[Sca-cooks] Soapstone pan or griddle?

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sat Jul 12 21:39:32 PDT 2008

Urtatim asked:
<<< Does anyone know more about cooking with soapstone pans? Special
benefits or problems with them? (well, other than potentially
dropping and shattering them) Where to purchase them? >>>

There is some info on why soapstone pots were preferable and which  
cultures used them in this file in the CRAFTS section of the  
soapstone-msg     (36K)  2/ 3/08    Use of Soapstone in period.  
Modern sources.

Including a bunch of interesting stuff about soapstone itself, from  
some guy named "Daniel  Phelps". :-)

"Soapstone previously was much valued because it is non-reactive,  
to high heat and easy to work."

"We went to get tailings (I
needed loomweights) and talked to a gentleman who was making bowls  
out of
the stone."

So someone is making bowls and maybe pots out of soapstone. I don't  
know whether these were for sale or not, though.

"Many warp-weighted looms' weights were actually broken soapstone pots.
  Soapstone was a main export from Scandinavia in the Viking era
specifically for cook pots and lamps.  Unlike the earthenware or clay
pots, the soapstone can come in contact with the fire.

    When I went to pay for my bag o'rocks, I saw part of a price list.
Almost $30.00/square foot for counter top."

For making a griddle getting ahold of some of these counter top  
scraps from where the hole for a sink has been cut out might be your  
best bet, especially at the price per square foot quoted. I've often  
seen these scraps being sold by various SCA merchants at Gulf Wars  
and Pennsic after they've been further cut down into long strips.  I  
don't tend to recommend these for carving soapstone molds (for pewter  
casting) because they are quite hard, perhaps treated with heat, and  
are difficult to carve.  However, for use as a griddle this probably  
exactly what you want since it improves the durability.

I have seen pictures of Norse soapstone pots in various books about  
the Norse, but I don't think there are any explicit bibliographies or  
pointers to these in this file.

(Spent 5 hours waiting in line Friday afternoon to get one of the new  
iPhones. Grumble. The line wasn't any shorter today went I went by  
for a class on them. FYI, If you attend the iPhone class, they let  
you buy a phone immediately after the class. So if you want one and  
have an iPhone store in your area that might be one way around  
waiting in line.)
THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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