June 14, 2010
Time for the thing I dread the most in the kitchen – cleaning. So far I have managed to clean most of the pots I have used by simply boiling some water, perhaps a bit exclusive way of cooking but easy enough and I did get a chance to practice my boiling techniques. However, with a more restrictive fire & smoke regime, I had to look into other ways of cleaning my dirty pots. I needed both a good replacement for a brush and for the washingup liquid. In the archeobotanical reports from Borg Ann-Marie Hansson writes about how the twigs of the crowberry has been used for scrubbing pots and pans (Hansson, Ann-Marie, 2003, p.92). Since they still grow here I just went down to the lake to pick some up, or more honestly I went down to get some suitable twigs and bushes but managed to get twigs of crowberries just by chance. This I tried to tie up in a bundle – though a brush like thingy would have made more sense perhaps.
The replacement for the washing up liquid was a bit more tricky. The main use of the washing up liquid is to dissolve the fat that is stuck in a pot or pan. Though boiling water will dissolve or rather melt some of the fat, I figured that I needed to find a way to get the fat out without resorting to boiling. As soap was usually made by lye, and lye from potash that had been dissolved I assumed that using some potash when cleaning the pot would help to dissolve some of the grease in the pot.
In both pots I put a handful of ash, and some hot water after which tried to scrub it clean. Though the hot water seemed to dissolve most, the actual scrub could have worked better as it left many green small leaves behind. It was difficult to say if the ashes did have any effect, though the pots did look clean afterwards. The twigs should probably have been cleaned of leaves and should possible have been put together in a more brushlike appearance.