(The cat checks to make sure I am not planning Fricassee d'Feline.)
This is the first in a collection I am making of ceramic cooking pots, in an effort to use more period gear on site. Although I admittedly started this project motivated by appearance, I am learning that Ceramics May Be Just Better, aided and abetted by Paula Wolfert's Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking.
Pomairewaire is from Pomaire, Chile, and I bought this pot from Earthfare, which is a grocery chain that will possibly be the death of my favorite health foods coop in Tallahassee.
Yesterday the pot debuted brilliantly. After following Wolfert's seasoning advice, which seals the pores of the bottom of the pot with casein, I put a pound of great northern beans in six cups of water, set the bean pot in a cast iron pot (as a heat diffuser) and put the whole thing on one of the small eyes of our ceramic stovetop. (The pound of beans had soaked for four hours.)
It took an hour to heat the pot, slowly raising the dial to a max of 3.5. The beans went on at 11 am, and were done by 5 (probably at 4 - they were dry at 5) with perfect texture, yummy smelling, and no scorching. I checked on it a lot, which probably slowed it down, taking the lid off that much. Next time I will not touch it for three hours, and then start checking!
I'm thinking the next pot I want is an 10" dia. glazed cazuela, with a small hollow handle, so I can pull it off the fire. It's essentially a 2.5" deep skillet, with straight sides. You can use it like a small casserole, or like a skillet.Note: Although the cast iron pot worked well as a heat diffuser, it lost its seasoning on the spot that the bean pot sat. Probably because the ceramic held heat. I'm going to need a proper diffuser plate anyway, because 10" won't fit inside any of my cast iron skillets.