher in an open fire, or suspended from a hook above it."

and p. 94..."Iron vessels, by Ian H. Goodall ... Iron vessels are among

the least well represented items of kitchen ironwork, partly because in

the medieval period, as no doubt later too, copper alloy vessels were far

more numerous than those of iron (Field 1965, 135-45; Moorhouse 1987,

vi-viii). The iron vessels from Norwich, 581-590, are of both medieval

and later date ....  The most significant individual find, however, [is]

a long-handled pan...  The bowl of this pan is fragmentary but the long,

solid, tapering handle, designed to keep the user away from the fire, and

to limit the conduction of heat, is almost complete.  Pans of this form

are not infrequently depicted in illustrations close to the date of the

1507 fire, including the Kuchmaistrey published in Augsburg that

year...and that of a pan-smith in 1544.  One with a flatter pan is shown

in a 15th-century French manuscript.  582-585 are cast iron vessel

fragments of post-merdieval date, 584, from a cauldron, being the most

notable. They may be comapred with similar 17th-century cast-iron

vessels from Chingley Forge, Kent, and elsewhere..."  note: The

illustration of the pan looks like it is all hammered work (not cast) and

it resembles a modern frying pan with a dished bottom (almost like a

giant dipper [ladle]).

 

Cheers

KS

 

 

From: powers at brain.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Pots ( was: Re: Pennsic cooking)

Date: 15 May 1996 22:00:58 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

>note: The

>illustration of the pan looks like it is all hammered work (not cast) and

>it resembles a modern frying pan with a dished bottom (almost like a

>giant dipper [ladle]).

>KS

 

I've taken the liberty of hacking quite a bit off the top, (call me Sweeny);

to make mention of a simple and inexpensive method for forming such a skillet.

 

Start with a pressed iron skillet, (fleamarket US$1-5) and dish the bottom

(Any armourer should be able to help with a stump-sandbag-dishing stake)

 

Once it has been dished and planished you can rivet legs to it and cut off

the original handle and rivet a long tapering handle to it.  This will

not conduct heat exactly like cast iron----but forged pots are also known.

 

wilelm the smith

 

 

From: ateno at panix.com (E. Rhude)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: "Seasoning" Cast Iron Ware

Date: Sun, 28 Jul 1996 22:27:56 -0400

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC

 

rolf at deltainet.com (Pendraco) wrote:

> Cast iron is my favorite type of pan, but I have carpel tunnel in my

> wrists so I can't lift any but the smallest skillets.  I've been using

> my grandmother's square skillet for about fifteen years (and I got it

> after my mom used it for twenty years, and my grandmother for who

> knows how long).  It sounds like a lot of work, but it really only

> takes a few seconds.

 

Agreed completely with your views on cast iron cookware, but it does have

its limitations, like everything else. For instance, certain things like

various fruit dishes tend to discolor when cooked in iron. My solution is

often to simply not worry about it. I've found breads and pizzas are

excellent cooked in cast iron, lacking a brick oven.

 

A couple of points you may find interesting:

 

First, in view of your carpal tunnel condition, I wonder if you've tried

using HEAVY aluminum pans, like the saute pans that are generally used in

restaurant kitchens. They too will season, in the same way as iron, more

or less. You just need to heat/oil it an extra couple of times. One of the

frequently mentioned drawbacks is with aluminum's tendency to react to

acids by discoloring food or giving it an off flavor. This, of course, is

much less noticeable when the pan is properly seasoned. It's probably a

good idea to use a wooden or plastic spatula as well, since aluminum is a

bit softer than iron and might therefore scratch.

 

Another possibility is with one of my favorite pans: a cheap, soft,

not-too-well-tempered low-carbon steel omelette pan. For about $5 you can

get, at a restaurant supply house, pans like these in various sizes. They

are quite lightweight, easily seasoned, and behave in most respects like

their heavier iron counterparts. Because they lack the mass of the iron

pans, they do develop "hot spots" when used over extremely high heat for

prolonged periods. Probably why they're generally used for omelettes!

 

Gideanus Tacitus Adamantius / P. Troy

c/o E. Rhude

 

 

From: powers at skink.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: "Seasoning" Cast Iron Ware

Date: 3 Aug 1996 18:26:50 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

>I know cast iron isn't period, but hey, who cares?

>Vicente Coenca, Three Rivers, Calontir  

 

Documentation please.   "Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel" mentions

cast iron as being made in a fairly good range of countries during late

period time; so I would like to see some documentation---yea or nay---on

whether cast iron cookware was/was not available.  My copy of "Iron and

Brass Implements of the English Home" seems to indicate that cast iron

cookware was available---though this is probably not the most authoritative

of sources.

 

BTW cast brass/bronze pots were known and probably would have profited

by a good THICK layer of seasoning to cut down on metal transfer.

 

wilelm the smith---who wrote TI about that glaring error in their

review of "Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel" but has not seen a

correction yet.

 

 

From: ateno at panix.com (E. Rhude)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pennsic cooking

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1996 12:48:27 -0400

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC

 

Patsy Dunham <Patsy.R.Dunham at CI.Eugene.OR.US> wrote:

> Rowan <rowan at net-link.net> wrote:

> >I have had some good luck cooking outdoors with a cast-iron dutch oven,

> >which has prepared bread, quiche, fruit cobblers and brownies from the

> >campfires over the last couple of years at Pennsic and other events.

> >       How period is a dutch oven? It's an iron pot with an iron lid

you put in the fire.  That's pretty low-tech.

> >       Rowan.

>

> Modern dutch ovens, however, are CAST iron, and I don't think _that_ is a

> primitive technology...  While early peoples did cast small objects,

> forged iron, and cast larger objects in other metals (bronze, silver,

> gold), casting even something the size of a medium-size dutch oven, IN

> IRON, would have, I think, required technological advances on the order

> of what it took, in late period, to cast cannon.

>

> I'm sure some metal-worker out there will be able to confirm or refute my

> gut reaction?

>

> Chimene

 

You're right! Cast iron pots might be technically within period, but late

period if so. I believe cast iron Dutch ovens fall within this category.

We tend to think of pots for food as being heated from beneath, while

Dutch ovens are heated, hopefully, from all around. Medieval cooking pots

are often heated from the side, or some combination of side and bottom,

because they couldn't stand being heated very hot at only one point.

Because, you see, they were generally made of earthenware of some type, or

beaten brass, copper, or bronze.

 

If you look at various ornamental cauldrons taken from different Iron Age

Celtic digs, you'll see that they're made of several pieces, rivetted

together like a spangenhelm. Whether or not this holds true for pots

actually used for cooking, I can't say, and this is an example of

pre-medieval technology, anyway. However, there are enough references in

the medieval recipes and elsewhere to suggest that cast iron was not very

common, if used at all. Both Kenelm Digby and Gervase Markham, in their

brewing recipes, call a kettle or cauldron a "Lead", which leads me to

believe the possibility exists that such pots were once made of lead

(shudder) and that the name is a reference to the metal from which they

were made, or a throwback to that time, anyway.

 

Anyway, unless iron pots were forged or rivetted from pieces, they'd have

to be very late period.

 

G. Tacitus Adamantius ? P. Troy

c/o E. Rhude

 

 

From: dickeney at access4.digex.net (Dick Eney)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pennsic cooking

Date: 24 Aug 1996 16:24:06 -0400

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA

 

E. Rhude <ateno at panix.com> wrote:

 

[snip]

> ...there are enough references in

>the medieval recipes and elsewhere to suggest that cast iron was not very

>common, if used at all. Both Kenelm Digby and Gervase Markham, in their

>brewing recipes, call a kettle or cauldron a "Lead", which leads me to

>believe the possibility exists that such pots were once made of lead

>(shudder) and that the name is a reference to the metal from which they

>were made, or a throwback to that time, anyway.

 

If you've ever let a candle burn down in a pewter candlestick, you would

know just how fast lead melts under direct heat.  (Though Kenelm Digby

does refer to a pewter brasier, so perhaps there was a _very_ low-lead

pewter.) I doubt that anyone made a kettle or cauldron out of lead -- not

twice, anyway! :)

 

Tamar the Gypsy

 

 

From: Andrew Tye <atye at efn.org>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Brazier

Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 11:21:04 -0800

Organization: Oregon Public Networking

 

On Sun, 16 Feb 1997, Chris Bays wrote:

>       At Lilies last summer, I found a brazier which (silly me), I

> decided not to buy. It was a tripod, from which was suspended a pan for

> the fire, a grille, and a hook to hang a pot. Of course, now I want to

> find one, and can't. If anyone knows who may carry a similar thing, or of

> someone who makes them, please let me know. Post here or reply to:

> maredudd at pagan.com. Thanks a bunch.

>

> Lady Maredudd

 

Ivar here,

 

The type of of firepit that you are describing in pretty much endemic in

the West Kingdom and to a lesser extent in An Tir due to prohibitions on

building ground fires.  If you can get access to a copy, T.I. #78, AS XXI,

(Spring, 1986), has an article on the design and construction of this

firepit. It is by Duke Frederick of Holland who I believe is also the

inventor. As to current sources of the pits themselves, I believe that

Iron Castle Armory in southern Oregon in making them, (I do not have an

address or number for them), and there may be others as well.

 

Ivar Hakonarson

Adiantum, An Tir.

 

 

From: pcrandal at flash.net (P. Crandall Polk)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Cauldrons?

Date: Tue, 06 May 1997 22:25:30 GMT

 

noxgas at non1.med.nottingham.ac.uk (Gina Stammers) wrote:

>Does anyone know a supplier of sturdy cauldrons that could be used on

>an open fire?  Especially in the UK, any advice would be gratefully

>received.

>Gina Stammers

 

http://lehmans.com/catalog/

 

Though under construction, they may be able to get you a real catalog.

Good luck.

--

Crandall

Non sum qualie eram

 

 

From: powers at brain.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Cauldrons?

Date: 10 May 1997 15:26:08 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

>> Does the authenticity matter?  (and if so what time/place?)

>Authenticity isn't essential.  We are live roleplayers who dabble in and

>are tending towards Dark Age (Saxon/Viking/Romano-British) re-enactment

>and if the cost difference isn't massive an period cauldron would be

>useful so that it could be used if we do any strict living history

>stuff.

>> how large?

>A few gallons.  Big enough for a stew for twenty people.

>

>> (remember that cast iron is a late period item, cast bronze a good

>> most of the period item, and beaten bronze/iron for earlier period)

>I'd assume that a cast bronze cauldorn doesn't come cheap. A beaten iron

>one would be ideal. A cast iron one is what I'm expecting to end up with.

>Dave Barnett

 

so here are my recomendations within certain criteria:

 

For size: 20 people x 1 quart per person--you're out in the weather right?

so 5 Gallons or so---large and heavy as cast iron, easier as a constructed

version.

 

Non-period---check out the scrapyards, you may be amazed at what is

already out there in pretty much the right shape and size and only needing

some legs rivited on or a spider constructed for it or more period--just

a good strong bail.

 

Give some thought to stainless steel if you can find a proper piece,

(a food processing plant near my old digs used to junk globose stainless

pieces in a variety of sizes..)  Due to easy of care stainless is not a

bad choice and as the outside can be left in a "fired" condition it

won't look as bad as you may think.

 

For a more period look: find someone making spangen helms and sell them

on making a proper constructed kettle.

 

Going all out: find wrought iron sheet and a good smith to hammer one out.

 

Watch out for: metals exposed to un-known chemicals---why I liked the food

              processing plant cast offs

  

              metal primed with lead primer

 

              brass/bronzes of unknown composition (lead sneaks in)

 

Advice think about "tinning" the interior of your kettle to stop leaks

and provide a food safe barrier, (NOTE pure tin as is used to line copper

cookware *NOT* solder!)

 

Beware cracked castiron pots, pots nearly rusted through, and those

"improved" as flowerpots by having holed drilled in the bottom.

 

wilelm the smith

 

 

From: powers at woodstock.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mustard Colored Fabric (Dye experiments)

Date: 8 May 1997 17:18:26 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

My messenger having failed in his task has found me on this bridge

watching the tide turn and the odd feud victim float by.  Being a kind

(no remarks as to *what* kind...) person I have "let him go" and will

endeavor to deliver the contents myself...

 

Re: the type of pots used to dye in the medieval period

<deletia>

>BTW, I've never seen it written that iron pots (which dull dyes and

>roughen the wool) were what caused peasants to wear dull autumn colors.

>IMHO, though, porcelain-coated dye vats would seem 'way more expensive

>and unreachable for peasants than iron kettles. That may be why lower

>classes dressed dull, while the wealthier wore bright colors. There may

>be a TI article in there somewhere.

>Regards, Lady Meara al-Isfahani

 

Gracious Lady Meara; perhaps investigation into what was used in period

times as dyepots would be a good first step.

 

Although we are conditioned to immediatly think of cast iron as the

"old cauldron", cast iron only starts showing up in widespread use in the

1400's. Prior to that most "cast" pots were brass or bronze and so

would leach copper, tin and zinc into the dyevat if used.  However

for large tanks that would not exceed the temperature of boiling water

*lead* was usually the material of choice!  Built up pots constructed of

sheatmetal could be wrought iron or bronze if small but tended more toward

bronze for larger ones. (there is also other time-period shifts of usage).

 

None of this covers the use of "pottery" pots which were common and came

in a range of sizes--Theophilus mentions one large enough to put a goat

in to collect its urine (circa 1120 A.D.).

 

My first guess as to a large dyevat for a professional dyer would be lead

followed by bronze.  For a small "local" dyer I would probably *guess*

pottery followed by bronze.  I would think that iron was very un-likely

especially for a professional who needed a large vat---even after

cast iron became available!

 

Remember that using your cooking pot for dyeing may result in dying!

So a peasant may not want to use a very expensive iron pot when a cheaper

one may be available.

 

wilelm the smith, married to a spinster who has been teaching spinning for

over 20 years and pressed into service on a regular basis to provide

dye pots, vats and materials.  (we did a traditional indigo tank once that

was around 3/5ths my production....)

 

I welcome information to correct any "assumptions" I may have made as this

is *not* my primary area of interest!

 

 

From: Par Leijonhufvud <parlei at ki.se>

Date: Thu, 3 Jul 1997 11:25:06 +0200 (METDST)

Subject: Re: Cast iron cookpots (was: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #183)

 

On Thu, 3 Jul 1997, david friedman wrote:

> interested. We use it because it is the most period seeming thing we can

> readily get, but would be happy to shift to something better.

 

I'm in (approximately) the same position; while the "100% certified

period" cookware for my persona (10th c scandinavian) would be iron and

soapstone pots, perhaps with some clay, I have to settle for less. More or

less readily available are iron plate pots (any competent SCA armourer

should be able to manufacture these [1]), but the cost is beyond my

present budget (IIRC $75-100/ea).

 

Soapstone would have to be purchased and worked, and are fragile as well.

Clay is another option, but they share the fragility with the soapstone,

and I do not currently have the skill to manufacture them. I am also

uncertain as to what extent they are period.

 

My solution so far has been to use aluminium billy can type pots. These

have the advantage that they look fairly much like the original when

viewed from the outside (when suitably blackened), and are durable and low

cost. But they are a compromise.

 

/UlfR

 

[1] Most examples I have seen have the welds on the inside, thereby making

them waterproof. I do not know how the originals were waterproofed, but

several methods could have been used[2]. I would very much welcome

information on what methods _were_ used in period.

 

[2] Solder, pitch, etc. I do not now if (forge-)welding would have been

possible.

- --

Par Leijonhufvud                  par.leijonhufvud at labtek.ki.se

 

 

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Date: Thu, 3 Jul 1997 12:05:55 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: Cast iron cookpots

 

At 11:25 AM +0200 7/3/97, Par Leijonhufvud wrote:

>Soapstone would have to be purchased and worked, and are fragile as well.

 

Soapstone griddles can be purchased; we used to use one at home when I was

growing up to cook sourdough pancakes on. Soapstone pots, on the other hand

... .

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

From: Par Leijonhufvud <parlei at ki.se>

Date: Fri, 4 Jul 1997 07:32:57 +0200 (METDST)

Subject: Re: SC - Re- Cast iron cookpots

 

On 3 Jul 1997, Mark Harris wrote:

> Perhaps this is a European term. What is a "billy can" type pot? Are these

> stamped or cast out of alluminum?

 

Stamped or spun, thin (perhaps 2mm thick) aluminium pots with a wire

"bucket type" handle (so you can hang it over the fire). Look for open fire

type backpacking supplies.

 

/UlfR

- --

Par Leijonhufvud                  par.leijonhufvud at labtek.ki.se

 

 

Date: Thu, 11 Sep 1997 13:04:55 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Snails and Salamand

 

Marisa Herzog wrote:

> <snip>

> To use a salamander, make a recipe's worth of Digby's Savory Toasted Cheese,

> or perhaps a Cambridge Burnt Cream. Take your salamander and heat it in the

> coals until red hot, or if it is the kind that you fill

> <snip>

>

> [horrified wail!]  I hope that a "salamander" as used above is some sort of

> cooking iron and not a slow cute little amphibian!

