Thursday, 20 February 2014

does anyone know what this is?


So I bought this massive pot at my local op shop, and was so excited because I thought it was a fermenting crock. We grew a good crop of cabbages last year, which gave me a hankering for some sauerkraut. I've been on the lookout for a fermenting crock ever since and when I saw this pot for a bargain price I had to snap it up.

Problem is, since I've brought it home, I'm not sure if it actually is a fermenting crock? It's got a cork in the lid, which is removable. I've never seen a fermenting crock with a removable cork, which now has me wondering if that is actually what I've bought? Is it a bread crock maybe?

It's one of those super heavy glazed pots and it's got a Pearsons of Chesterfield 1810 stamp on the bottom of it. It's pretty huge too, looks like it could fit a decent amount of something in it at the very least. I really don't know. If it's a bread crock, I probably can't ferment in it, right?

The picture with the tennis ball gives an indication of its size. Does anyone know what this thing is? Anyone?


16 comments:

  1. My first guess is a bread dough pot. It allows the gas to escape as the yeast activates and the dough rises. You can then plug it for fridge storage to use over time. Totally a guess though. Bread dough pot.

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    1. Thanks for your guess Amy! You know I hadn't thought of a bread dough pot, but that actually makes sense. You might just be right. The cork must have a purpose! It'd be pretty huge in the fridge- would take up about 3 levels in space! Hmm no idea what I'm going to do with this thing now.

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  2. I am guessing as well, but I thought of a bean pot for baking beans in.

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    1. Oh that would be a whole lotta beans :) I don't actually think it would fit in the oven, it's so big!

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  3. There is one on ebay similar to yours with the label "country sugar crock" on it http://www.ebay.com/itm/Large-Pottery-Country-Sugar-Crock-Pearsons-of-Chesterfield-Made-in-England-11-/371009409234

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    1. It does look like that!! I have never heard of a sugar crock before? Does it just store sugar? It's a huge pot for sugar! Why the cork? Oh so many questions.

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    2. Possibly used in the retail environment? Where the sales clerk would measure out a pound from the crock and package it for the customer?

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    3. The cork has me stumped though! Thanks anon for the link. Much appreciated!
      Now to work out what to do with this thing. Probably fermenting is out of the question.

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  4. It looks to me to be for fermentation or brewing and I think you are right that the lid is key. The cork is fitted for a reason and I am presuming that it would be either to release built up gas as in a ginger beer or it is for fermenting vinegar or vegetables when in the initial stages you are wanting to allow wild yeasts in. In such a large vessel it would be a less practical covering with a cloth like we do with jars so the lid allows it to be open to air and then corked. I think I remember Pascal Baudar (or Sandor Katz) using something like this. He crafts wild vinegars and beers and such. I also recall seeing where someone was making fermented veg the traditional way by burying the crock for maintained temperature so in this case perhaps you would bury the crock with just the neck sticking out and you would be able to access and smell the ferment by uncorking? My other theory is that the cork stopper is removable so you can also plug with an air lock for fermenting/brewing.

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    1. Tanya, thanks so much for your thoughts! I agree the hole in the lid must be there for a reason. Now I'm looking at it closer, I'm not sure the cork is original? It might just be a champagne cork that fits the hole really well that someone put in there for some reason? You might be able to plug it with an airlock. I'm going to go and do some googling the other things you suggested! Thanks so much :)

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  5. Ask Rhonda Hetzel from the Down To Earth blog. she was making her own vinegar in something similar.
    Jude

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    1. Thanks Jude! I've put a little question up in the down to earth forums to see if anyone knows :)

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  6. The first thing I thought of was a fermenting crock as I think I came across something like that when I was making sauerkraut and was asking Mr.Google how to do it. Hopefully someone on the DTE forum will know. I thought I had your blog in my Bloglovin feed thingy but I have missed your recent posts. I will have to check that out.

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    1. Thanks Nanna Chel. I thought it was a fermenting crock when I bought it, but when I started googling I didn't see any other fermenting crocks that looked like this? I think I'll give it a go and see if it works. Fingers crossed!

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  7. Did you figure it out? I ask because I just came across the same item without the cork in it and have no idea what it is used for. I also have four matching small crocks with lids that I have been using for years with french onion soup but it is obvious they go together. Would love to solve the mystery.

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  8. Did you figure it out? I ask because I just came across the same item without the cork in it and have no idea what it is used for. I also have four matching small crocks with lids that I have been using for years with french onion soup but it is obvious they go together. Would love to solve the mystery.

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