4. Improving kitchen kit

Norway has a long tradition for travel in the great outdoors.  Hiking, camping, sailing…. a continuation of a lifestyle over a thousand years old… just ask us about traveling to Vinland or Miklagard.  We also have a saying “Uten mat og drikke, duger helten ikke” (without food and drink, the hero can’t perform).

For this entry in my cooking challenge, I have worked on improving my cooking kit.  Here are two pictures of the cooking gear thus far.  The one shows my spiffy new 5 liter klinker built pot on a worked iron three-legged stand.  In the other picture (the sun affected the coloring- sorry!) is more kit.  The stave-built bucket is new, but I’ve had the flint and steel tinder kit for a couple of years.  There is also a bar of handmade soap (purchased) in a storage cloth (hand sewn), and some linen towels (hand sewn).  The knife is modern, but is very effective for chopping kindling so will be in the kit until research or funds provide a better option. 

Some cursory research on Viking and Medieval cooking gear in Norway (more in a later post):

  • One of the best-known cooking pots of the Viking period was excavated in the Oseberg find, now preserved in the Viking Ship house on Bigdøy (Oslo, Norway).  These pots were made of iron plate, riveted together.  This find also had a collapsible 3-legged stand for hanging the pot over the fire.
  • Summary of recent excavation of a Northern Norwegian find just across the fjord is reported to have one of the most complete finds of a iron pot.  (Click on the link “2. feltbrev”)
  • The two pots in the NKM search (see ‘sources’) listed as medieval are made of cast bronze and have 3 feet (C23161, C23163)
  • Soapstone (kleberstein) was also common, and one find in the NKM collection is of red sandstone (T13317).
  • Stave-built buckets are anything but unique, but this one from the Oseberg find is spectacular.

And as I tested my pot I made this last bit of kit.  This whisk is made of thin twigs, de-barked and tied together with a linen cord.  I don’t have any archaeological evidence for this kind of whisk, but they are used traditionally in Norway.

The kit still needs a lot of work and further research to differentiate between my early period (Viking) and primary period (14th c).  But it is a good start and would be serviceable in a period encampment.


NKM (Norsk Kulturhstorisk Museum): Click on this link and search with the words “gryte”, check on all the points following “søk i samlingen til” and before the slash following “filtrer på bilder”.

(originally posted to LiveJournal September 12, 2012)