> -brid

> (a die hard omnivore, who knows where her steak comes from, but is now haunted

> by images of charred amphibians)

 

Gotcha!!! A salamander generally looks kinda like a solid disk-shaped

branding iron. You heat it and bring it really close to the surface you

are trying to brown. The name salamander as a culinary tool has survived

as the name of those eye-level broilers you sometimes see in restaurant

kitchens. Salamanders as heraldic/mythical beasts are more or less made

of fire, hence the imagery.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 09:56:00 -0700

From: DUNHAM Patricia R <Patricia.R.DUNHAM at ci.eugene.or.us>

Subject: SC - wafer irons, where to find

 

Oops, I'm answering the question that wasn't asked! 8-0!!  Thought they

said WAFER iron, not WAFFLE iron... figured it out when editing down the

previous- message-enclosed bit.  Answer works anyway. 8-)

- - - - - - - - - - - -

 

You can always try big flea markets.  I've found two nice,

put-it-over-the-burner or camp fire-source Scandinavian style cast-iron

wafer irons at our local big-flea-market in the past 5 years.  Of

course, I'm in the Pacific NW, and there are a number of Scandinavian

enclaves up here.  (One of the irons has a Scandinavian maker's mark, am

not sure about the other.  One may actually be more like aluminum??)

These are NOT Waffle irons, either.  (A wafer iron is a pizzelle iron?,

makes a flat, elaborately patterned (like an etching), crisp round (6"?)

that's 1/8 inch or less thick.  A waffle iron has an internal grid of

1/4 inch square depressions, the campfire ones may come in round or

single square shapes.)  We saw waffle-irons about 20 times more

frequently (at Picadilly) than wafer irons during that 5 year period...

 

The patterns look reasonable, and I've actually used them (at home) over

an open-fire heat-source.  Have only tried a couple of times, don't have

the recipe settled yet.  They'd make great ice-cream cones 8-)

 

Patricia R. Dunham - Eugene Public - 100 W 13th Ave - 97401

patricia.r.dunham at ci.eugene.or.us - 541-984-8321

 

 

Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 13:25:37 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: SC - Advice -- Tools for crushing stuff (was shortbread help)

 

  I am taking to heart the advice to crush the shortbread, but wondering

what tools (short of running over it with the car) would be best.  This

isn't really a narrow question about this particular bit of shortbread,

but a broader question about, for example, what types of mortars and

pestles are best for what uses (I've seen advertised mortar and pestle

sets made out of wood, ceramic, and brass; what works best where?)

 

I'd suggest a modern food processor,with the sharp metal chopping blade.

Not a mortar and pestle, unless you feel a great desire to do handwork.

 

When I was in France, some years ago, I saw a period food processor: a very

large wheel, studded with blades, that spun and was inserted into a narrow

round bottom bowl, and with a feeder chute on the top.  It gives me a small

justification for using a Cuisinart or whatever when I need to.

 

      Tibor

 

 

Date: Wed, 8 Oct 1997 08:56:39 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: SC - Re:  #328-31

 

<< I dunno.  Like I said, I saw it in a kitchen when I was in Europe, and

   played with it.  No one there could even tell me what it was called: but the

   sign on the room dated it to period.

      Tibor >>

  

  I don't suppose you could draw it for us?....................hmmmmmm. :-)

 

No. I draw worse than I dance. (:-)

 

It was a large wheel, the size of a rotary whetstone or a small car tire,

made of wood.  It had metal blades (not particularly sharp) studing it.  It

was encased in a round wooden box, that opened like a flip top lid for

cleaning. The bottom of the box had a chute or hole, with room for a bowl

to be placed on the floor underneath.  The top had a chute for dropping food

onto the wheel.  The wheel had a large crank coming out one side. You

obviously turned the crank, the wheel would spin with great momentum, and

then you'd drop food down the chute on top, and mush would come out the

bottom. The whole was about as tall as a short man or average woman.

 

      Tibor (6' tall, if you want to discuss short or average height.  :-)

 

 

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 18:17:05 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Romertopf?

 

>What is a romertopf?

>Marjorie

 

Romertopf is a modern clay cooking pot with a clay cover.  It is similar

to the cloche, a clay dome placed on a baking stone to serve as a

portable oven.  This method of baking has been employed since antiquity.

 

There is a photograph of an Athenian cloche excavated from the Agora in

Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 06:58:25 -0600

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - Couple of Questions for Y'all

 

>Subject: Re: SC - Couple of questions for ya'll...

>> The early equivalent to aluminum foil was usually leaves and/or (clayish)

>> mud covering. Don't know when it started, but since it's found in many

>> cultures worldwide, I suspect it has been independently discovered a

>> zillion times.

>I've also baked a ham in rye dough, as per a recipe we were trying to do from

>a period source the hostess had. It didn't make much difference in the taste,

>so we abandoned the idea as too cumbersome for a feast of any size. Since it

>was easy to find I assume it was late period.

>Corwyn

 

There really is no "one period way" to cook individuallly wrapped dishes,

though that technique was know and used inperiod. Dough (discarded or not

afterwards), leaves, clay, straw or hay (which adds a neat flavor to ham),

the item's own skin,  dredgings, and paper were all used to coat cooked

items and shield it somewhat from excessive drying or scorching in the heat

of the fire or oven while cooking. I personally have read referances to all

of these things being used.

 

Dough: Apecius, The ham with fig sauce recipe.

Straw/hay: Molokhovet's Gift to Young Housewives and other Slavic Sources

such as Domostroi and Brad and Salt ( Gift is OOP but large chunks probably

date to a period practice).

Dredgings: Any Medieval European cookbook such as Taillevant, etc....

Paper: Late period bakery items such as Housewife's Jewel (Dawson) have us

putting the small cakes on papers in the oven to dry. I also saw a recipe I

cannot recall for papered fish somewhere, and vaguely remember some (Martha

Washington or Possibly some other slightly OOP source) directions to shield

something on top with paper , a bakery item I seem to recall, possibly from

Mrs. McClintock's Receipts for Cookery and Pastrywork (or something

remarkably similar), Ed. Isabail MacLeod, Glasgow U. Press, which is the

first *published* scottish cook book, tho OOP by a fair margin.

Leaves and Clay: Archaeological evidence of excavated household fire pits

and trash dumps.

 

So you can see, though I'm a little fuzzy this A.M., that the concept of

Aluminium Foil ie: wrapping/covering food prior to cooking or using a

substance as a heat barrier while cooking is not a new thing. Foil is a

handy substitute, but I believe we should also remember that it does not

impart any flavor to the food being cooked (other than a possible aluminium

taste), the way hay or leaves or dredgings or dough might do. So when you

are substituting for modern ease of preparation, you may well be changing

the character of the dish.

 

I am remnded of the recipe I have always meant to try, but never got the

chance: Rye or Black bread dough baked in cabbage leaves (which act as a

bread pan). Cabbage can get almost sweet, and I imagine would impart a green

flavor to the dough. Has anyone tried this? I ran across it in a secondary

source while looking for Russian foodstuffs a few years ago.

 

And, when you are gathering leaves for wrapping, remember: Leaves of Three,

let them be ;^D!

 

Aoife---waiting for the caffeine to hit the bloodstream

 

 

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 14:41:30 -0000

From: "Yeldham, Caroline S" <csy20688 at GlaxoWellcome.co.uk>

Subject: RE: SC - RE: Introduction--Reply, Query

 

...

going back to Aoife's question

 

> reliably over a fire, in addition to other methods), I am a little stumped

> as to acoutrements---are there any period-type implements out there, and

> where do I get them? Any ideas?

       [Yeldham, Caroline S]

       the best evidence I've come across is Bartelomeo Scarpi's drawings -

do you know them?  They cover 'how to lay out a kitchen', 'what you need for

a field kitchen' (which is the best for this situation), kitchen knives and

equipment; other kitchen equipment; how to get food into a Conclave (he

cooked for a Cardinal who became a pope) etc etc.  He is late 16th century

and italian, but a lot of what he shows turns up in earlier drawings - at

least it looks very similar.  Barbara Hentisch's 'Fast and Feast' has 14th

century pictures showing very similar stuff.  Scarpi hasn't been published

(so far as I know), but is used by other cooks for illustrations- and the

best version I've seen is in a Penguin Paperback of Elizabeth David's

Italian Cooking.

 

       As for getting hold of it, in the UK we are beginning to get

re-enactment suppliers who are prepared to copy drawings and make things.

As I understand it, anyone doing iron work, swords, armour, etc, should be

able to make these things - whether they are prepared to, or how much it

would cost, I don't know.

 

> I have a tripod, hooks and chains, kettles

> (large and small), etc. but need a pot lifter, a trivet, a spit

> (adjustable), and some fire-tiles.

       [Yeldham, Caroline S]

 

       As I recall it, our spit and trivet, which are about 18 months old,

cost about UKP250, by a specialist maker.  The spit has racks on both sides

giving full flexibility, stands about 5' high and about 6' long - the spit

itself is about 7' long - we can comfortably cook two deer legs on it.  Not

sure of the maximum weight it will take - we haven't had the problem so far!

I'm usually feeding about 40 people.  The trivet is about 2' by 3' and

stands 2' high on solid ground - it has parallel bars across it which are

close enough to be able to roast mackeral on without worrying that too much

will fall in the fire (and very good they tasted)

 

       Pot lifter?  Presumably you don't mean a cloth!  With big pots I

rely on a solid piece of wood and two strong gentlemen (some of the pots I

have to work with are too big for me to lift empty!)

 

> I'd also like some "hot shot", which a

> local rev-war group uses to heat their dishwater---it's basically a

> gate-weight or small cannonball with an cast iron loop attached. You throw

> it in the fire, and when you're ready to wash dishes, you fish it out with

> a

> fire iron and swirl it in your tub of water---instant hot dishwater!

 

       [Yeldham, Caroline S]  Gosh!  havn't tried that.  I usually put a

cauldron of hot water on about when we start serving up and by the time the

washer-uppers have finished eating, its warm enough.

 

Caroline

 

 

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 11:33:55 -0600

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - pot lifter

 

>       Pot lifter?  Presumably you don't mean a cloth!  With big pots I

>rely on a solid piece of wood and two strong gentlemen (some of the pots I

>have to work with are too big for me to lift empty!)

>[Yeldham, Caroline S]

 

It stands upright, and had a wooden handle (looks sort of like a footed

cane). The central of the three feet at the bottom is attached, via a long

pole, to the handle with a hinge. It (the central prong) has an L shaped

end. The gist of it is that you stand at normal posture and hook the L over

either the lid handle or the pot handle. You squeeze the  cane handle and

the L tightens on the pot's handle, and you lift the cane handle and put the

pot where you want it.

 

I also have been given a wholly historically fictional but wonderfully

useful stainless steel  pole and rack which work by tension (pole through a

hole on the rack's handle---rack shaped like a paddle). With a pot on the

rack, tension will hold it where you place it, and you can swing it in and

out of the fire as needed. The height isn't adjustable, tho, once the pot is

on the rack.

 

I have been looking for a big cauldron (local community center uses one for

a flower planter---but won't sell it to me!!!grrrrrrr). I really didn't give

much thought to what I would do with one once I had it!!! I have two now,

one is about 1 1/2 US gallons, one is about 1 gallon. They suffice for small

crowds. I resort to stock pots for larger crowds!

 

Aoife

 

 

Date: Mon, 9 Feb 1998 11:34:53 SAST-2

From: "Ian van Tets" <IVANTETS at botzoo.uct.ac.za>

Subject: SC - cooking without fire, among others

 

Aoife, one of the very accessible fire tools here (apart from

the 3-legged pots, which can be HUGE) is the spider.  It's a triangle

with legs, and you rest your pots on it.  I'm fairly certain I've

seen them in Scappi.  They come in varying heights, and last year

ranged from R13-R19 (US $2-4).  Maybe we can come to some

arrangement?

 

Cairistiona

IVANTETS at BOTZOO.UCT.AC.ZA

 

 

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 12:24:15 +1100 (EST)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn at sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>

Subject: Re: SC - pot lifter

 

There is a historical device for hanging a pot on over a fire. It relies

on having a beam above the fire, and is adjustable. I think the original

illustration I have seen is in the Maciejowski bible - a 13th C set of

miniatures mostly in the Pierpont collection, And published as _Old

Testament Miniatures_, Sydney Cockerel, London 1967. I forget the

publisher.

 

The beasty consists of a flat toothed piece of Iron, one end bent over to

hang on the beam, and at the other end, on the non-toothed bar, a small

loop. A rod goes through the loop, and has a hook at the bottom (down

past the toothed flat piece, and on the other end a hinged loop of its

own, large enugh to slide over the teeth, and pull into one to fix the

height.

 

I guess this is not very easy to imagine, but the same thing is made by

blacksmiths today.

 

Charles Ragnar

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 15:07:22 -0800

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - kitchen kits (long)

 

Hi all from Anne-Marie.

First off, let me salute you, Celestria! A period encampment is a step that

many SCA folks just dont want to bother with, for a lot of reasons. Good

for you! I'm attempting the same thing, and have made some observations by

looking mostly at non-SCA medieval recreation groups and lots of primary

source material.

 

To cook "medievally" you need:

1. fire source. Much depends on your kingdom, and where you live. The

oh-so-medieval ground fires are almost always verbotin here, so I'm

commissioning a fire box type gizmo from a local guy with a forge. It will

be the requisite foot off the ground, and fairly shallow. My reserach shows

that food was cooked on charcoal more than fires (I even have a picture of

cooks cooking on little black squares. Briquets! :)). But both wood and

charcoal wre used and are represented in the primary source material.

You'll need a way to start your fire, whether flint and steel (The Duke of

Burgundy's badge was a fire striker), or a couvre chef (a little domed

gizmo to cover the coals from the night before so you can start the next

days fire with them). I've seen SCA contraptions of braziers that fold

up...not very medieval, but slick. I've seen fireboxes made out of half

barrels (sliced longwize and set up on bricks so their off the ground), the

tops to a hot water heater, etc etc etc. The possibilities are endless,

even for the finanically constrained.

 

2. Fire toys. Pokers and prodders and pot lid lifters and hooks and chains

and a trammel to suspend pots over your fire. If you cover your fire area

with a canvas tarp you will be safe from sun and rain. I saw a neat gizmo

at GWW of a blow pipe...a small bit of metal pipe with a cap with ahole in

it. Blow on the fire to get it going. Neat! And just like the medieval

copper smelters.

 

3. Pots. Medieval pots were copper, tin, ceramic, etc. I am planning on

making do with the more readily accessible cast iron. 18th century

recreationists sutlery sells neat ones with feet that look just like the

medieval ones, not the flatter modern Lodge cast iron style, and for about

the same price. I also saw footed skillets and am attmepting to pin one of

those down. Most cool! You'll need stirring things as well...skimmers and

ladles and spoons and a fleshe forke if you want to get really authentic

about it.

 

4. A wooden bucket of water and/or sand right near by. Just in case, its

fire after all. You can get these through the sutlers, or Panther

Primitives, etc. I got mine at a hardware store...its supposed to be a

decorator item, and I lined it with clear epoxy to make it invisibly

watertight.

 

5. Lots of hotpad units. I'm planning on making mine out of wool scraps

(cheap up here), sewing lots of layers together, and leaving my modern ones

at home.

 

6. Recipies!!! Of course you'll only want to cook medieval food in your

medieval kitchen, right? :) Funny, most medieval recipeis lend themselves

well to cooking on an open fire, ie boil and serve, simmer and serve, fry

and serve. I am still attempting to figure out how to bake bread and pies

in my cast iron ware. I took a class and so just need to practice to get

the hang of it. at GWW we ate off the fire exclusively and ate like kings.

 

7. most importantly, either do away, or hide everything that's not

documentably authentic for the period. Put the coolers in a tent and only

bring stuff out after transferring to a medieval container like a wooden

bowl, or plate. Better yet, do away with the coolers altogether if you can

(Cariadoc and Elizabeth did an article on this for the TI not too long

ago). Throwing a piece of fabric over a cooler does not make it medieval

magically. Neither does painting Celtic knotwork on a propane stove. Sorry!

:)

 

anyway, good luck! maybe we can compare notes when I find source for more

of the toys I need.

- --Anne-Marie

 

 

Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 11:26:49 -0000

From: "Yeldham, Caroline S" <csy20688 at GlaxoWellcome.co.uk>

Subject: RE: SC - kitchen kits (long)

 

Hello from Caroline

 

I hope I can help - I've been cooking this way for the last 6 years in

living history in the UK (30 - 100 people, about half the weekends each

summer). I wanted to answer some of Anne-Maries points as well, so have

included her text.

First, Celestria, you are being very sensible, it will take a long time to

get everything together.  How long probably depends on what suppliers you

can track down to make things for you, how much they charge and your

disposable income (I'm still working on it and feel I have quite a long way

to go)

 

> To cook "medievally" you need:

 

> 1. fire source. Much depends on your kingdom, and where you live. The

> oh-so-medieval ground fires are almost always verbotin here, so I'm

> commissioning a fire box type gizmo from a local guy with a forge. It will

> be the requisite foot off the ground, and fairly shallow.

       [Yeldham, Caroline S]  Its a pity, do try for ground fires if you

can (dig up the turves) - we don't have much of a problem here in the UK

even on archeological sites (some of them even have existing fireplaces!).

I presume Anne-Marie is referring to the risk of fire spreading in dry

conditions. If not possible, Anne-Marie's solution sounds reasonable.

 

> My reserach shows

> that food was cooked on charcoal more than fires (I even have a picture of

> cooks cooking on little black squares. Briquets! :)).

       [Yeldham, Caroline S]  ? I would say wood was much more common -

charcoal production was labour intensive and skilled job, and needed the

right sort of wood.

 

> I saw a neat gizmo

> at GWW of a blow pipe...a small bit of metal pipe with a cap with ahole in

> it. Blow on the fire to get it going. Neat! And just like the medieval

> copper smelters.

       [Yeldham, Caroline S]  Bellows would be more common

 

> 3. Pots. Medieval pots were copper, tin, ceramic, etc.

       [Yeldham, Caroline S]  Depends on period - but certainly for late

15th century bronze cooking pots were common, as were pottery ones.

