Washing up & soapstone vessels

July 12, 2010

Even though it has been mentioned earlier in one of the blog comments that washing up may not have been a prime concern at all times at the time, I still have to keep a certain amount of cleanliness around and in my pots, at least not to scare off any of the tourists that are visiting the museum.

Anyway, as I was washing up after I had made another batch of “insta-cheese” – or rather fresh cheese mad from soured milk, I did not think much about the temperature of the pot as it was well over half an hour after I had taken it of the fire and cleaned it from both cheese curds and whey. As I poured in a bucket of water and started to scrape of the pieces of curds that were stuck to the side and the bottom of the pot I noticed how the water heated up almost immediately. Not terribly warm, but still noticeable. I quickly poured out the water and filled it up with another half bucket of cold water. This time the heating took a bit longer, but could still be noticed.

This reminds me of the story which one can read in Olaus Magnus history of the Scandinavian people from the mid 16th century. Olaus Magnus who was no big friend of the Danish describes how they by cheap tricks cheat on those they trade with, one of the examples of such a cheat was a magic stone cauldron, in which you could get water to boil even without having it in the fire.

If there is a grain of truth in that story I would guess that the Danish were trying to sell soapstone vessels.


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