Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pots, frankincense and myrrh

Frankincense olibanum resinImage via Wikipedia
Frankincense pellets. Can myrrh be far behind?

My wife returned from Jamaica on Friday night, her suitcase filled with food, frankincense and myrrh. She said she told the customs officer what she had in her suitcase -- cooked king fish fillets, the fruit called ackee, sugar cane and other goodies -- and he didn't even bother opening it.

The frankincense and myrrh? According to the Web site, "How Stuff Works," they are dried tree resins. My wife bought three small envelopes in a Montego Bay store, under an ounce each, for a total of about  three dollars, and she dissolves the mixed resin pellets in hot water to make a biblical tea. 

What are frankincense & myrrh 

Ackee fruitImage via Wikipedia
The ripe ackee fruit. Add salted cod for the Jamaican national dish.

Pot-cleaning woes

I've been replacing most of my non-stick cookware with Calphalon triple-ply, stainless-steel pots after I became concerned about the non-stick coatings getting into my cooked food. 

For the same reason, I never microwave leftovers in plastic containers; I always plate the food first and cover it with a paper towel, not plastic wrap, lest chemicals that make the wrap pliable, called plasticizers, get into my food.

Now, I've found the stainless-steel pots are difficult to clean. The interior of one of them, in particular, remains splotchy and appears unclean after I use a non-scratch scrub sponge and dish-washing liquid.

My wife used this pot to boil out the salt of dried pollack (also spelled pollock) for the breakfast dish called ackee and salt fish, and it left a ring at water level that required hours of soaking before we could get it off. Still, the interior bottom remained splotchy and required a second cleaning the next day.

I e-mailed Calphalon customer service today, hoping for a resolution and maybe replacement of the pot. 


  1. Try bartenders freind. Its available in most Shoprites @ around 2.50 per container. It doesn't get old stains completely off but does take care of everything else.

  2. Thanks.

    Coincidentally, Calphalon also e-mailed me today with the same recommendation. I think the product is called Bar Keepers Friend. Here is the e-mail:

    Dear Victor,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact Calphalon. We truly appreciate your interest in our products. To clean the stainless steel surface, wash the pan with Bar Keepers Friend® cleanser and a nylon sponge or soft bristle brush. Rinse well to remove any detergent residue.

    Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions or concerns.


    Calphalon Customer Service

  3. I don't know about that Bar Keeper's Friend stuff. I drank a cup of it last Friday night and I still woke up with a hangover

  4. Try castille liquid soap in water(it's made from hemp oil), it works well & it's biodegradable, you may want to soak it for a while. If it still wont clean away use a little bicarbonate of soda on a damp dishcloth. Worksfor me

  5. If the pot is all metal.. stick it in the oven when you run the self cleaning feature, then prepare to be amazed.


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