 

> I am planning on

> making do with the more readily accessible cast iron. 18th century

> recreationists sutlery sells neat ones with feet that look just like the

> medieval ones, not the flatter modern Lodge cast iron style, and for about

> the same price. I also saw footed skillets and am attmepting to pin one of

> those down. Most cool! You'll need stirring things as well...skimmers and

> ladles and spoons and a fleshe forke if you want to get really authentic

> about it.

 

       [Yeldham, Caroline S]  You will need to track down suppliers for any

of these - I could give you references for the UK, but I assume that's not

much use.  As for picture references - try Fast and Feast by Bridget Ann

Henicsh - lots of 14th century pictures of cooking, or for even better

pictures from the end of the 16th century, try and find some Scarpi pictures

(I think Cindy used them for her Take 1000 Eggs (?) - the Penguin version of

Elizabeth Davids' Italian cooking

       has clear versions - look for the 'how to set up an outside

kitchen', also the different knives used. in period.  We had copied the spit

arrangement he shows which works very well, and the trivet as well.   He

shows a lovely cauldron stand with spit holders for small spits which I

rather covet.  In the meantime we use large wooden tripods with a long

wooden bar in between to suspend the cauldrons (they stand 6' to 7' high)

 

> 5. Lots of hotpad units. I'm planning on making mine out of wool scraps

> (cheap up here), sewing lots of layers together, and leaving my modner

> ones

> at home.

 

       [Yeldham, Caroline S]  I use lengths of linen.  Lots of cloth (linen

of different types) - to strain with, to bolt with, to mop up with, cover up

food (esp. when flies are about).  Have a look at Terence Scully's work on

Chiquart - its amazing how much cloth he specifies.

 

       [Yeldham, Caroline S]  Trestle table(s), platters, bowls, jugs, pots

of all sizes, chopping boards, knives, spoons, sieves, basket ware, chests,

sacks. I never have enough things to put ingredients or dishes in the

process of being made, or finished dishes on, temporarily or for serving.

 

       Caroline

 

 

Date: 20 Feb 1998 09:09:59 -0800

From: "Marisa Herzog" <marisa_herzog at macmail.ucsc.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - kitchen kits (long

 

I have a gizmo that I am rather proud of.  For many years my husband had been

holding onto this funny half barrel "booze cabinet".  It is about 1'x2' and

maybe a foot deep at the absolute center.  It is meant to hang on the wall

from a chain across the back.  It was starting to fall apart, and served no

real purpose.

He was about to throw it away when I realized it could be made useful.  I tore

out the silly racks inside meant for glasses and bottles,  cleaned it up,

re-set the hinges on the doors, laquered it with weather-proof finish, put in

some better shelves and bars, and put a hook in the top overhang.

Now I have a travelling kitchen cabinet!  It has room for herbs, spices, teas,

bottles of vinegar, oil and honey, some pewter mugs, a small cutting board and

a couple of knives.  I hang wooden spoons and fresh cut herbs from the hook,

so when it is open, the non-period things are not as obvious.  And it hangs so

it can be put up out of the way and the weather.  It isn't huge but is large

enough for my share of whatever household cooking gets done at weekend events.

I have seen similar half-barrel contraptions at flea-markets, just waiting for

make overs!

- -brid

 

 

From: Henry Davis <hdavis at ix.netcom.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Kettles and Cauldrons

Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 15:05:39 GMT

 

Gary Wolverton <route66 at ameritech.net> wrote:

>    Does anyone out there know what the period material for cooking

>vessels was? I am inclined to believe that it was either cast iron or

>some form of stoneware such as clay or terra cotta.

 

"The answer" depends on when in time, where geographically, and the purpose.

That said, lead was common at various times in England as it was low cost,

easy to work, and could be readily reused. Copper and bronze were also both

used for larger vessels. These three metals were generally the preferred

metal for brewing kettles in England. German brewing tradition moved rapidly

to copper in the 14th century. Iron was a common material at some times, but

not used for brewing generally (I know you didn't ask about brewing in

specific, but it's a good example of use determining the materials).  

 

Henry

 

 

From: Mark Shier <mark at medievalwares.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Kettles and Cauldrons

Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 09:31:15 -0800

Organization: Island Net on Vancouver Island B.C. Canada

 

   Bronze cauldrons are sold by Rayne Foundry at

http://www.castings.demon.co.uk/

 

   Excellent iron cauldrons are available from Jas. Townsend at

http://www.jastown.com/

 

Iron cauldrons are a little too modern for me ( I do 14C), but they are

a lot more affordable.

 

                                   Mark der Gaukler

 

 

From: powers at woodstock.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Kettles and Cauldrons

Date: 26 Mar 1998 12:26:16 -0500

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

>    Does anyone out there know what the period material for cooking

>vessels was? I am inclined to believe that it was either cast iron or

>some form of stoneware such as clay or terra cotta.

>    If it be one or the other, etc. are there any ideas of where one

>might find an event or feast sized pot in the 10 to 20 gallon size?

 

Cast iron is a Renaissance "invention" for western europe.  Previously

cast bronze/brass, (bell metal), (if you go this route make sure your

pot is *properly* *tinned* and check/re-tin it at regular intervals

mush like what is done with *up* scale copper cooking implements

even today!

 

Early period has left us examples of wrought iron pots both beaten

from a single sheet and assembled from several pieces, bronze pots

beaten from sheets and assembled, soapstone pots, clay pots.

 

If you are gung-ho I will gladly sell you some wrought iron plate

to take to your local blacksmith to make into a kettle; sane people

may settle for mild steel---just think of a pot as being a really

large and very dished knee-cop....(I usually point twords a smith since

working hot or annealing regularly helps a lot).

 

What time/place are you interested in?  I may be able to provide a

cite to an example.

 

May I also commend to your attention "Iron and Brass Implements of

the English House"  with has some dandy period examples---I love the

pot with the inscription "The wages of sin is death" cast into

the handle...

 

wilelm the smith

 

 

From: LIB_IMC at centum.utulsa.EDU (I. Marc Carlson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: re: Kettles and Cauldrons

Date: 26 Mar 1998 14:38:10 -0500

 

>>    Does anyone out there know what the period material for cooking

>>vessels was? I am inclined to believe that it was either cast iron or

>>some form of stoneware such as clay or terra cotta.

>>    If it be one or the other, etc. are there any ideas of where one

>>might find an event or feast sized pot in the 10 to 20 gallon size?

 

Since you have already had the iron pot portion of your question

answered, you might take a look at ceramic pots as well.  I'd try

_Medieval Catalogue_ London: London Museum, 1967, and

Mayes, Philip and Butler, Lawrence, _Sandal Castle Excavations, 1964-73_

Wakefield, W. Yorkshire: Wakefield historical publications, 1983.

I believe that both of these have examples of cooking pots (as well

as other really cool items of daily use).  At the size you are

specifying, though, I'm not sure about pottery cauldrons even existed,

although to be honest I don't know either way.

 

As for *finding* anything close might be tricky, unless you want to

order something new -- and something of that size is going to be

pricy new.  If you are very patient you can sometimes find them in

cast iron at flea markets and thrift stores.

 

Marc/Diarmuit

lib_imc at centum.utulsa.edu

 

 

From: Andrew Tye <atye at efn.org>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Kettles and Cauldrons

Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 12:10:02 -0800

Organization: Oregon Public Networking

 

On Thu, 26 Mar 1998, Mark Shier wrote:

>     Bronze cauldrons are sold by Rayne Foundry at

> http://www.castings.demon.co.uk/

>

>     Excellent iron cauldrons are available from Jas. Townsend at

> http://www.jastown.com/

>

> Iron cauldrons are a little too modern for me ( I do 14C), but they are

> a lot more affordable.

 

Ivar here,

 

In addition, you might want to check with the Cumberland General Store.

The last catalogue I have from them has cast iron cauldrons in sizes

from 6 to 45 gallons and hand-hammered copper cauldrons from 10 to 40

gallons. They are NOT cheap however.

 

The last time I checked, the CGS did not have a web site.  They can be

reached at:

               Cumberland General Store

               Route 3

               Crossville, TN 38555  USA

 

               (800) 334-4640 - orders

               (615) 484-8481

                                 

Ivar Hakonarson

Adiantum, An Tir.

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 16:51:21 -0800

From: Heather Senkler <wl835 at victoria.tc.ca>

Subject: Re: Kettles and Cauldrons

 

On Thu, 26 Mar 1998, Gary Wolverton wrote:

>     Does anyone out there know what the period material for cooking

> vessels was? I am inclined to believe that it was either cast iron or

> some form of stoneware such as clay or terra cotta.

>     If it be one or the other, etc. are there any ideas of where one

> might find an event or feast sized pot in the 10 to 20 gallon size?

 

Having just returned from London I can tell you about two cooking vessels

I saw at the British Museum. The massive pot from Sutton Hoo is probably

not your style but the chain holding it up was incredibly detailed and

intricate. The other "pot" was a metal helm with holes on the edges to

hang it by.

 

Ekatarina

 

 

From: Henry Davis <hdavis at ix.netcom.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: re: Kettles and Cauldrons

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 07:05:15 GMT

 

LIB_IMC at centum.utulsa.EDU (I. Marc Carlson) wrote:

>>"lead was common at various times in England"

>Really? When?  I am really curious about things like this.

>Marc/Diarmuit

>lib_imc at centum.utulsa.edu

 

As you know, the above quotation was in reference to the types of materials

employed in the fabrication of kettles - in addition to the assumed iron and

stoneware.

 

The term "lead" meant a kettle in addition to the metal itself in the 14th

century (c.f. OED). During the period 1350 to 1450, numerous estate

inventories and wills identified lead kettles as a significant item of real

property. In addition, there are references to lead lined cooling trays -

the lead was used to simplify cleaning and to make by-industrial cooling

vessels water (or beer) tight.

 

References to country house practices at the end of the 16th century include

mention of lead pipes used to move beer from one location to another during

brewing.

 

You can find references to 14th century leads in "Ale, Beer, and Brewsters

in England" by Bennett. Sanbrook's "Country House Brewing in England 1500

1900" details the continued use of lead in many country houses through the

17th century.

 

Although "lead" was used to mean a kettle in many documents from 1300-1600,

the term did not necessarily indicate that the lead was made of lead.

Indeed, the term became a corruption when referencing brewing (c.f. OED).

 

As indicated in an earlier post, lead was a favored metal because it was

easily worked and reclaimed. By comparison, copper and its alloys were less

easily worked (it work hardens and requires annealing) and generally were

reclaimed by reuse (c.f. Country House Brewing on the topic of building a

furnace).

 

Henry

 

 

From: Henry Davis <hdavis at ix.netcom.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Kettles and Cauldrons

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 07:14:10 GMT

 

powers at woodstock.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers) wrote:

 

>>    Does anyone out there know what the period material for cooking

>>vessels was? I am inclined to believe that it was either cast iron or

>>some form of stoneware such as clay or terra cotta.

>>    If it be one or the other, etc. are there any ideas of where one

>>might find an event or feast sized pot in the 10 to 20 gallon size?

>Cast iron is a Renaissance "invention" for western europe.  Previously

>cast bronze/brass, (bell metal), (if you go this route make sure your

>pot is *properly* *tinned* and check/re-tin it at regular intervals

>mush like what is done with *up* scale copper cooking implements

>even today!

 

Tinning is not always needed. For example, Many German and English breweries

continue to use untinned boiling coppers. The coppers are properly prepared

by cleaning so that the verdigris and similar copper compounds don't leach

into whatever is cooked in the pot. French chefs commonly use a copper bowl

for beating egg whites - without tinning.

 

As always -  know and understand your food/vessel chemistry.

 

Henry

 

 

From: LIB_IMC at centum.utulsa.EDU (I. Marc Carlson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: re: Kettles and Cauldrons

Date: 27 Mar 1998 22:37:19 -0500

 

<Henry Davis <hdavis at ix.netcom.com>>

>As you know, the above quotation was in reference to the types of materials

>employed in the fabrication of kettles - in addition to the assumed iron and

>stoneware.

 

You are right.

 

>The term "lead" meant a kettle in addition to the metal itself in the 14th

>century (c.f. OED). During the period 1350 to 1450, numerous estate

>inventories and wills identified lead kettles as a significant item of real

>property. In addition, there are references to lead lined cooling trays -

>the lead was used to simplify cleaning and to make by-industrial cooling

>vessels water (or beer) tight.

 

And here it is "A large pot or cauldron or kettle; a large open vessel used

in brewing and various other operations (originally one made of lead, but early

used without reference to the material).  Hmm.

 

I did realize as I was looking at the picture of the lead "tanks" in this

quarter's _Antiquity_ (late Saxon era) that I'm not sure the original poster

made it clear what the use for the 10-20 gallon tub was.  I don't know about

anyone else, but I assumed they were referring to *cooking*, which may not

be true at all.

 

Clearly, though, lead seems to have been popular with the brewing industry.

I have to wonder -- since lead pots are alleged to change the flavor of

vinager to a distinctive sweet flavor, what does it do to things brewed

in them?

 

(I saw the whole "white lead" versus "black lead" thing from 1567, as well

as the "leaden milk pan" definition)

 

Marc/Diarmuit

lib_imc at centum.utulsa.edu

 

 

Subject: Re: Kettles and Cauldrons

Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 16:18:08 -0500 (EST)

From: william thomas powers <powers at cis.ohio-state.edu>

To: stefan at texas.net (Stefan li Rous)

 

> powers at woodstock.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers) wrote:

> > >    Does anyone out there know what the period material for cooking

> > >vessels was? I am inclined to believe that it was either cast iron or

> > >some form of stoneware such as clay or terra cotta.

> > >    If it be one or the other, etc. are there any ideas of where one

> > >might find an event or feast sized pot in the 10 to 20 gallon size?

> >

> > Cast iron is a Renaissance "invention" for western europe. Previously

> > cast bronze/brass, (bell metal), (if you go this route make sure your

> > pot is *properly* *tinned* and check/re-tin it at regular intervals

> > mush like what is done with *up* scale copper cooking implements

> > even today!

> >

> > Early period has left us examples of wrought iron pots both beaten

> > from a single sheet and assembled from several pieces, bronze pots

> > beaten from sheets and assembled, soapstone pots, clay pots.

> >

> > If you are gung-ho I will gladly sell you some wrought iron plate

> > to take to your local blacksmith to make into a kettle; sane people

> > may settle for mild steel---just think of a pot as being a really

> > large and very dished knee-cop....(I usually point twords a smith since

> > working hot or annealing regularly helps a lot).

> >

> > What time/place are you interested in?  I may be able to provide a

> > cite to an example.

> >

> > May I also commend to your attention "Iron and Brass Implements of

> > the English House"  with has some dandy period examples---I love the

> > pot with the inscription "The wages of sin is death" cast into

> > the handle...

> >

> > wilelm the smith

 

In haste pray foregive my terseness!!

 

> You still have some of that iron plate??? I thought you would have

> used it up or sold it off by now.

 

I have had little time at the forge this year, having pneumonia

las summer had a large impact on my schedules.  I still

have considerable quantities of wrought iron.

 

> What form is it in? And how much do you want for it? Any idea what

> it will cost to ship it to Austin, Texas?

 

3/16" and 5/16" in plate.  Check the UPS schedule for shipping costs.

 

> I'm still trying to get into some blacksmithing and from what you've

> said, this wrought iron plate is a better material for blacksmithing

> than the mild steels of today.

 

If you are trying to do authentic work it is *mandatory*; however it

does work differently from mild steel---some folk have trouble with it

mainly due to its need to be worked at high temperatures.

 

> Is it true that wrought iron is less susceptible to rust than steels?

 

It is less susceptable to damage by rust.

 

> Thanks for the other info. Do you have a more complete biblio. for

> this "Iron and Brass Implements..." book? Where did you locate

> yours?

 

"Iron and Brass Implements of the English House" J.Seymour Lindsay

 

First edition published in 1927 by the Medici Society, London

 

Revised and enlarged and republished by Alec Tiranti Ltd in 1964, London

 

I found my copy in a used bookstore in Fayetteville Arkansas in 1979.

(predates ISBN)

 

Thomas/Wilelm

 

 

From: Duane Brocious <dnb105 at psu.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Cast Iron in Period?

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 20:38:33 -0500

 

Iryshrovrs wrote:

> As far as I know...cast iron itself isn't period..

 

Cast iron came into use with the double acting bellows (a Chinese

import) in Europe circa the 13th century, as did the use of forged iron

in S.E.Asia. It has been hypothesized that the exchange of

techniques/technology arose from the contact between Europe and Asia at

that time (see Marco Polo et al).

In any case, from 1300 on, cast iron is period in Europe.

 

Ferret

 

 

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 10:49:57 -0500

From: blues <blues at mail.ic.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Kettles and Cauldrons

 

In addition to Jas. Townsend and Cumberland General Store, I would

recommend Lehamn's Non-Electric Hardware. They're on the web at

www.lehmans.com, but I'd recommend getting their printed catalog.

 

 

From: tanyaw at world.std.com (Tanya Washburn)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Cast Iron in Period?

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 11:04:40 -0500

 

iryshrovrs at aol.com (Iryshrovrs) wrote:

> As far as I know...cast iron itself isn't period...but it looks close enough.

> I use mine at events, because I don't know what else to use.

 

I've been researching this very thing! In France they used ceramic pots

for hearth cooking, until relatively modern times. They look like New

England Beanpots, with handles on the sides, and three small feet that

raise the pot above the coals an inch or so. They have a couple in the

Louvre in Paris that they excavated during the renovations a few years

ago. I believe that they were used elsewhere in Europe, with surviving

examples in England, and maybe

pictoral evidence in Germany. I am going to keep looking, and in the

meantime, try using my beanpot over a campfire to see how it goes!

