Caldron Cooking: A favorite in the fall season
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A cauldron or caldron (from earlier cauderon, from Anglo-French, from Latin caldārium "hot bath", from calidus "warm") is a large metal pot (kettle) for cooking and/or boiling over an open fire, with a large mouth and frequently with an arc-shaped hanger.
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Symbolism and mythology

Cauldrons have largely fallen out
of use in the developed world as
cooking vessels. While still used
for practical purposes, a more
common association in Western
culture is the cauldron's use in
witchcraft—a cliché popularized
by various works of fiction, such as Shakespeare's play Macbeth. In fiction, witches often prepare their potions in a cauldron. Also, in Irish folklore, a cauldron is purported to be where leprechauns keep their treasure.

In some forms of Wicca which incorporate aspects of Celtic mythology, the cauldron is associated with the goddess Cerridwen. Celtic legend also tells of a cauldron that was useful to warring armies: dead warriors could be put into the cauldron and would be returned to life, save that they lacked the power of speech. It was suspected that they lacked souls. These warriors could go back into battle until they were killed again. In Wicca and some other forms of neopagan or pagan belief systems the cauldron is still used in magical practices. Most often a cauldron is made of cast iron and is used to burn loose incense on a charcoal disc, to make black salt (used in banishing rituals), for mixing herbs, or to burn petitions (paper with words of power or wishes written on them). Cauldrons symbolize not only the Goddess but also represent the womb (due to the fact that it holds something) and on an altar it represents earth because it is a working tool. Cauldrons are often sold in new age and metaphysical stores and may have other symbols of power inscribed on them.

The holy grail of Arthurian legend is sometimes referred to as a "cauldron", although traditionally the grail is thought of as a hand-held cup rather than the large pot that the word "cauldron" usually is used to mean. This may have resulted from the combination of the grail legend with earlier Celtic myths of magical cauldrons.
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Real symbolic cauldrons include:
the Gundestrup cauldron, made in the second or first century BC, found at Gundestrup, Denmark
a Bronze Age cauldron found at Hassle, Sweden
the cauldron where the Olympic Flame burns for the duration of the Olympic Games

Mythical cauldrons include:
Dagda's Cauldron
The Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant

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Holy Grail
Caldron in a circle

A Dutch oven is
a thick-walled (usually cast iron)
cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Dutch ovens have been used as
cooking vessels for hundreds of
years. Dutch ovens are common
ly referred to as cocottes in
French, and as “casserole dishes”
in British English. They are similar
to both the Japanese tetsunabe and the Sač, a traditional Balkan cast-iron oven, & are related to the South African Potjie and the Australian Bedourie oven.
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Dutch ovens are well suited for
long, slow cooking, such as in making roasts, stews, and casseroles.

When cooking over a campfire, it is possible to use old-style lipped cast iron Dutch ovens as true baking ovens, to prepare biscuits, cakes, breads, pizzas, and even pies.

The cast-iron cookware was loved by colonists and settlers because of its versatility and durability. It could be used for boiling, baking, stews, frying, roasting, and just about any other use.

Cauldron cooking is a favorite way of cooking at Halloween.

Mains
Bone Soup
Bone Yard Stews: Halloween fun

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Over time, the Dutch oven used in the
American colonies began to change.
The pot became shallower and legs were added to hold the oven above the coals. A flange was added to the lid to keep the coals on the lid and out of the food.

The ovens were so valuable that ...
wills in the 18th and 19th centuries frequently
spelled out the desired inheritor of the cast iron cookware.
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A good alternative to cooking
with a tripod is to cook directly upon the fire itself. To do this properly the fire needs to have a reasonable bed of coals and to have burned down to the point where it is not a roaring fire. While the pot may be set directly upon the coals, this is not preferable since that will tend to extinguish the coals.

To lift the pot up off the fire, often two small logs of similar size may be used on either side of the pot; camp-style Dutch ovens have three legs built into the pot to perform this function. An alternative is the use of a metal thread fire basket (e.g. kanun). This allows continued airflow through the fire while providing optimal heat. The one down side to this form of cooking is that the pots will become blackened with soot and ash, which can be difficult to scrub off. The ash and soot build up can be easily avoided by applying a thin layer of dish soap (preferably biodegradable) to the outside of the pot before cooking. The ash and soot will stick to the soap which is then easily rinsed off later.
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