Who knew eh.

I got a cast iron crockpot in January. Since it’s become a core part of my kitchen and my previous oval basting roaster is hardly used now. In fact it’s only ever brought out as the Big Beast when I need a container of enough size to fit a leg of lamb or the like. But the reality is its use is very limited. It’s really only useful for someone like me or at very most a couple who aren’t big eaters.
Nonetheless what it does to a free range or organic chicken is how we remember how our grandmothers cooked. A state I arrived purely by accident. I always cut a small lemon and put it in the cavity (I never bothered with stuffing). But now the lemon steams and concentrates it lemony flavour so when I put the bird on its breast and I up the heat for the browning lidless last 25 mins, it melts down into the flesh. Earlier I thyme, sage, and salt the pot with a bit of olive oil. Now I’m not 100% sure just why I’m oiling the bird but it seems to work, and it seems to help getting the herbs and salt evenly all over. But again I’m not sure that actually matters since the pot is for all purposes sealed.
The ‘who knew’ and the title for this summary comes after the cooking and eating has ended. I was irritated every time I drew the pot from the shelf and opened it up. It was stained. The enamel, an off-white almost cream coloured was marked on the lid, floor/bottom, and a tideline (nod to Mono Lake, Ca. and Sage for bringing that visual into my mind) round the middle. Nothing I did would shift it. If it was a steel pot you’d simply grab a steel-wool scourer, and presto, poof, gone, spotless. With the crock you cannot do that as you’ll strip the enamel off the thing. But also the cuts and groves would just be making things worse for next time.
What I don’t know is how exactly I came up with the solution. Bicarbonate of Soda, we call it bread soda (core ingredient in Irish brown or whole grain bread). If you sprinkle a teaspoon full over the stains with a desert spoon of water. Rub with a soft sponge/cloth to cover the offending marks. Then put a bit of vinegar and rub again. Then wash well. It’s now darn close to being as good as new and certainly no longer a frowning issue when I open the lid.
When exactly did lemon/vinegar and Bicarb of soda disappear from the household tools, for I certainly had forgotten it if ever I’d seen anyone using it. It could have been a bit like videos, so ubiquitous you didn’t even see them. But then when something new arrived they went. Here though I’ve not seen anything that works as well in a commercial brand.

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8 Responses to Who knew eh.

  1. Ed says:

    I use both vinegar and soda to clean things around the house quite often. They work well.

    • V.H says:

      I knew about the vinegar, but the knowledge about the bicarb was very sub-conscious.

  2. Kimberly says:

    Amazing those home remedies sometimes. Baking soda and vinegar both have a number of household uses. I don’t think I’ve ever used together. Good to know.
    That chicken sounds good too.

    • V.H says:

      I find if I get a big bird I get sick of it and it doesn’t freeze too well at all. So the two and a bit pound one fits, just.

      I think I may well have erred somewhat. I may have added the vinegar for the fizz and nothing more.

      • Ed says:

        Yeah I don’t use them together unless I am trying to build a scale model volcano to show off to the daughter.

        I should say that I use baking soda and water or vinegar, never both together when it comes to cleaning.

        • V.H says:

          Hmmm, I thought I was adding two memories oh-kay. I was thinking what earthly use could neutralising both compounds do.

  3. I think I will try tucking a lemon under the chicken skin the next time I make one : ).

    • V.H says:

      Doing that may make it a bit strong for kids, but try it. For certain putting it in the cavity will work as it adds an essence, a dimension.

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