 

Hope this was useful, and I wish I could be more specific in my citations!

 

Tanya

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 16:45:23 -0500

From: Christi Redeker <Christi.Redeker at digital.com>

Subject: SC - I've been reading again

 

I bet you have been cursing my Mistress for ever giving me this book, but I

have been reading The Original Mediterranean Cuisine by Barbara Santich

again (lovely book lots of information for anyone who doesn't have it).

And, yet again I have a question.

 

Can anyone out there tell me where I may find an illustration of a Testo?

 

The book says, "There is a link here with Ancient Rome, where cakes had been

cooked in or under an earthenware testum, surrounded by hot coals.  The

medieval testo, was an earthenware or metal dish with a concave lid that

held coals to provide heat from above."  Then, "Italia torta recipes include

quite specific instructions on baking, and on the amount of heat needed

above and below."

 

Any information on these would be welcome and maybe I will make one to

experiment with.

 

Murkial

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 18:06:27 -0700 (MST)

From: Sabia <sabia at unm.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - I've been reading again

 

On Fri, 3 Apr 1998, Christi Redeker wrote:

> Can anyone out there tell me where I may find an illustration of a Testo?

> The book says, "There is a link here with Ancient Rome, where cakes had been

> cooked in or under an earthenware testum, surrounded by hot coals.  The

> medieval testo, was an earthenware or metal dish with a concave lid that

> held colas to provide heat from above."  Then, "Italia torta recipes include

> quite specific instructions on baking, and on the amount of heat needed

> above and below."

 

Murkial there is an article in Food in Antiquity (edited by John wilkens,

David Harvey, & Mike Dobson) on the Clibanus and testum in ancient Rome

with descriptions and archaeological detailed sketches. They discuss some

of the materials used in assembly plus some of the breads made.

 

Sabia (sabia at unm.edu)

 

 

Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 09:17:52 EDT

From: LrdRas <LrdRas at aol.com>

Subject: SC - Chopsticks

 

In a message dated 4/7/98 7:33:38 AM Eastern Daylight Time,

Christi.Redeker at digital.com writes:

 

<< Actually, what had happened is that the Autocrat had asked for a Far Eastern

feast so that she could offer chop sticks as site tokens.   >>

 

Although I don't have the references handy, I recall reading somewhere that

chopsticks were a fad in Renassance Italy. Also a lady did a period cooking

class on Oriental medieval food at Pennsic a couple of years ago. Perhaps

someone on the list can provide her name and contact info?

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 15:14:57 -0400

From: mermayde at juno.com (Christine A Seelye-King)

Subject: SC - Stoves and ovens

 

So, what we need is the earliest documentation any of us can find for

!) pot au feu 2) cooking with stoves.  What do people have?

>Regards,

>Lady Allison

 

From"Old Cooking Utensils" by David J. Eveleigh, Shire Publications, UK

 

       "Boiling was the simplest and most widely practised method of

cooking. Large boiling vessels, described variously as crocks,

cauldrons, kettles, boilers and furnaces constitute the most widely found

cooking utensils prior to 1800.  They were used at every social level but

amongst the poor especially were regularly employed to prepare an entire

meal. Meat was placed in a pot of boiling water, followed later with

vegetables and a pudding which were wrapped in cloths and nets.  .....

...............Despite the variety of names, there were basically just

two types of boiling vessel; the *cauldron* and the *kettle*.  Both had a

long ancestry.  Metal cauldrons were first used in Britain about 1000 BC

during the late bronze age, and kettles originated in the Anglo-Saxon

*cytel*. Cauldrons were round bellied and round bottomed, and by the

middle ages were being made with three legs which gave them stability and

enabled them to stand in the fire.  They were also provided with two

'ears' close to the rim by which they could be suspended over the hearth.

Cauldrons were always made of cast metal, unlike kettles which were made

from sheet metal, usually brass, hammered by hand to form a straighter

sided, open-top vessel.  ......

       Most cauldrons recorded in sixteenth and seventeenth century

inventories were cast in a metal commonly described by contemporaries as

"crock brass" or "bell metal".  This was an alloy of copper and tin,

similar to bronze, although usually containing quantities of lead and

zinc. There are few inventories that list cauldrons made of iron, but

these were rare.  Although cast iron was cheap it was of poor quality

until... 1709...

   ...........Stewing required a gentle even heat and for this a

separate brick stove burning charcoal was often used in preference to the

main kitchen grate until the developement in the nineteenth century of

kitchen ranges enclosed on top with a hot plate.  ...

   ...........Originally ovens were associated exclusively with baking.

From the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries most substantial homes in

the countryside were built with a wall oven which generally consisted of

a circular domed cavity reached by a small rectangular opening; from

their shape they are sometimes described as 'beehive ovens'.  Faggots

were burned inside the oven to heat the masonry or brick lining, then the

embers were carefully spread around the floor to ensure it was heated

evenly before being raked out.            ...  In Cornwall, northern

England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland the three-legged cauldron was

inverted over the item to be baked and hot embers piled up around the

outside. ...

 

Mistress Christianna MacGrain, OP, Meridies

 

 

Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 00:46:37 -0500

From: allilyn at juno.com (LYN M PARKINSON)

Subject: Re: SC - Stoves and ovens

 

Mistress Christianna,

 

Thanks for your references to stoves and ovens.  I haven't read that one.

Have been looking at

 

Hagen, Ann.  A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food, Processing and Consumption.

Anglo-Saxon     Books, Middlesex, UK, 1992. Hagen, Ann. A HANDBOOK OF

ANGLO-SAXON FOOD. Processing and   Consumption. Anglo-Saxon Books,

Nisslwawx, England. 1992.

 

She says the same thing about cauldrons and kettles.  She also adds

eathenware: " Upright pierced lugs on the rims of bowls and horizontal

pierced lugs on the shoulders of some of the smaller pots indicate these

were for suspension over a fire, and therefore for cooking..   ...Good

quality pots which were more heat-resistent were imported from

widely-spaced centres across northern Belgium and France and Germany into

such ports as Hamwih." p. 37.

 

She also mentions cooking in leather vessels, which were made by the

shoemaker; griddles, hot stones to serve as griddles, spits, a shallow

pan for frying.  Meat was baked, as well as bread. The most common

method, for most people, was the on-going stew in one cauldron.  Carrots

are one of the vegetables that appear as used in Anglo-Saxon times, also

parsnips and skirrets.  Herbs, barley, onions are also linked with stews.

If the peasant has one pot, and his meat and broth are in it, and he

cooks other things as well, it says 'stew' to me.  Exact and specific

recipes are terrific to have, but I really don't think you can say they

didn't do stew as we know stew (minus the potatoes) because we don't have

a recipe.  Judgement call, I know.

 

Lady Allison

 

 

Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 00:53:17 -0500

From: a14h at zebra.net (William Seibert)

Subject: Re: SC - Mulling recipes

 

If it helps, I seem to recall seeing in a museum somewhere what

was called a mulling iron.  Was an iron cylender about 2 or 3

inches in diameter about 3 or 4 inches long, with a long, slender

iron handle about half inch in diameter with wooden hand grip.

Apparently the thing was kept in the fire, and then dipped in a

mug of wine or whatever immediately prior to serving.  Don't

recall what period it was tho, sorry.

 

Wajdi

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 07:58:32 -0500

From: vjarmstrong at aristotle.net (Valoise Armstrong)

Subject: Re: SC - Re: seeking recipes (Outdoor Feast)

 

Anne-Marie wrote,

 

> I certainly

>havent seen any flat lidded pots in the Museum collections, primary sources

>and other stuff I've been looking at. Again, I'd love to be proven wrong,

>but all the pots I've seen are the cauldron shape, with nicely domed lids

>(tricky to stack coals on) and a round bottom (tricky to control the heat

>on underneath).

 

This has bothered me for a while because some of the German sources

recommend placing hot coals both underneath and on top of the pot while it

cooks. Instead of doing all of the cooking in the fireplace, kitchens in

German-speaking Europe had a hearth raised about waist high where cooking

was done in pans placed on tripods or in pots or pans with three feet.

Coals could be added or removed from underneath to adjust the heat.

 

But most of the woodcuts show people cooking with uncovered pots and pans.

There are a few picture that look like the lids might be flat with handles,

rather than domed, but they never show coals on top. The pans and some of

the pots are flat bottomed with staight sides, not cauldron-shaped. There

are round bottomed cooking containers in both metal and clay, but they

aren't the only shape.

 

Recently I got a copy of Hofrichter and Grassnick's Deutsche historiche

Buergerhaeuser (German historical city houses) that shows the Albrecht

Durer's restored kitchen in Nuremberg. Great picture of the kitchen with a

metal pot on the hearth with a flat lid - no handle on the top. This could

easily have had coals placed on top as rcommended in the 16th recipes. No

rim around the edge, like a dutch oven, though.

 

Valoise

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 15:13:07 -0500

From: allilyn at juno.com (LYN M PARKINSON)

Subject: SC - Re: pot pictures

 

One of my German cookbooks is illustrated with woodcuts  Mostly, they are

16thC, but some as early as 1502.  One of the pot lids is a little like a

hat, in that there is a raised 'crown', slightly indented, and the 'brim'

is curved as much as a ring mold.  The only use I can see would be to

hold the coals.  There are a number of legged items.  There are also pots

without domed lids, but I bet they turned the domed ones over, as was

suggested.

 

I don't know whether this book ever appeared in English translation.  If

you'd rather try to find it through InterLibrary Loan, here is the info:

(and if you do find it in English, would you let me know, please)

 

Fahrenkamp, H. Jurgen.  Wie man eyn teutsches Mannsbild bey Krafften

halt. (in German).  Prisma Verlag. Munchen or Gutersloh,  1986.  ISBN 3

570 09730 7

 

Allison

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 13:50:13 -0400

From: Bonne <oftraquair at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: seeking recipes (Outdoor Feast)

 

> Recently I got a copy of Hofrichter and Grassnick's Deutsche historiche

> Buergerhaeuser (German historical city houses) that shows the Albrecht

> Durer's restored kitchen in Nuremberg. Great picture of the kitchen with a

> metal pot on the hearth with a flat lid - no handle on the top. This could

> easily have had coals placed on top as rcommended in the 16th recipes. No

> rim around the edge, like a dutch oven, though.

> Valoise

 

Might these "Deutsch" cooking pots be the precursor to what we call "dutch"

ovens? The idea of the rim and handy loop handle and handle jack coming later?

Sounds like the german cooks were leaps ahead of the rest, how clever to

raise the hearth up so the cook could stand to work instead of bending.

 

To the person using a griddle and metal pan to imitate a baking cloche, King

Arthur Flour Co catalog has a smallish cloche that fits on a baking stone.

Williams Sonoma sells these also. They are small enough to fit in a regular

oven, you might be trying to make something larger. So, brainstorming for

cheaper and bigger, I come up with:

 

a very large terra cotta pot instead of the metal bowl on top,

 

on the bottom, placing coals in a shallow terra cotta dish slightly smaller in

diameter than the metal griddle, and deep enough that the rim of the dish

keeps the griddle from direct contact with the coals. The shallow dish sitting

amoungst more coals.

 

Bonne

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 14:02:27 -0400

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: medieval cooking setup

 

>Hi all from Anne-Marie

<snip>

>This means that we're looking really closely and hard at all kinds of

>things, both manuscript illuminations and at the museum catelogs and

>inventories (I sooooooo hope that Museum of London book on kitchen stuff

>comes out!).

<snip>

 

Hello! please check out http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/food.html , where Greg

& I have posted numerous illustrations of kitchen utensils, etc.

 

Cindy Renfrow

renfrow at skylands.net

 

 

Date: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 17:29:17 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - tripods, and the like.

 

Hiya from Anne-Marie

Bogdan asks:

> I know that I have read through some old discussions on tripods (and I am

> sure Stefan will refer me to a file), but I have an offer for a free

> tripod, made to my specifications, and I would love some advice. Ideally,

> if you know of period pictures of tripods I would appreciate it.  I saw

> the one in Take a thousand eggs or more, and it looks tempting with all of

> the hooks running down the legs, but I don't want to limit myself.  I

> figure if my brother wants to do some smithing work for me as a trial of

> his new forge, who am I to turn him down???

 

The reading I've been doing for 14-15th century Europe says they used those

cool hooky things, but they aren't tripods, they're "dipods" :), ie a set

up like a modern swing set. They also got setups where a metal bit (or

wood?) is stuck into the ground on each side and a cross piece is suspended

between them over the fire to hang the pots from.

 

Neither of these is the standard SCA-blackpowder group tripod gizmo. Still

havent seen an appropriate one of those in the primary source material.

 

- --AM

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 09:59:11 +0200 (MET DST)

From: Par Leijonhufvud <parlei at algonet.se>

Subject: Re: SC - tripods, and the like.

 

On Mon, 29 Jun 1998, William Seibert wrote:

> I recall seeing, somewhere on the web, in a list of Viking grave

> goods, a cooking tripod.  Unfortunately, I can't recall where it

> was I found it.  But, it WAS there.  Hope that helps narrow down

> the search for documentation on the tripod for cooking questions

> a tad.

 

Oseberg, IIRC. It was fairly low, made from wrought iron, and had a

large pot (lamellar iron).

 

/UlfR

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 18:33:35 +1000 (EST)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn at sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>

Subject: Re: SC - Sealing a Cauldron

 

I made a cauldron myself from mild steel, and used the porridge method to

seal it - for the first few feasts it needed to have the water constantly

topped up, but now it is perfect.

 

I recall a long and technical discussion on the OldNorseNet about what

was and wasn't 'wrought iron'. So if it is something that can be welded

at red heat it would e a nice thing to be able to use. My cauldron was in

fact worked cold. Ockham's razor (not always a good historical test)

would suggest that the porridge method would be a lot easier than going

to the extra trouble of working inside a red-hot object, which is

actually quite difficult. THe first time I made one I bent all the pieces

into shape, and then rivetted it, which was very difficult. The second

time I rivetted the centres together (I did not have bottom pieces), then

bent and rivetted as I went, which made life _MUCH_ simpler.

 

Charles Ragnar

 

 

Date: Thu, 15 Oct 98 00:30:49 -0500

From: Dottie Elliott <difirenze at usa.net>

Subject: Re: SC - feastware question

 

>I just got through looking at a site that has beautiful late anglo-saxon

>reproduction pottery on it.

 

If this is a web site, I would love to see the address.

 

As someone who has been studying medieval pottery (and learning to make

pottery) for a while now I will try to answer this. First of all, our

knowledge of the middle ages is based on what archeologist have found,

and drawings, paintings and writings or the period. Its my opinon that

its impossible to tell from an illuminated manuscript or painting whether

an item is metal, pottery or wood. Plates in England aren't found until

the late fifteen hundreds and those were square and made of wood. Now,

they did have silver plates before that. It was an ostentatious show of

wealth and was used as such. Often such plates (and even the more

beautiful pottery) was displayed during feasts rather than used as

another show of wealth (you have so much you don't need to use it all).

 

Most of the pottery that survives from England are pots, jugs, pitchers,

pans and later cups, bowls and so on.  Pottery in England in the 10th &

11th centuries was mostly rather simple (well compared to Italy). It was

crudely made and decorated possibly not all. Pottery was mostly very

functional. Cups of the time are mostly wood (bowls) or metal. Things got

better as time went on. I have read that the pottery industry in England

collapsed when Rome withdrew and that explains why their pottery was crude

early on. Certainly, it was not nearly as finished looking nor as highly

decorated as Italy's pottery.

 

Also, let me say that of the cups, bowls and plates I am making, plates

are the hardest. You must be careful to leave enough clay for the bottom

to be able to use the item but if you leave too much it will warp on

drying and be too heavy. My teacher agress that they are one of the

harder items to make.

 

Its my personal opinion that poorer folks used simple wood bowls in their

own homes because they would have been eating bread (not using it as a

plate and throwing/giving it away). This was something they could make

themselves as well. Wood doesn't break as easily as pottery either.

 

Please also remember that at feasts folks shared food containers.  How

many people you might share with depended on your social rank.  The type

of bread and amount and type of food was dictated by this as well.  The

trencher was a place to put your portion that you removed from a communal

bowl. There is a whole realm of ettiquette on how to share food (like its

bad manners to eat the trencher), share cups, etc. Its my opinion that

when serving large groups of people, bread trenchers were the only way to

give that many folks their own 'plate'.

 

I started learning about pottery with the single intent of making period

looking items for displaying my food in A&S contests. I was sadly

disappointed to find that for England and France, bread trenchers are

what I must use. For Italy, at least, I can do plates & bowls.

 

Clarissa

 

 

Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 08:36:33 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: LIST SCA arts <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Cast Iron cookware/cheese making etc

 

I was sent this might be of interest ?

 

As for cast iron cookery, if you haven't discovered

Lehman's yet, it is a wonderful resource for non-

electric cooking items. It is an Amish/Mennonite

company in Ohio that carries everything you could

possibly need cast-iron wise. Also, Cheese-making,

butter churning, buggy-repairing, etc. These aren't antiques,

but new items.  I understand they're having a blow-out

year due to the whole Y2K anxiety and are back ordered

on all their wood burning stoves, fireplaces, canning

jars, etc.  They can't be *that* Amish, though, since they

have a web page.  From that, you can order their catalog

which I highly recommend.  It's large and filled with all sorts

of old-fashioned stuff that's hard to find anywhere else.

