Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oatmeal Sealling an IRON cookpot

I had written earlier about a recent project - a replica of a Norse cook pot, constructed from actual wrought iron sheet.

As the seams of the pot were riveted, to get it liquid tight, a historic method was indicated as well. This is a fast look at the 'cook some oatmeal' method.

Here is a nice view of the pot when first placed over the fire in the cooking shelter here at Wareham. The simple hook style trammel is also loosely based on a Norse artifact, and was made specifically for the upcoming DARC at LAM 2010 presentation.

The pot was first heated, then a pre-soaked mixture of oatmeal was added. I had used all the oats we had on hand, maybe about enough (unsoaked) to fill a one litre container. I suspected the seam along the bottom of the cylinder, where it attached to the dished base, to be the most likely to leak. For that reason, I wanted to start the process with fairly thick material.

To effect the side seams as well, I filled the pot with water, mixing up a medium thick 'gruel'. The result was something more like a thick oat soup than 'stop a bullet' breakfast oatmeal. I have not directly measured the volume of the pot, but it must be something about four litres.

This closeup shows the spot which initially leaked the most. Although when the full addition of water was made, it did run out a bit, that was reduced to a dripping after a couple of minutes. I tried to catch a drop just as it formed and fell in this image. After about five minutes however, even that one per second dripping had stopped.

In keeping with the method, after I dumped the contents (happy pond fish!) I scrubbed the interior with sand - but the interior only. Any baked debris were left on the outer surface. The whole process was fast and easy. If I had a hall full of Norse to feed, the oatmeal gruel would not have gone to waste.

I expect Vandy / Bera may have some commentary on her blog later - when the pot is used to cook lunch for us all at L'Anse aux Meadows starting next week...

1 comment:

vandy said...

and it appears that the porridge sealing method has worked very well indeed! (Or perhaps the construction is just very fine...)Almost no leakage at all. Though I'm being judicious in my scrubbing of the outside, and an occasional re-seal might be part of its regular upkeep.
vandy/bera sirtsdottir


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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