[Spit-project] FW: RE: Period cookware

Michael Gunter countgunthar at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 12 09:42:35 PDT 2007

> > >Here's my set-up. http://goldenlyon.org/campkitchen.html
> >
> > It's gorgeous and answers a lot of questions.
> > Is the hearth collapsable?
>The a-frame is collapsible. It's hooked together via two eyelets at the top 
>of each leg through which an iron bar goes.
> > How is it braced?
>I have so far only used it with the fire pan (it's Colorado, and the risk 
>of fire is always high), and the legs brace against the sides. I don't know 
>if you can tell, but there are feet attached to the bottoms of each leg. I 
>suspect that the legs would stand securely over a pit fire, and if not, a 
>log against each leg or a wooden pin driven into the ground should serve 
> > I like the grill that is attached to the legs.
>That's collapsable, too. It's from Crazy Crow and so probably a 
>couple-hundred years OOP.
> > I was also thinking of making my spits either square or octagons instead
> > of round.
>My spits are all squares. They hold meat beautifully; it's the birds that 
>always cause the problem. Contemporary woodcuts show smallish birds 
>skewered liberally. It's possible that modern chickens, capons, and geese 
>are just too large. BTW, a goos cooked on a spit is a wondrous thing - much 
>better than oven roasting.
> > But I think I'll have the hooks for them be the rounded curves
> > as shown in the woodcut.
>Now I have to go check the woodcut.....
>Ah, yes - I see that. Hmm - I didn't think about it, and wonder why my 
>blacksmith didn't notice that. I sent him the woodcut and said, "this is 
>what I want".
> >
> > I really love the detail of your kitchen and the periodness of it. 
> > something I'm aiming for.
>Thanks - it's a real experience to cook in it. I have lots of people say 
>things like, "we cook in Dutch ovens" (or just a few nights ago, "I use 
>acrylic on my scrolls, and it looks the same as gouache") and I need to 
>remember to respond with something like, "and what do you learn about out 
>period doing/using that?" I see it as a learning opportunity to use period 
>technologies - we learn so much more this way.
> > Where did you get the potjies? I'm looking for a source.
>Remember that they aren't period, either - about a hundred years out of 
>date. However the shape is similar to wrought iron or bronze pots that we 
>see in period woodcuts. So I "get by" with them. I got mine from Great 
>Northern Trade Co. - I don't know if they were cheaper, but they had quite 
>a number of items that I wanted, so I suppose I saved on shipping. They 
>used to be on the web; I don't know if they still are.
> > Also, do you have a source who does the ceramic cookware? I'm wanting
> > to do more with that and teach how to prepare meals over a fire in them.
>I use pots from John Hudson. He's British, and the exchange rate and the 
>shipping is a bitch. If I can get together a group of people who what his 
>stuff, it can be more economical. He brought a huge crate of pottery to the 
>last CooksCon, and we all bought from him there. Very reasonable prices, 
>BTW. He's on the web, too. All reproduction work.
>I use J.Henderson for the non-cooking pottery (also on the web). They'll do 
>reproductions if you send them a picture, and are very knowledgeable about 
>what goes for when. They mostly do American Colonial and later, so be sure 
>you are explicit about the period you're re-creating.
> > Thank you for all of your help and the terrific links. I'd love to pick 
> > brains more on this because it looks like I'll be teaching a class in
> > outdoor
> > period cookery at our King's College that is coming up.
>Sure! Let me know. When is it? I'm working on a high-fidelity camping event 
>for late this summer, and will bring out the rig. You are welcome to join 
> >
> > My lady and I are also going to be hosting an event for Brewers and
> > Bards while I do a workshop on period tavern foods. That night everyone
> > will share the results of the day.
>Good plan - that's how I usually run my workshops. Cook it, and eat it.
> >
> > Thank you again,
>No problem - as you can tell, I'm kinda fond of talking about it. :-)

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