 

http://www.Lehmans.com/

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 10:09:44 -0700

From: Curtis & Mary <ladymari at cybertrails.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Whisks

 

> Does anyone out there know if whisks had been invented by the mid

> sixteenth century?  I am getting ready to make egg tempera paints and I

> know that it is vital to whip the white very well (a spoon will not do).

 

I beleive they used a twig or stick with the end split multiple times to

make a whisk.

 

Mairi, Atenveldt

 

 

Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 00:04:27 EST

From: Gerekr at aol.com

Subject: Re:  SC - Cookout at Egils

 

>From: stefan at texas.net (Stefan li Rous)

>Meistari Gerekr mentioned:

>> Ravensgard will be providing a variety of equipment including

>> cauldrons of various sizes, footed pots, tripod, brazier, portable

>> hearth, spit, norse frying pans, Dutch ovens, etc.  We may have a pit

>> fire also.

>Wish I was close enough to see this. I few questions if you don't mind:

>1) What is this portable hearth? I can imagine a big pile of rocks or

>   bricks, but I that wouldn't be very portable.

>2) How does a norse frying pan differ from any other frying pan? Was

>   it really used by the Norse? I was thinking Viking. Maybe you just

>   mean by modern Norse?

 

1) Portable hearth - like Bear is building in his back-yard, eh?  A

bread/bake oven of bricks, finished with plaster or something... on a

trailer/wagon/cart or some such; the

build-the-fire-inside,-scrape-it-out-after-the-oven-is-heated type...  I

also have the file somewhere from the gentle in the West who's been

researching this... subject came up here last summer, and earlier, I

think.

 

2) Norse frying pan.  No, I mean period-- my husband dislikes the term

"viking" with its horned-helmed-drunk connotations, so we use "Norse" for

almost everything.

 

About 5 have been excavated, that we know of.  Color photo p. 142,

catalog entry #63 in _From Viking to Crusader_ - with measurements.

Drawings in Treckare (shudder), p. 180.  References in Roesdahl's _Viking

Denmark_.

 

Gerek used the dimensions from the one in Viking/Crusader, says it's the

most complete, and simplest one he's seen.  Handle 36", 1/2" square

stock. "Pan" is an 11" circle of about 16 g. mild steel (educated guess,

from what we can tell about the excavated ones; also the heaviest gauge

our Beverly shear will cut); the edge is dished up about 1/4".  Connected

to the handle with a central rivet.  We don't know if the pan was

supposed to rotate around the rivet, ours mostly does't, and G says based

on the size of the rivet-head on the excavated ones, probably not.

 

We've cooked bacon, sausages and pancakes over a fire in camp, with very

good results.

 

3) We'll see how it goes, maybe post pics after the fact next summer,

8-). If we do, will notify the list.

 

Chimene & Gerek

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 08:52:23 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - Pipkins are?

 

> There seems to be no translation of the word 'Pipkin'. Is it a young

>rabbit ( an alternative, like the word 'coney'); is it a specific stewing

>pot; or might it be an apple, as in a Pipkin (variety)? Anyone happen to

>know this one?

 

It refers to the pot. A pipkin was a smallish stewing pot, either metal or

earthenware.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 09:55:37 -0400

From: Wade Hutchison <whutchis at bucknell.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - Pipkins are?

 

><< It refers to the pot. A pipkin was a smallish stewing pot, either metal or

> earthenware.

> Nanna >>

>Interesting. I wonder if these pots were originally used to stew apples or if

>the apples took their name from the pot. Does anuone know?

>Ras

 

I agree with Nanna that it (probaby) refers to the pot.  A pipkin is a

roundish, usually pottery, pot, often with three legs to steady it over

the fire and a short, thick handle.   I would guess that because it is

round in shape, it could _look_ like an apple.  Didn't we determine

lately that everything that's round was called an apple of some sort?

I would think the pipkin name transferred from the pot to the fruit at

some point.

       -----wade/Gille

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 08:51:03 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Pipkins are?

 

> Interesting. I wonder if these pots were originally used to stew apples or if

> the apples took their name from the pot. Does anuone know?

> Ras

 

A possible derivation is from pipe which describes a cask (or more

generically, a container) holding 126 gallons.  A pipkin (pip(e) - kin)

would be a container smaller than a pipe.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 15:32:09 -0000

From: Christina Nevin <cnevin at caci.co.uk>

Subject: SC - Toasting salamander.

 

Speaking of toasting, I got to see an interesting piece of kitchen equipment

in action on TV this weekend. The BBC did a docu on Hampton Court Palace,

including a brief piece showing re-enactors in the kitchen. They showed a

'salamander', basically a flat iron disk with a very long handle, which was

shoved in the coals to heat up, and then used mostly to heat cheese on top

of bread. A medieval toastie maker the housekeeper said (erm, yes, well...).

I'm not sure how accurate this is, as I didn't agree with some of the other

stuff they said about food of the time. Has anyone seen pictures of this

equipment in use?

 

Lucretzia

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Lady Lucrezia-Isabella di Freccia   |  mka Tina Nevin

Thamesreach Shire, The Isles, Drachenwald | London, UK

 

 

Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 11:53:18 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Toasting salamander.

 

Christina Nevin wrote:

> Speaking of toasting, I got to see an interesting piece of kitchen equipment

> in action on TV this weekend. The BBC did a docu on Hampton Court Palace,

> including a brief piece showing re-enactors in the kitchen. They showed a

> 'salamander', basically a flat iron disk with a very long handle, which was

> shoved in the coals to heat up, and then used mostly to heat cheese on top

> of bread. A medieval toastie maker the housekeeper said (erm, yes, well...).

> I'm not sure how accurate this is, as I didn't agree with some of the other

> stuff they said about food of the time. Has anyone seen pictures of this

> equipment in use?

 

Not in use, no, but I seem to recall seeing recipes for things like

Cambridge Burnt Cream (a.k.a. Creme Brulee) which describe getting the

salsmander red hot and holding it close to the surface of the sugared

cream, and moving it around a bit to get an even brown.

 

This all has to do with the fact that it was impossible, until the

advent of gas ovens with broilers, to get radiant heat directly on _top_

of foods (with possible exceptions like tandoor ovens), without a

heat-transferring "middleman" like the red-hot salamander.

 

As for toasted cheese being made with a salamander, I believe this

practice post-dates period, probably coming into being in the 18th-19th

centuries when things like Mornay Sauce(more or less cheesy bechamel)

became common, and thse sauces were and are frequently glazed under a

broiler or salamander.

 

There are descriptions of cheese being toasted in England and Wales, as

I recall, in late or early-post-period (perhaps Harrison's "Description

of England"???) and the process generally involves roasting the cheese

on an inclined board propped up near the fire: when the butterfat leaked

out enough to cause the cheese slice to begin to slide down the board,

by which time it was also brown and bubbly, it was quickly transferred

onto buttered (and sometimes mustarded) toast. I believe I've seen this

in Wilson's "Food and Drink in Britain".

 

Adamantius

Østgardr, East

 

 

Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 09:28:04 -0500

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - medieval graters?

 

And it came to pass on 8 Dec 99,, that Stefan li Rous wrote:

> I think we have

> plenty of proof of period knives and mortars. Do we really have proof of

> graters being used in period? They would be easy to make, but so are

> sandwiches. So any proof folks?

 

I know of two pieces of textual proof.  De Nola (1529) mentions a

cheese grater (rallo de queso) in one recipe.  And graters appear in

Chiquart's list (1420) of necessary kitchen equipment.  I have Mistress

Elizabeth's translation, but not the French original, so I do not know

what the original term is.

 

> What did they look like? Single plates of

> metal with holes punched in them?

 

I think at least some of them must have been.  The recipe from de Nola

that calls for a grater is for a kind of cheese dumpling.  The dough is to

be forced through the holes on the reverse side of grater, and allowed to

fall into boiling water.  You can't really do that with a box grater.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 18:33:20 -0500

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: SC - copper cauldron?

 

>    I'd like to buy a large copper pot, the bigger the

>better. Does anybody have a suggestion on where to look

>online or in a store for such a beast?

 

I don't know if they have one but try the catalog for "The Cumberland

General Store" I know that they stock some pretty huge iron pots.  You can

probably pick it up at Books a Million in the periodicals section.  Try also

sources that provide dye supplies for traditional fabrics as copper is, if I

am not mistaken, used as a mordant thus using a copper pot means that you

don't have to add it.

 

Daniel Raoul

 

 

Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 21:10:50 EST

From: CorwynWdwd at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - copper cauldron?

 

phelpsd at gate.net writes:

> I don't know if they have one but try the catalog for "The Cumberland

> General Store" I know that they stock some pretty huge iron pots.  You can

> probably pick it up at Books a Million in the periodicals section.

 

Or you can look online or request a catalog at :

http://www.cumberlandgeneral.com/

 

 

Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 09:20:45 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Bread things

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Marian said:

> > [1] The grocery store didn't have any rolling pins for sale and I'm in the

> > process of starting a brand new kitchen so didn't have one . . . the wine

> > bottle worked pretty well.

>

> Hmm. Were rolling pins a period kitchen instrument? It would seem to be

> very likely, but I can't remember seeing any pictures.

 

I seem to recall seeing several 14th-century English recipes calling for

the cook to drive a paste as broad and as thin as he may, or words to

that effect. Now, considering that when making a pie shell, these

recipes also speak of raising a coffin, I guess the _possibility_ exists

that some type of mallet is used (ask the armorers, folks!). Possibly

something along the lines of those flat little mattock-looking thingies

the butcher uses to pound cutlets. The fact that beaten biscuits are

made with a hammer not long after period would suggest it as a

possibility, too.

  

That said...I could be wrong, but I do think at least some of the above

recipes that call for driving the paste abroad do specify using a

rolling pin of some kind -- especially the later ones. The early

post-period sources such as Markham and Plat almost certainly do.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 22:37:59 -0800

From: "James F. Johnson" <seumas at mind.net>

Subject: Re: SC - A funny thing happened to me in the cooking store...

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Oh! Until you said this I didn't realize there could be a different

> shape than what I've seen here, the cylinder with a handle on each

> end. Does this French style have handles on both ends with a cylinder

> tapering from a larger to smaller circle? It would seem to roll in

> a circle rather than straight in that case. Or is it wider around in

> the middle than the ends, like a wooden barrel? Or it a cone with

> only one handle?

 

French style rolling pins tend to be longer, about 24"/60cm, and

thinner. They are about 2-3"/5-7cm in the center, and taper to both

ends, say 3-4cm (1 1/2"). Single solid piece of wood, no handles fixed

or moving, with the ends cut flat. It does roll in a wide circle, left

or right, but IIRC, the middle third or so is actually cylindrical with

the 'handles' being the gradual tapers. The tapering keeps the 'handle'

part of the pin from contacting the pastry. You don't grap the handles,

just roll it under your open palms, like kids making clay snakes. And

you can manipulate the dough left or right by shifting weight to one

side or the other and rolling on a curve. The tapered ends make it

really easy to handle just with the open hands. If it was a straight

cylinder, your hands would tend to slide sideways if you tried to push

that way while rolling.

 

I much prefer to handle my pins with my open hands. The pin I have that

had that rolling handle, I just took the handle off (two wooden handles

on a metal axle). My mom had a pastry roller that had two small rollers

joined my a metal handle between two "Y" yokes. One was about 5 inches

by 1.5 inches and cylindrical, the other was only 3 inches wide, a

little wider than the other roller, and looked like a slightly elongated

barrel. The barrel shape was great for rolling dough into a pan and

moving it around.

 

Seumas

 

 

Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 09:15:39 SAST-2

From: "Jessica Tiffin" <jessica at beattie.uct.ac.za>

Subject: SC - Re: rolling pins

 

Seumas said:

> I stopped in one of the local cooking stores this evening, just to

> browse, drool, dream, plot, and contemplate. They had some new rolling

> pins. Very simple design, long and thin, with no handles (neither the

> thicker, shorter US style with handles, nor the long, thin tapered

> French style I also know). Hardwood about 3cm x 50cm.  Made in eastern

> Europe. Had a real nice feel and balance. Wackable.

 

This is the _best_ shape for a rolling pin!  I have two which are

actually granite drill-cores, swiped for me by my mother and her

significant other from a dam construction site somewhere in rural

Zimbabwe... :>  They're solid stone cylinders about 3cm in diameter,

with pretty patterns because it's granite, and come in lengths up to

several metres... (mine are about 40-50cm).  They heft nicely in the

hand for the threatening of kitchen perpetrators, and you can chill

them for temperamental pastry work.  (The big secret is not to let

members of the household use them for mock rapier battles - the

granite breaks quite easily if you tap the pins together more than

very lightly...)

 

yrs in comparative rolling-pin anthropology,

Jehanne

Lady Jehanne de Huguenin  *  Seneschal, Shire of Adamastor, Cape Town

(Jessica Tiffin, University of Cape Town)

 

 

Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 07:08:04 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - A funny thing happened to me in the cooking store...

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Seumas said:

> >  They had some new rolling

> > pins. Very simple design, long and thin, with no handles (neither the

> > thicker, shorter US style with handles, nor the long, thin tapered

> > French style I also know).

>

> Oh! Until you said this I didn't realize there could be a different

> shape than what I've seen here, the cylinder with a handle on each

> end. Does this French style have handles on both ends with a cylinder

> tapering from a larger to smaller circle? It would seem to roll in

> a circle rather than straight in that case. Or is it wider around in

> the middle than the ends, like a wooden barrel?

 

Yes. Think of a [American] football stretched out to about two feet long

with a commensurate loss of circumference (all right, that was a bit

much even for me). Roughly two feet long, about an inch in diameter at

the ends, maybe 2.5 inches in the middle, with a smooth, curved taper.

Like, as you say, a barrel.

 

> So Adamantius, you said you had seen some post-period rolling pins,

> what shape were they? Makes my original question of period rolling

> pins even more interesting.

 

No, what I've seen are post-period recipes that use them. The basic form

for the older ones I've actually seen tends to be a simple wooden dowel

about two feet long and 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm.) in diameter. As with the

French chef's knife, the design which tapers on a curve takes the place

of a number of differently-sized tools for different jobs. Some rolling

pins for small items where you want to avoid a lot of gluten development

in the rolling process, such as various filled pastas, wheat flour

tortillas, etc., use a small rolling pin that resembles a 6-inch length

of broomstick. With the French tapered sort, you can do those jobs by

rolling near the tip.

 

Now if only French chefs had invented half the other things they claim

they did...

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 23:01:57 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Traps?

 

>      So here I am, reading a recipe for a tart, and trying to

> redact it, when I see it says, "Take a crust ynche depe in a

> trap." So I say to myself, "Self, what exactly is a trap?"  I

> checked out some other recipes, and noticed that they referred

> to it as well..."and bake it in a trap."  Now as I am sitting

> here, I'm wondering...was the trap the crust of the tart, and

> does it therefor have a top on it? (Seeing as the filling would

> be "trapped" inside.)  Or is it the vessel it was cooked in, as

> in a dutch oven? (Where coals are put under, around and over and

> the tart would be "trapped" in that.)  

>

>      So I ask you all, which is it?  The vessel, or the crust?

> Or is it even something completely different than that?

>   

>        Elisabeth

 

A trap or trappe is a baking vessel.  Many of the wood cuts show straight,

high walled dishes similar to a modern casserole dish.  

 

Most medieval ovens were of the heat-mass type, where a fire was built

inside to heat the mass of the oven, then removed and the bake goods placed

inside to be baked by the heat radiating from the oven.  Otherwise, a cloche

or a baking pot (similar to the Dutch oven) would probably have been used

with the coals heaped around it.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 01:45:02 PST

From: "Linda Taylor" <lmt_inpnw at hotmail.com>

Subject: SC - Cooking Equipment in Scappi

 

I was looking through the illustrations of kitchen equipment and kitchen

scenes from Bartolomeo Scappi's book _Opera, Dell'Arte del Cucinare_ 1570,

as reproduced in the 1996 edition of Elizabeth David's _Italian Food_. Wow!

Lots of drawings of pans, cauldrons, ladles, knives, griddles, and some

folks at work in their kitchens. Among the things shown are people rolling

out pasta (on a table labelled _tavola da pasta_) with a rolling pin, which

appears to be an untapered cylinder about 16-18 inches long and 1-1/2 to 2

inches in diameter. Also, I remember someone asked about graters a while

back - in the utensils section there is an item labelled _gratta casio_,

cheese grater. It is a flat square plate marked all over with dots - I can't

tell whether they are supposed to be holes punched through or something

else, the picture is very small. It has a leg attached to the back to keep

it propped up, which tells us something about the way it was used.

 

There is too much here to try to describe it all at once, but I'll be happy

to try if anyone wants to ask about anything in particular.

 

BTW, does anyone know whether the whole Scappi manuscript is out there

somewhere? How many pages of pictures does it have in all? I have 6 pages of

kitchen scenes and 7 of cooking equipment. I don't have any text other than

the captions in the pictures.

 

Morwyn of Wye, O.L.

Barony of Three Mountains, An Tir

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 22:56:18 EST

From: Korrin S DaArdain <korrin.daardain at juno.com>

Subject: SC - Aluminum Dutch Ovens

 

      Here is a link for Aluminum Dutch Ovens. Look near the bottom of

the page.

 

http://www.chuckwagonsupply.com/catpage4.html

 

Korrin S. DaArdain

Kingdom of An Tir in the Society for Creative Anachronism.

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 22:44:21 -0600

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Iron dutch ovens (was Re: SC - Aluminum Dutch Ovens)

 

Our local Costco has a great deal on a collection of cast iron

cookware, including a big dutch oven and several other pieces, for a

total of about forty dollars. I don't know if it is available

elsewhere or not.

