The use of a kettle over an open fire

When the fire was lit the container was placed in it with the handle away from the heat. Clay is a poor conductor of heat and it was often necessary to turn the container and stir the contents in order to disperse the heat evenly. Note that the heating of the pot doesn't occur from the bottom of the pot as we are used to but from the side, so it is on the cooking container's sides where one risks burning the food!

Let the wooden spoon rest in the jar (away from the fire) while the food simmers, but remember: never leave it at the edge of the cooking container, it can't be there. The cooking container must be at least half full, otherwise it will crack because of the difference in heat between the top and the bottom. If there is to be salt in the food it must be added just prior to serving. If salt is allowed to cook with the food it will crystallize in the clay and make it porous and weak.

Fire-warmed cooking stones (for warm water, tea or soup) must be set very carefully in the liquid with a wet wooden spoon or a shard of pottery.

You cannot see if the stone is hot so you should always have a bowl of cold water around in case of an accidental burn!
From the book  I LÆRE SOM VIKING   by Trine Theut,.  Illustrations by the author. Published in 1994 by Trine Theut and OP-Forlag, Aps, Denmark.  ISBN 87-7794-248-5

English version by Steven Mohn


- 14. august 2004 -