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 11:29:50 +0100

From: Christina Nevin <cnevin at caci.co.uk>

Subject: Re: SC - How do I get started?

 

      You asked: [1] Anyone who knows anything about how kitchen knives

looked in period?

 

Take a look here:

http://www.historicenterprises.com/swanlion/

Their custom knives are to drool over...

 

Ciao,

Lucretzia

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 13:13:53 +0200 (MET DST)

From: Par Leijonhufvud <parlei at algonet.se>

Subject: Re: SC - How do I get started?

 

On Wed, 5 Apr 2000, Christina Nevin wrote:

> http://www.historicenterprises.com/swanlion/

> Their custom knives are to drool over...

 

But they don't tell you if there are any documentation for the cooking

knives (the ones found under new). I'd be tempted to order the large

cooking knife if there was a shred of documentation to go with it. The

set looked special, but the appeared to have at least some documentation

for it (they gave a period at least).

 

/UlfR

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 10:43:03 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - seed cake from Tusser

 

> My grandmother used to use the term hoop pan for a spring form....dunno if

> that is what the recipe means, though.

>

> Diana d'Avignon

>

> > What exactly is a "Hoop"? Is it like a modern cake pan? Or is it simply

> > a loop/hoop with no bottom?

 

A period cake hoop was usually a thin band of willow of appropriate width

with the ends joined by a loop so the diameter can be changed.  It was

soaked in water before use to keep it from burning.  It was used to keep a

soft dough in a circular shape during baking.  It is not used with batter

cakes. Modern hoops are usually made from stainless steel.

 

More common these days is the springform pan which is a hoop with a rabbet

to fit around a solid bottom and a spring clamp to lock the hoop solidly in

place.

 

Bear   

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 12:27:10 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - How do I get started?

 

cnevin at caci.co.uk writes:

<< You asked: [1] Anyone who knows anything about how kitchen knives

looked in period? >>

 

I ordered 2 small knives and one big knife from these folks at Pennsic last

year. They do hold their edge and I am fascinated at how well they work

compared to modern knives. One of the smaller knives did have a flaw in it

but that is easily repaired.

 

I love my set and use it instead of my old new knives every day.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 12:29:16 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - How do I get started?

 

parlei at algonet.se writes:

<< But they don't tell you if there are any documentation for the cooking

knives (the ones found under new). I'd be tempted to order the large

cooking knife if there was a shred of documentation to go with it. >>

 

The set I got was an Elizabethan style. Documentation was provided at the

Pennsic merchant set-up. The only deviation appears to be the lack of a guard

piece between the handle and the blade.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 12:39:52 -0400

From: "Beth Morris" <bmorris at iamdigex.net>

Subject: Re: SC - How do I get started?

 

cnevin at caci.co.uk writes:

><< You asked: [1] Anyone who knows anything about how kitchen knives

> looked in period? >>

>I ordered 2 small knives and one big knife from these folks at Pennsic last

>year. They do hold their edge and I am fascinated at how well they work

>compared to modern knives. One of the smaller knives did have a flaw in it

>but that is easily repaired.

 

There are lots of illuminations of cooks in kitchens with knives (especially

the Luttrell Psalter, etc.) - look for the little margin illus.  Also try

the Tac. Sanitatis (Medieval Health Handbook) for kitchen shots....

 

Keilyn

 

 

Date: Tue, 2 May 2000 09:07:35 -0500 (CDT)

From: Jeff Heilveil <heilveil at uiuc.edu>

Subject: SC - re: dutch ovens

 

<snip>

Balthazar of Blackmoor

(who also needs a good dutch oven...mine snapped in half about two months

ago during a particularly busy weekend)

- ---

Salut!

I remember that there was a discussion a LONG while back (a year or three)

ago about dutch ovens.  While reading my bedtime allotment of Platina, I

came acruss a bit about dutch ovens.  In the White Pie recipe (I think

it's book VI, but I don't recall off the top of my head), Platina mentions

putting coals on top of the lid to help brown the pie.  

 

Bogdan de la Brasov

_______________________________________________________________________________

Jeffrey Heilveil M.S.               Ld. Bogdan de la Brasov, C.W.

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 16:38:47 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler at chesapeake.net>

Subject: SC - [Fwd: Cauldrons...information, please?]

 

Below is a message I received from Master Finnr regarding the

availability, cost and shipping information for the cauldrons that I

spoke of in an earlier post.

 

If you wish to get in touch with Master Finnr to order these cauldrons,

his e-mail address is "jamesahowell at juno.com".

 

Kiri

 

 

From: jamesahowell at juno.com

To: ekoogler at chesapeake.net

Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 13:12:22 -0400

Subject: Re: Cauldrons...information, please?

 

> I told the folks on the SCA Cooks List about your cauldrons, and have

> had several folks who would like ordering information and price lists.

> Can you help me out here?  I'd be deeply grateful!

      Oh, gee, twist my arm!

 

      Here is the deal.  Below I will give my retail cost for the pots.  This

does NOT include shipping.  Shipping will be $7 plus whatever my supplier

tells me for the particular pot and where it is going, the $7 being the

drop ship fee to ship directly to the customer from my supplier.  The

pots are cast iron, round bottom three leg with a lid, fully seasoned.  I

also have a smaller range of flat bottom-no leg and dutch oven styles.

Since they are made in South Africa, the sizes are in imperial gallons,

which is slightly smaller than a U.S. gallon.  The largest size, 25

gallon, cannot be shipped UPS (it weighs 157 pounds) and must be shipped

common carrier, so it's going to be expensive on the shipping.

 

1/4 gallon  .7 quarts   3.1 lbs.          $27

1/2 gallon  1.3 quarts  5.9 lbs.          $30

3/4 gallon  2.9 quarts  7.5 lbs.          $33

1 gallon          3.2 quarts  11.4 lbs.         $42

2 gallon          6.4 quarts  19.4 lbs.         $55

3 gallon          8.3 quarts  25.1 lbs.         $62

4 gallon          9.9 quarts  29 lbs.           $86

6 gallon          14.3 quarts 44.7 lbs.         $105

8 gallon          19.6 quarts 46.2 lbs.         $116

10 gallon   29.7 quarts 54.6 lbs.         $150

14 gallon   36.6 quarts 70.2 lbs.         $190

20 gallon   59.7 quarts 104.7 lbs.  $250

25 gallon   74.7 quarts       156.9 lbs.  $320

 

      Thanks alot!  I appreciate the good word.  See you at Sapphire Joust!

                                                Regards, Finnr

 

 

Subject: [MedievalEncampments] copper pieces

Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 11:24:49 -0500

From: "j'lynn yeates" <jyeates at realtime.net>

To: <MedievalEncampments at egroups.com>

 

> From: Tanya Guptill [mailto:tguptill at teleport.com]

> I just received a two-gallon copper pot, and I'm interested

> in using it for a water pot outside my tent.  However, it  has some

>  corrosion on the interior.

>

> Does anyone have recommendations either for how to thoroughly

> clean the pot, or to seal it?  I am interested in making it so

> the water inside will be potable, and won't pick up taste from

> the pot itself, so I am tempted to scrub it out and use some

> sort of sealant.  Any ideas?

 

firstly, identify the species ...

 

look inside, is it coated with another greyish metal?  if so you're

home free, the pot is cooking grade and tinned.  to clean get some

copper scouring powder and nylon abrasive pads and start scouring

(should not damage the tinned layer in any way, it's pretty tough

stuff)

 

if not, it's a probably a import decorator piece .... next, is it one

piece?  if not are the seams sealed with solder?  if so, chances are

good that this is a lead based solder (all soldering in US that comes

into contact with drinking water is required to be lead free ...).

if it has soldered seams, don't use it in any way for food or water -

sealed or not.  it isn't worth the risk.

 

no seams? ... you're still not home-free in that you have no idea

what the purity/alloy contaminants are in the source copper (just

because we use copper for our drinking water lines does not mean all

copper is alike ... the cheaper the alloy, the more impurities it

tends to carry, and stuff made for the export/tourest trade is often

botton-of-barrel copper or industrial grade stuff you want nowhere

near food or water) ... think nice stuff for your body like lead,

mercury, aresenic, cadmium, beryllium, etc.  

 

*if* you can identify the copper alloy (all copper has impurities) as

being a safe one, you *should* be OK unless the pot is used for

cooking or acidic liquids (fruit juices are always right out for

copper .. and no tomato sauces in untinned copper cookware).  clean

as above and for peace of mind, you might consider a food-grade

sealant as you initially mentioned ..

 

personally, for anything copper or bronze (or pewter .. another but

similar story) of unknown or suspect origin, i would keep it as a

decorator piece that does not come into direct contact with food or

drink ... plus a untinned/sealed copper water holder will give

metallic off-tastes to water (a clue to what has migrated into the

water) and will require regular and frequent internal cleaning.  

 

it's a personal bias, but my health is important to me and i'm very

particular about the heavy metals and polymers (sealants) i ingest in

my food & drink.  

 

'wolf    

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 22:18:24 +0200

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: SC - cutlery photos

 

Hello! I was recently at Wartburg castle.  They have a collection of

cutlery, some of which dates from the early 1600s.  I've posted some

pictures to http://members.aol.com/renfrowcm/photos.html

 

If anyone is really interested, I have them in higher quality & can email

them to you.

 

Cindy Renfrow

cindy at thousandeggs.com

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2000 18:41:54 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - pie and bread pans

 

> Since clay was available, I wonder why it wasn't used for either

> bread or pie pans? Does cooking bread in a pan have particular

> advantages besides shape and vice-versa, what advantages does

> baking bread without a pan have? Why spend the time and resources

> to make a coffin crust each time you make a pie when a clay container

> would ease that or even eliminate the crust?

> --

> Lord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

There are woodcuts showing trappes being prepared for the oven.  A trappe is

a circular pie pan several inches deep.  The were probably used to prepare

soft crusted pies and casserole type dishes.  Later paintings show fairly

modern tart pans.  And, IIRC, Scappi's Opera has some illustrations of tart

pans.

 

Bread pans were probably not generally used because the number a

professional baker would need would be expensive and there would be the

additional cost of heating the terra cotta as well as the bread.  Metal pans

are more efficient, but metal pans would be more costly.

 

With the modern, continuous heat ovens and their open grill racks, bread

pans are an efficient way of loading bread into the oven.  The loaf shape is

efficient in the modern mechanized commercial bakery.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2000 09:14:21 EDT

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re:was sweet spinach tart now Roman bread shape

 

In a message dated 9/22/00 1:26:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Bear writes:

> As for loaf pans, some of the bread from Pompeii was obviously formed with a

> circular pan (probably terra cotta) making heavy indentations for easy

> seperation.

 

I envisioned those loaves made from smaller balls of dough put into the

circular bread pan, rising, then semi-joining before baking. Sorta how we

make cinnamon rolls. I have yet to actually hold one in my hand to examine

closely so my comment is observation only.

 

Hauviette

 

 

Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2000 12:33:46 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Re:was sweet spinach tart now Roman bread shape

 

Having seen one of the loaves which had been excavated, the shape is too

even not to have been formed without a mold, probably surrounded by a cake

ring (but I have to admit, I haven't seen evidence as to how the mold was

used). The shape has a central circle surrounded by trapezoidal segments

similar to the area between the spokes of a wheel.

 

Whether separate balls of dough or a single ball of dough were used is an

open question, but the use of separate balls of dough would make the bread

easier to divide.

 

Bear

 

> I envisioned those loaves made from smaller balls of dough put into the

> circular bread pan, rising, then semi-joining before baking. Sorta how we

> make cinnamon rolls. I have yet to actually hold one in my hand to examine

>

> closely so my comment is observation only.

>

> Hauviette

 

 

Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 11:28:52 -0700 (PDT)

From: Nisha Martin <nishamartin at yahoo.com>

Subject: SC - period mashed foods

 

>>>>>> 

For mashed foods, what would they have used in a

period kitchen?

A mortar and pestle? Or was there something like our

potato masher?

I'm thinking of something used to mash foods not

something to crush or grind spices.

<<<<<< 

 

When we were in germany, I got to go to alot of

museums. One of them had a section on cooking

implements. One of these that I remember was a big

wooden verticle mallet type thingy(excuse the

technical terms here :) that was either flat or

slightly curved on one end. The curved ones were used

in bowls like a mortar and pestle, and the flat ones

were used on flat surfaces, supposedly to mash foods.

I'm not sure of the dates, it's been several years, so

they may or may  not have been period. But it was

interesting to say the least.

 

Nisha

 

 

Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 10:11:19 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: SC - Gridirons (was Historic Liver recipes )

 

> Bear skrev:

> >"Gridirons were a standard piece of equipment in the ancient kitchen

> >(Maritial Epigrams 14.221, Petronius Satyricon 31.11, Apicius On the Art of

> >Cooking 7.2.1, 7.4.2).

>

> Hey, Bear, do you have any references or pics of an early gridiron? I'm not

> limitting my question to you, either- if ANYBODY has refs to pics or URLs

> regarding Medieval or ancient cooking equipment, I'd be interested in

> seeing them.

>

> Phlip

 

I believe there is one depicted in the feast scene of the Bayeux Tapestry.

I know there are gridirons in some of the 16th Century paintings, but I will

have to do some digging.  There may be one in the catalog of the Pompeii,

A.D. 79 exhibit that toured the U.S. 25 or 30 years ago.

 

The ones I've seen depicted are usually rectangular and are a cross-hatched

frame of iron bars on the order of a barbeque grill.  Some have U-shaped

legs at the ends for support (possibly portable gridirons).

 

I'll see if I can find the references.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 17:52:26 +0200

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Gridirons (was Historic Liver recipes )

 

Vehling's Apicius also has pictures.  The portable craticula (combination

broiler and stove) from Pompeii is particularly interesting.

 

Jost Amman's The Book of Trades (reprinted by Dover) has some illustrations

too, as does Scappi.

 

Cindy

 

 

Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2000 21:11:06 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler at chesapeake.net>

Subject: Re: Historic Liver recipes (was SC - liver )

 

I have a bunch of them...you can find them in the 1941 Museum of London

Catalogue, as well as the Households book published by the same museum.  There

are both photographs of just about everything you can think of, along with

wonderful line drawings.  I can't remember if there's a grill off the top of my

head, but seem to remember that there is.  If you don't have access to either of

these books, let me know and I'll see if I can find a grill picture and send it

to you.

 

Kiri

 

Bear skrev:

>"Gridirons were a standard piece of equipment in the ancient kitchen

>(Maritial Epigrams 14.221, Petronius Satyricon 31.11, Apicius On the Art of

>Cooking 7.2.1, 7.4.2).

 

 

Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 14:37:55 -0700

From: Valoise Armstrong <varmstro at zipcon.net>

Subject: Re: SC - rosettes? pizelli?

 

Huette wrote:

> As for period looking rosette irons, the basic six

> petalled rosette iron is stylistically within period,

> but whether it was used for rosettes, I don't know.

> I also have several cup irons that make tart shells

> using the rosette recipe.  I have always thought that

> this could be a period concept.

 

The last time I looked in a kitchen store all I found were card suits and

butterflies. Not at all what I wanted. I'll try looking on line, since this

might be fun to do for the holidays. A six-petalled rosette would fine.

 

I have only found one picture of what might be period rosette irons, but the

book doesn't cite a date, so I'm not sure. In Kunstgeschichte des Backwerks,

page 28, there is a photo of three irons. They all have wooden handles and

the iron parts are formed from strips of metal. One is simple in a spiral,

one is like six spokes that have a curl on the end, and the an abstraxt

design with wavy lines. Yea, I know that last description stinks but I'm not

sure how to describe it.

 

Anyone ever seen rosettes in a period painting?

 

Valoise

 

 

Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2000 13:41:32 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: "Thanksgiving" festivals in Period

 

Elysant writes:

> troy at asan.com writes:

>       a beetle is a utensil that appears to have been brought to

>       Ireland by the Vikings.

> Master A....

>

> Do you have any information on what type of tool this is?  Is it some kind of

> a masher?

 

Yes, it's a big mortar with a large, long pestle that can be operated

from a standing position, I believe.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2000 15:21:06 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at mail.browser.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: "Thanksgiving" festivals in Period

 

> > Do you have any information on what type of tool this is?  Is it some kind

> > of a masher?

> Yes, it's a big mortar with a large, long pestle that can be operated

> from a standing position, I believe.

 

Actually, I think it's a sort of mallet used for bashing things... for

instance, laundry. A mortar & pestle arrangement might be a special case

 

According ot the OED:

 

"1. An implement consisting of a heavy weight or ëhead,í usually of wood,

with a handle or stock, used for driving wedges or pegs, ramming down

paving stones, or for crushing, bruising, beating, flattening, or

smoothing, in various industrial and domestic operations, and having

various shapes according to the purpose for which it is used; a mall.

three-man beetle: one that requires three men to lift it, used in ramming

paving-stones, etc."

 

Some of the quotes: c897 K. ∆LFRED Gregory's Past. xxxvi. 253 N·n monn ne

ehÌerde ne axe hlem ne bÌetles [Cotton bÌtles] swe. a1000 Judith IV. 21

SÈo wÌfman eslÛh mid ·num b˝tle. a1225 Ancr. R. 188 er e schulen iseon

bunsen ham mit tes deofles bettles. a1400 WRIGHT Lat. Stories 29 (M‰tz.)

Wyht suylc a betel be he smyten. c1400 in Wright Voc. 180 Mallus, bytylle.

1413 LYDG. Pylgr. Sowle III. x. (1483) 56 Somme were brayned with betels

and somme beten with staues. c1440 Promp. Parv. 34 Betylle, malleus,

malleolus. c1450 HOLLAND Houlat, He could wark wundaris Mak..A lang spere

of a bittill. 1530 PALSGR. 198/1 Betyll to bete clothes with, battoyr.

1577 B. GOOGE Heresbach's Husb. (1586) 39 Then the bundels [of flax]..are

beaten with betelles. 1589 Pappe w. Hatchet (1844) 7 Make your tongue the

wedge, and your head the beetle. 1597 SHAKES. 2 Hen. IV, I. ii. 255 If I

do, fillop me with a three-man-Beetle. a1626 FLETCHER Wom. Prize II. vi,

Have I lived thus long to be knockt o' th' head With half a washing

beetle? 1639 FULLER Holy War III. xxiv. (1840) 162 To cleaue a tree with a

beetle without a wedge. 1791 HAMILTON Berthollet's Dyeing I. I. II. i. 132

In the fulling mill..it is beaten with large beetles in a trough of water.

1822 SCOTT Pirate I. 128 (Jam.), Out of an honest house, or shame fa' me,

but I'll take the bittle to you! 1845 DE QUINCEY Wks. XII. 73 note, A

beetle is that heavy sort of pestle with which paviours drive home the

paving-stones..sometimes..fitted up by three handles..for the use of three

men.

- --

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise          jenne at tulgey.browser.net

 

 

Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 09:06:05 -0000

From: "Nanna Rognvaldardottir" <nanna at idunn.is>

Subject: Re: SC - RE: SC-Thanksgiving/SCA & Europe

 

>Bring back a tajine. It is a cooking utensil that shows up in the

>Andalusian cookbook and, I am told, is still in use (of course,

>that's assuming the word still has the same meaning, which seems

>plausible but not certain). I gather it is sort of like a frying pan

>with a conical lid, but I don't think I have ever seen one.

>If you can't bring one back, bring back pictures.

 

For a picture of tagines/tajines, click here:

http://www.planetware.ca/photos/MAR/MARTP.HTM

 

They are still very much in use; tagine is both the name of the cooking pot

and of any dish cooked in it.

 

Nanna

 

 

To: Norsefolk at egroups.com

Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 20:32:00 -0000

From: "Shara " <shara at 1nol.com>

Subject: Re: project ...

 

--- In Norsefolk at egroups.com, Kevin McGlynn <k_s_mcglynn at y...> wrote:

>    i just got the idea of a project i'd like to do

> sometime (other than making a spectacled viking helm,

> tho somewhat related) and was wondering if anyone here

> might be able to help.  i'd like to make a norse style

> riveted sheet-iron cauldron.  anyone know any sources

> for researching such things, web or otherwise?

> pictures, research, how-to articles if anyone knows of

> any.  i actually was thinking of writing one myself

> for TI, or perhaps teaching a classon it or something

> after making it, if there isn't one already out there.

>

>       seamus

 

(asa.wood at excite.com) <please use this address for direct

letters>    

      About 5/6 years ago, at my request, my lord made me a viking

cauldron (about 17"dia x 12-14"deep)    for, mostly, lack of previous

experience in such a project, it turned our lopsided.(straighter on

one side, more curved on the other)and, though it looked good

otherwise, it leaked like a sieve.    we figured out where we went

wrong in the construction, and someday he'll make me another one...

In the meantime, we were determined to solve the leakage problem,

using some sort of safe and period possible solutions availabe to

them.    What seemed to most likely, was sea water.  (i.e. the rust

factor, to seal it with)   alas, we live in the Blue Ridge foothills

the ocean was a bit away, but not impossible.   My lord asked "can't

we just mix salt in water, and use that??? (No, wouldn't be the same

thing...how much salt, to how much water? Bewsides, the salt's

probably different....)   So, being long-years, both, in the sca,(raw

materials and a need for careful experimentation, being understood

as "important" ) come spring, we set out on a quest to the coast, in

search of 'sea water' for our experiments......24 gallons

worth....and while we, and the cat, were on the beach, anyway, no

sense wasteing all that neat fine sand, so 6 gallons of that came

back with us as well.....might be useful for sand-casting

someday.....)      The sea-water worked, in time.  It literally took

us weeks of filling the cauldron, letting it sieve into a catch

container below (we hung the cauldron from a viking tri-pod, made for

us by Baron Sir Sven) and regularly ladleing the seawater back into

the pot.  At night, we just left it, for refill til the next morn.

During rain, we covered it all, to keep the sea water from being

diluted.  In time, it leaked no more.......time to build a good wood

fire under it.....we did....the metal expanded, something happened,

we sprung a leak, and the fire was quenched, by some of the salty

contents of the pot....back to the drawing board......more salt water

fill-ups...more time later (yes, I kept careful records, just don't

have them handy) the leaks stopped, the cauldron boiled sea water

Next, we had to get rid of the salt. Poured off the sea water, added

fresh, and started the cycle over, but only by boiling several pots

of fresh water.    Then we immersed it all in fresh water, to try and

catch any salt that had leaked into the outer areas, changed that a

few times, and then hung the pot, upside-down, over the tri-pod, in

the hot Ga. sun, to let it throughly dry, a couple of days worth,

then got a fire under it, to drive out any remaining moisture, and

after coated inside and out, with a good coating of UNsalted lard,

and heated some more, before putting the pot in storage.    One thing

we should have done, but found out too late, was we should have

soaked it in freshwater, longer, with more changes, before the final

stages...ie. it seems that we didn't get rid of enough of the

salt...with the expected results....

Shara

 

 

To: Norsefolk at egroups.com

Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 23:17:03 -0800 (PST)

From: Kevin McGlynn <k_s_mcglynn at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: project ...

 

--- jamesahowell at juno.com wrote:

>     Contact Darrell Markewitz at Wareham Forge.  He has made a number of the critters......He is known as Master Sylard of Eagleshaven in the Society.

http://www.pipcom.com/wareham_forge/

                                  

>           Regards, Finnr

 

   cool link!  many thanks!  

 

     seamus

 

 

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 17:23:19 -0400

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: SC - chicken on a string

 

Was written:

<< A while back on this list someone brought up their favorite idea of

how to roast a chicken. Basically it was to hang a chicken by a string

near the fire and twist the string tight. It would then unwind and

start winding up the other direction and then reverse etc until the

motion slowed down. At which time you wind the string up and start

again. >>

 

Actually I seem to recall seeing an illustration which does this one better.

Above the item to be suspended and thus roasted is placed a curved vane

which extends into the fire's draught.  The vane, by the force of the rising

heat, causes the rope to twist until the vane passes out of the draught.

The rope then unwinds and places the vane back into the draught again.  A

pan is placed under the meat to be roasted to catch the drippings for

basting and sauce.  If anyone can help me track down the illustration I

would be greatly obligated.  I have also considered the construction of a

period clockwork weight driven spit turner.  If anyone has plans or a source

for them it would be appreciated.

 

Daniel Raoul

 

 

Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2001 00:41:55 +0200

From: tgl at mailer.uni-marburg.de

Subject: Re: SC - clockwork spit turner, sort of (was: chicken on a string)

 

<< I have also considered the construction of a period clockwork weight

driven spit turner. >> (Daniel Phelps)

 

In one of Scappi's (1570) tavole there is something like a clockwork

construction for a spit turner. See the image at:

 

http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/~gloning/scap19b.jpg

 

The text to the image: "Molinello con tre spedi che si uolta dasse per

forza de ruotte con il tempo afoggia di orologio come nella presente

figura si dimostra". The same picture is later to be found in the

'Trinciante' of Cervio. And there seems also to be mention of such a

machine in Rabelais' 'Gargantua'.

 

If you are looking for a early handbook of clockwork engineering, try:

 

J.H. Leopold: The Almanus Manuscript (Staats- und Stadtbibliothek

Augsburg, Codex in 2∞ No. 209, Rome circa 1475-circa 1485). London 1971.

 

A beautiful book including a facsimile of the manuscript with its

drawings, the Latin text, an English translation, an English

introduction and an English commentary/technical interpretation of the

text. There are weight-driven clocks and spring-driven clocks ...

 

Thomas

 

 

Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2001 08:34:00 -0600

From: Mary Morman <mem.morman at oracle.com>

Subject: SC - clockwork spit

 

One of the presenters at the Leeds Food Collegium shared with us his

search for an artifact that would prove the Scappi spit illustration was

a real illustration and not a fanciful drawing or an inventor's plan (a

la Leonardo).  He finally did find the actual spit - in a small museum

in either Belgium or the Netherlands - and had photographs of it.

Although it was a little smaller in scale than the Scappi drawing, it

was the, excuse me please, "spitten image".

 

Elaina

 

 

Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2001 18:36:00 +0200

From: tgl at mailer.uni-marburg.de

Subject: Re: SC - clockwork spit

 

Mary Morman wrote:

<< ... the Scappi spit illustration ... He finally did find the actual

spit - in a small museum in either Belgium or the Netherlands - ...>>

 

Thank you very much! That's intresting to hear.

 

I must make a correction to what I said earlier.

<< And there seems also to be mention of such a machine in Rabelais'

'Gargantua'. >>

 

I was wrong. There is no mention of such a machine in Rabelais. At least

I did not find it in the place I was looking. BUT: it is mentioned in

the German version of Rabelais done by Johann Fischart in 1575 (both

Rabelais and Fischart, who frequently 'expands a bit' on the ideas of

Rabelais, are full of food and drink references):

 

"Dann er het ... ein Lebendig Pratspiflwerck: oder selbsgengig

Pratspiflm¸l von 72. Pratspissen erfunden "

 

roughly: 'Because he had invented a living roasting spit device, an

automatic (self going) roasting spit machine (mill work) with 72.

roasting spits'

 

Th.

 

 

Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2001 23:52:28 -0500

From: Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net>

Subject: Re: SC - chicken on a string

 

Daniel Raoul replied to my message with:

> Was written:

> << A while back on this list someone brought up their favorite idea of

> how to roast a chicken. Basically it was to hang a chicken by a string

> near the fire and twist the string tight. It would then unwind and

> start winding up the other direction and then reverse etc until the

> motion slowed down. At which time you wind the string up and start

> again. >>

>

> Actually I seem to recall seeing an illustration which does this one better.

> Above the item to be suspended and thus roasted is placed a curved vane

> which extends into the fire's draught.  The vane, by the force of the rising

> heat, causes the rope to twist until the vane passes out of the draught.

> The rope then unwinds and places the vane back into the draught again.  A

> pan is placed under the meat to be roasted to catch the drippings for

> basting and sauce.  If anyone can help me track down the illustration I

> would be greatly obligated.  I have also considered the construction of a

> period clockwork weight driven spit turner.  If anyone has plans or a source

> for them it would be appreciated.

 

In the paragraph above and just above in the same paragraph I quoted,

C. Anne Wilson mentions two other spits,

"Meat was still spit-roasted. The turnspit boy was replaced in Tudor

times by the turnspit dog..."

and

"A third type was the smoke-jack, worked by a fan fixed into the

chimney and turned by the updraught from the fire. Its main

disadvantage was that a large fire had always to be kept up in order

to produce suficent draught."

 

Unfortunately, she shows no diagrams of these types of spits.

- --

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

 

 

From: deewolff at aol.comnojunk (DeeWolff)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: 11 May 2001 12:57:18 GMT

Subject: Re: Iron Cooking Pot?

 

http://www.cabelas.com/

 

I use them all the time...I get my shipments within three days of order.

 

Andrea

 

Look under camping, then cooking equipment.

 

Traditional African Cast Iron Pots  

The cooking favorite in Africa for more than two centuries. The design is

remarkably efficient; three legs keep the belly away from the heat source, and

the perfectly rounded belly lets the heat flow evenly around the sides. Lids

feature a deep lip for holding coals on top for slow-cooking and baking.

Extremely strong, with a very smooth finish. Pre-seasoned, so you can use yours

immediately.

 

Size    Girth Size

6.4 qt.

8.3 qt.

14.3 qt.*

30 qt.*

36.5 qt*

60 qt*  10"

11-1/2"

13-1/2"

16-1/2"

17-1/2"

20-1/4"

TRADITIONAL AFRICAN CAST IRON POT

ITEM: XA-51-2969

SIZE: 2 GAL \6.4 QT.\, 3 GAL \8.3QT\, 6 GAL \14.3 QT\, 30 QT, 36.5 QT, 20 GAL

\60 QT\

PRICE:  $44.99 to $199.99

 

-or-

Lodge Dutch Ovens and Cast-Iron Skillets

 

(A) Lodge Dutch Ovens â•„ Flat-bottom, rounded-lid style for cooking on stove

or over fire.

Dimensions:

5 quart: 10-1/4" dia., 4" depth

7 quart: 12" dia., 4-3/4" depth

10 quart: 13-1/2" dia., 4-3/4" depth.

(B) Lodge Cast-Iron Skillets â•„ Grandma's fried chicken always tasted better

in her cast iron skillet. No camp or kitchen is complete without one.

Sizes: 9", 12", 10-1/2", 15-1/4", and 20".

Lodge Skillet Covers - 9", 10-1/2", 12", and 15-1/4" available.  

 

LODGE CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN

ITEM: XA-51-2567

MODEL: 5 QT, 7 QT, 9 QT

PRICE:  $19.99 to $42.99

 

 

LODGE CAST IRON SKILLET

ITEM: XA-51-0155

SIZE: 9", 10.5", 12", 15.25", 20"

PRICE:  $7.99 to $79.99

 

 

LODGE CAST IRON SKILLET COVER ONLY

ITEM: XA-51-0156

SIZE: 10.5", 12", 15.25"

PRICE:  $12.99 to $29.99

 

 

From: wtp at nds10758.cb.lucent.com (Powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Iron Cooking Pot?

Date: 11 May 2001 13:48:52 GMT

Organization: Lucent Technologies, Columbus Ohio

 

>Maybe some one into period cooking could help me out her. My father is

>looking for a *large* cast iron cooking pot (looks like a cauldron,

>lol), and is driving my whole family crazy in the process. I'd

>appreciate it if anyone could tell me where to get one. We're in North

>Carolina, but would appreciate any help.

 

Well cast iron pots didn't show up until the Renaissance...

 

Anyway how big is big?  You want a lard rendering pot big enough to use

as a hot tub or just something for a mess of beans.

 

The other sites mentioned are great; just though I would throw another one

out there:  The Cumberland General Store www.cumberlandgeneral.com  now they

only show cast iron pots up to 3 gallons but they do have some nice footed

pieces for open fire cooking.

 

Thomas

--

W.Thomas Powers

 

 

From: Ric Koval <ric.koval at mnsu.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Iron Cooking Pot?

Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 09:30:15 -0500

Organization: Minnesota State University, Mankato

 

Raine Carraway wrote:

> Maybe some one into period cooking could help me out her. My father is

> looking for a *large* cast iron cooking pot (looks like a cauldron,

> lol), and is driving my whole family crazy in the process. I'd

> appreciate it if anyone could tell me where to get one. We're in North

> Carolina, but would appreciate any help.

>

> --Raine

 

Raine,

He may be looking for a "potjie" pronounced "poy-key".  It is a South

African cast iron cooker with 3-4 inch legs built more for open fire

that coals. I have a #3 and love it!!! I do a lot of Dutch Oven cooking

and demos and always look for new and interesting stuff.  The round

bottom is great for saute'ing! Try this sight-  

http://www.actionafrica.com/   They have illustrations and size specs.

You can check with them for a local vendor or I think you can order from

them. (I have no financial interest in said site)...Ric...

 

I remain, Rychard Dusteyfete, Far-traveled and Near-sighted, at your service

mka: Ric Koval

 

~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

                Location, Location, Location:

                                   Rivenwood Tower, Northshield, Midrealm

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

 

 

From: Etain1263 at aol.com

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 07:40:46 EDT

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pottery for Cooking/Eating

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

stefan at texas.net writes:

<< whereas the pottery

pots couldn't be. They had to be put on coals? or next tot he fire? >>

 

As clay (even fired clay) heats...the molecules expand (it's more complex

than that..but "expand" should suffice for here)...and if they expand at

different rates...i.e.: the bottom of the pot (on the heat) and the top (not

on the heat)..the vessel will explode!(or at the very least..crack)   So...no

intense direct heat to any one surface of a pottery vessel!  I would

say..."next to" a fire...not on coals.  (but you could probably bury it in

coals if it were covered!)

 

Etain inghean Ruaidhri

 

 

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 06:47:14 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pottery for Cooking/Eating

 

I routinely use pottery in my period encampment. There is a wonderful local

SCA potter who makes the worlds cutest pipkins (the little three footed

clay pots with handles) and I'm currently "UL testing" one of them for her

(ie being really mean to it...how much can it handle?). You can also buy

extensively field tested pipkins and pots copied from extant examples from

Historic Enterprises online (www.historicenterprises.com).

 

I've found they work great even directly in the fire if you do the following:

1. make your fire. Let it get to coals.

2. Stick your pipkin right next to the fire

3. after a bit, go ahead and move it in closer if you need to.

 

the clay is fired under VERY hot temperatures and didnt discomboobleate

then, so it can easily handle the temps from a cooking fire, but introduce

it gradually and let it cool gradually (ie dont drop it super hot into cold

water). I usually end up with mine nestled very happily in the middle of

the glowing coal bed, but only after a gradual introduction. It transmits

and retains heat really well, so you dont usually even need to get it in

the red hot zone!

 

what would break it, I think, is the sudden shock. Give it time to get used

to the heatn and you should be fine!

 

--Anne-Marie, who thinks nothings better for camp fondue than a clay pipkin :)

 

 

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] how old are kettles?

Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 15:51:16 -0500

 

> I have been trying to find any references to kettles in period, but when

> doing searches on period utensils, I've come up with mostly information

> about forks and cauldrons.

> Has anyone seen any information about a kettle type pot?  I realize a tea

> kettle would be out of the question, but I'm sure people heated water for

> other reasons.  It seems to me that it would be a natural development to

> have some sort of spout on a pot used for pouring hot liquids.

> Madelina

 

The primary difference between a kettle and a cauldron is the kettle

commonly has a cover.  The common pouring method would likely be a ladle.

Although I don't think that's what you were looking for.

 

Bartolomeo Scappi's Opera (1570) provides a look at some of the common

utensils. The woodcuts are webbed at:

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/food-art/

 

The vessels with pouring spouts I have come across all appear to be

decorated serving vessels which would not have been put on the fire and I

don't remember any from within period.

 

There is a rectangular brazier with what appears to be a built in tank for

heating and dispensing (from a spigot, IIRC) water that was recovered from

Pompeii. There is a picture of it in the catalog of a Pompeii museum

exhibit which toured the US about 20 years ago.  The exhibit catalog is

entitled, Pompeii -- 79 A.D., and is often available in libraries and used

book stores.  We have a couple copies in our library.

 

Bear

 

 

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Beer from unsafe water?

Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 15:35:51 -0500

 

> Does it actually use the word "kettle"?  I have been looking for

> confirmation that kettles are period.  I specifically would like a source

> that shows a spouted pot meant for heating water or the like

> being placed directly upon the heat source.

> Madelina

 

The word kettle derives from the Latin "catillus" a diminutive of "catinus"

or "large bowl."  It appears in Old English as "cetel" and in Old Norse as

"ketill." In Middle English it is "ketel."  The definition is, a metal pot,

usually with a lid for boiling or stewing.  It is a synonym for cauldron.

 

The spouted pot that you are interested in is more properly a teakettle and

seems to appear in the late 17th century.  The timing coincides with the

increased use of tea, which may mean the teakettle was transplanted from

Asia. You might check Uker's All About Tea, to see if he includes any

history on the teakettle.

 

The Kettlehouse, a coach house founded in 1640, uses a teakettle on its

sign, but the original sign for the establishment, a huge kettle, was that

of the village blacksmith.  The website does not state whether it was a

cauldron or a teakettle.

 

http://www.kettlehouse.co.uk/history.htm

 

A rather nice 18th Century teakettle:

http://www.p4a.com/itemsummary/15702.htm

 

Bear

 

 

From: "a5foil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Gastronomica - olla article

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 15:17:25 -0400

 

In the 14th and 15th century Catalan sources I work with, "olla" is used in

a generic sense to refer to a pot or pan, rather than being an earthenware

vessel of specific shape, as presented in Gastronomica. In fact, "olla",

"paella", "pella" and "cassola" are used interchangeably in some recipes,

and this covers a wide range of size, shape, and materials for these

vessels.

 

Thomas Longshanks

 

 

From: "a5foil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Dutch oven question

Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 23:47:39 -0400

 

> Does anyone have information about or pictures of a device called a "testo"?

>   According to the descriptions I've read, it's a three legged iron pot with

> a thick lid.  You can pile coals around and on top of it so that it

> functions like a small oven.

 

I saw one in a display of 15th century cooking gear. IIRC, it was at the

Museum of the History of the City of Barcelona. Your description is

accurate. It looked like...a rounded dutch oven with longer legs. A little

less refined. I didn't see any period iron pots with straight sides like a

modern dutch oven, though; the ones I saw were rounded through the sides and

bottom, more like we think of kettles.

 

Apparently, far more common was the tripod (trespies in Castilian, trespeus

in Catalan, trespiedi in Italian). Picture a flat ring of iron, about an

inch wide, about a foot in diameter, with three feet attached. On this, any

fire-safe pot or grill could be set over coals. The diameter of the ring

ranged from a few inches to over a foot across. The height of the legs also

varied from a few inches to about a foot. I'm sure there are probably

examples of both taller and shorter, bigger and smaller. I saw several

examples of those. The legs had a graceful sweep, but ended in simple

flattened feet, nothing fancy like claw-legs, etc. I couldn't get close

enough to see how the feet were attached to the ring.

 

A couple of years ago, I sent Duchess Melisande de Belvoir some examples of

recipes calling for a dutch oven-like cooking method, with coals under the

pot and coals piled on the lid. If I can find that old e-mail, I'll post the

citations.

 

Recently, Sams Club and Costco have been offering a set of cast iron cooking

gear from Wenzel, for under $40, and you get this nifty wooden chest, to

boot. You get a double-sided grill/griddle, two or three skillets, and a

dutch oven. I got the set last year, and it offered three smaller skillets

and a deep dutch oven with legs and a deep lid for coals. This year, the

same set offers two larger skillets and a shallower dutch oven without legs,

but it includes a lid lifter and a modern version of the

trespies/trespeus/trespiedi.

 

While a dutch oven may not be exactly period, it is almost identical in form

and function.

 

Thomas Longshanks

 

 

Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 01:49:13 +0200

From: tgl at mailer.uni-marburg.de

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Dutch oven question

 

The word "testo" is used in the early Italian cookbooks for some heating

device, kind of hot stone(s), it seems, possibly kind of an oven; see,

e.g., the Anonimo Toscano and the Anonimo Veneziano (the latter one is

online). See also the 'Dizionario etimologico de la lingua italiana' by

Cortelazzo & Zolli, Vol. 5, p. 1336.

 

As to this description:

 

<< ... a three legged iron pot with a thick lid. You can pile coals

around and on top of it so that it functions like a small oven. >>

 

there seems to be an image of such an oven in Scappi's Opera, 1570. But

the text line does not include the word "testo" (but rather: "Forno di

rame co li trepiedi").

 

Th.

 

 

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 14:35:52 -0700

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Dutch oven question

From: Korrin S DaArdain <korrin.daardain at juno.com>

 

From: "Vincent Cuenca" <bootkiller at hotmail.com> Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2001:

>Does anyone have information about or pictures of a device called a "testo"?

>According to the descriptions I've read, it's a three legged iron pot with

>a thick lid.  You can pile coals around and on top of it so that it

>functions like a small oven.

>While the cast iron Dutch oven that we know of is not necessarily period, it

>strikes me that it functions in the same way as a testo.  De Nola has a

>number of recipes calling for the pot or pan in question to have coals

>heaped on the top of the lid.

>Any ideas?

>Vicente

 

      The pot that you describe sounds like a round bottomed, three legged,

lided pot that I have seen at the local GI Joe's store. Said pot I

believe stands about 18" tall, 2/3 are the pot and 1/3 are the legs. I

think that the lid would hold coals for cooking (bad memory). GI Joe's

described it as an "African pot" or something like that.

 

Korrin S. DaArdain

Korrin.DaArdain at Juno.com

 

 

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 00:33:45 EDT

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Dutch oven question

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

korrin.daardain at juno.com writes:

<< GI Joe's described it as an "African pot" or something like that.

  >>

 

Yes. They are indded made in Africa and are a common 'house item to a large

portion of those that lead tribal lifestyles. The design is indeed very much

like thos pictured in some medieval picctures. In fact, there are many more

similarities than lack of them. I would say that it is about as close as a

person can come to having a mediaval style pot outside  of owning an actual

pot from the medieval time period.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 18:22:52 -0400

From: Irene Holloway <ireneh at erols.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org, johnna007h at netscape.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Regarding:Cast Iron Cookware//Dutch Ovens

 

I have been following the various discussions on cast iron cookware and

dutch ovens, especially the sections on where to obtain them.

 

I would hate to throw a damper on their use, but there are some quality

issues that crop up with the cheaper cast iron pieces.  Sandy Oliver's

newsletter on food history, as well as other publications, has talked

the use of cast iron in various American hearth cookery//period

restoration settings.  The general consensus was that all cast iron

these days was not the same quality. Some of the cheap imports were

especially not recommended for use.

 

(I wish I could cite chapter, verse and issue as to which of Sandy

Oliver's issues to see, but I'm on holiday at the moment. The collection

is back home.)

 

Another point having cooked with cast iron over both open fires and

modern stoves, I would be of the opinion that outdoor cookery pieces

ought to be dedicated to just outdoor cookery.  You can of course follow

the old girl scout method of soaping the exteriors, but in my experience

the exteriors never cleaned up once they were used over a wood fire for

any extended period. This may or may not bother you but it's something

else to consider.

 

That being said, a recommemded source for acquiring pieces over time is

to shop garage sales, flea markets, etc. for the old heavy pices from

40-50 years ago.  Also ask around in your family circle.  Lots of people

abandoned cast iron when the teflon non-stick came into use. You'd be

surprised what turns up in your attics and back porch cabinets. Lodge

which produces some of the cast iron pieces also has outlet stores in

some of the various outlet malls across the country. Also any Amish

area, be it Ohio, Penn., Indiana, Illinois, etc. probably has a store

that sells cast ironware. Within the US, if you want to buy them, it's

often cheaper to travel to or detour to a store that sells them rather

pay the shipping costs.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2001 20:07:28 +1000

From: Angelfire <angelfire2 at dingoblue.net.au>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] peach pit molds, period utensils

 

forgive my two cents worth, but perhaps a peg jug

 

I have seen them and they look interesting, according to the documentation that

accompanied them, they were used in monasteries to assist in the allocation of the daily allowance of spirit's (cider etc)

 

pegs circled down the jug at even intervals, the peg was pulled and the liquid

decanted into the individual pots, thus giving each an equal measure, apparently

also covers the phrase "bringing someone down a peg"

 

I know personally I would love a couple of them.

 

Angelfire

 

 

From: "Lord Boroghul Khara" <boroghul at narn.pecan-tree.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] wooden pizza peel prices

Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 13:37:01 -0400

 

You can get short handled bread peels along with a circular baking stone

from Target!

 

I have two.

 

 

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 14:06:13 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks]  Ceramic frying pans, was: OOP: Frying pan

      opinions? Try period ceramic pan.

From: Elizabeth A Heckert <spynnere at juno.com>

 

On Mon, 15 Oct 2001 13:13:00 -0700 (PDT) Huette von Ahrens

<ahrenshav at yahoo.com> writes:

>However, if you want to make pancakes using a period

>pan, there is a 1560 painting by Joachim Beuchelaer

>showing a woman making pancakes using a ceramic [yes,

>Olga, ceramic!] pan.

 

"Medieval Pottery in Britain AD 900 - 1600"

M McCarthy and C. Brooks

Leiscester University Press; 1988

 

   This book is an archeological report and has lovely drawings--they're

cut away, so you get an idea of how thick the section is.  It has

ordinary frying-pan shapes as well as frying pans on legs, from at least

the mid 1300s.

 

   Elizabeth

 

Date: Sun, 09 Dec 2001 19:37:08 -0500

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] [Fwd: Salamander - History?]

 

> Does anyone have a reference for a source concerning the history

> and use of salamanders?

 

OED takes it back to Hannah---

 

d. Cookery. A circular iron plate which is heated

and placed over a pudding or other dish to brown it.

1755 H. Glasse Art of Cookery (ed. 5) 331 Put it in

the Oven to brown, or do it with a Salamander.

 

Middle English Dictionary fails to list it.

 

Johnna Holloway   Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

I own one. It came from Williams-Sonoma. My son

was seriously into creme brulee for a while.

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 12:15:30 -0700

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Vidalia nionions...

 

What I find interesting about this site is that they stock a probably-period

breed of rice, Carolina Gold, which dates from the 1600's.  Some nice cookware

too, I covet that "biscuit bowl" which looks just like a bread-kneading trough

I've seen in various period artworks.

 

Selene, Caid [but married to a B'ham boy, remember]

 

> Kiri:  > If you go to www.boiledpeanuts.com, you can order them online......

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 10:40:52 EDT

From: DeeWolff at aol.com

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Was: Odd question.../ NOW-Pots

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

In a message dated 10/17/03 10:21:56 AM, karobert at unm.edu writes:

> that sounds interesting.

> cailte

 

It is!!

 

My new rant is..... No matter how much we recreate the recipe, if we  

use a modern type pot, are we recreating accurately??

 

I did an experiment with this at an A&S expo, and I found that the pot DOES

matter. Different tastes happen when you cook the same exact food in different

pots. ( I used cast Iron-olive oil seasoned, stainless (generic bulk

kitchenware), and a tinned copper pot -bought from Goosebay Workshops)

 

I found that each recipe had a very different taste even though I used the

same exact ingredients and the same exact cooking method (over an oak wood coal

fire in my fireplace).

 

I offered the samples to the populace and they made the decision. The most

historically accurate pot won!! I blind tested and then told them what sample

was from where.

 

The copper pot was judged the best tasting, the cast iron was next, and  

The stainless the least.

 

Do we not use the steel pot the most at our feasts??

 

I have the write-up somewhere if anyone wants it. I plan to expand on  

This further when I get some free time.

 

Andrea MacIntyre

 

 

Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 17:46:12 -0500

From: "Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Fw: [EKMetalsmiths] History of eating utensils.

To: "SCA-Cooks" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>, <mk-cooks at midrealm.org>,

      <Trimariscookslist at yahoogroups.com>,

      <SCAFoodandFeasts at yahoogroups.com>,    <theforge at mailman.qth.net>

 

One of my metalheads on EKMetalsmiths found this link, so I'm passing it

along...

 

> The following reference showed up in the KEENJUNKYARD forum and seemed to

be appropriate for this list.  Contains pictures and historical information

including dates on knives, forks, spoon, and chopsticks.

> http://www.calacademy.org/research/anthropology/utensil/index.html

> Albin Drzewianowski

> Westminster, MD

 

Saint Phlip,

CoDoLDS

 

 

Date: Mon,  9 Feb 2004 15:49:33 -0500

From: "Jeff Gedney" <gedney1 at iconn.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Dutch ovens?

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

 

> IIRC cast iron did not come into use until post-period.

 

Not necessarily the case, everywhere...

 

The English were doing a lot of Iron Casting in the Early 1500's and  

there were a number of Cast Iron post found in the Mary Rose  

Excavation, several of which were round bellied kettles with three legs.

 

I do not know of any of the cylindrical pots with tight fitting inset  

lids we call dutch ovens today, but cast iron there certainly was.

 

In the 15th century the rise of Gunpowder weapons created a need for  

accurate projectiles... the common method was to make round stone  

balls, but Cast Iron balls were much cheaper.

 

A lot of the European Cast Iron was made into ingots and billets to use  

in Wrought Iron ( the process it is believed having been brought into  

the west in the 12-13th centuries through contact with the Chinese who  

had the art from before the 6th century ), but it was also turned to  

projectiles.

The European smithies seemed to prefer working with Bloomery Iron,  

which was then hammered and rivetted into shapes.

Most pots and utensils were of sheet work (iron, copper, or bronze).

 

But some Casters did experiment with making "useful" forms.

But it WAS uncommon.

 

However since rivetted and watertight pots of brass or copper are  

rather expensive, I'd say cast iron pots are not a bad alternative,  

even if they are made using a Bessemer furnace and the Lodge process  

today.

 

Brandu

 

 

Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 15:06:45 -0700

From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Dutch ovens?

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

 

At 13:12 -0500 2004-02-09, ranvaig at columbus.rr.com wrote:

>  I want to buy a pot for camping.  I know cast

> iron dutch ovens aren't really period, but they

> are something I can afford and don't look too

> glaring to modern eyes.  Amazon has an 8 quart

> one for $27 with free shipping.

>  When were dutch ovens first used (the kind that you put coals on the  

> lid) ?

>  Or do you know where to buy a more period style

> of pot that isn't too expensive?

 

I don't know when Dutch ovens were first used, and I don't know what

they were made of, nor their exact physical appearance, but they

are at least late period.

 

A Dutch oven (coals on the lid) is mentioned several times in the

Dutch "Cocboeck" (1593) by Carolus Battus, using the Dutch words

"oven" and "vladepan".

 

There are also several mentions in the French / Belgian "Ouverture"

(1604) by Lancelot de Casteau which suggest (e.g. "put the lids on

top with some fire") that something very similar was in use in

Liège.  The French word "tortiere" / "tourtier" / "tourtiere" is

used in eleven recipes, and clearly usually has a lid, unlike the

modern open pie dish of the same name.

 

Casteau first worked as a master cook for a Bishop of Liège in

about 1560, which suggests he was then at least in his 20s, and

seems to have been retired by 1604.  So he is remembering the

use of the utensils from the second half of the 1500s.

 

A quick look in "Larousse Gastronomique" (p. 557) gives a French

manor house kitchen inventory from 1530 which includes "one big

cast-iron pot with perforations", which shows that cast iron was

available in 1530.  There is however no item in this inventory

which sounds to me at all like a Dutch oven.

 

Rey et al. "Dictionnaire historique de la langue française" give

the first mention of "fonte" in the sense of cast-iron in 1472,

though the word is used as early as 1227 but without necessarily

meaning cast-iron.

 

Rey et al. give the earliest citation of "tourtière" as a kitchen

utensil in 1573 but do not give any detailed description of it.

 

Thorvald

 

 

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 03:46:57 +0000

From: ekoogler1 at comcast.net

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Dutch ovens?

 

> Rey et al. give the earliest citation of "tourtière" as a kitchen

> utensil in 1573 but do not give any detailed description of it.

> Thorvald

 

There are references in Platina and other 15th century Italian  

cookbooks to a pot that you put coals on the lid of to make it function  

as an oven.  My books are still in the car from a class I taught, so  

I'll bring them in tomorrow and look it up.  The name of the pot was  

the Italian version of the French name given here.