Monday, September 25, 2023

Tvare (Fir Whisk)

    Have you been following the findings in Lendbreen as the glacier is melting?  You can read up on it on the "Secrets of the Ice" website A little bittersweet, but archaeologists have been discovering all kinds of artifacts that are incredibly well preserved because they've stayed frozen for so long.  Most have to do with caribou hunting camps, but one find has really jumped out at me.  The archaeologist have determined that it was the remains of a Tvare, a Scandinavian whisk!  And the process is so elegantly simple!  The Saxon Forager also has a great video about these Here.

STEP ONE: Find a nice evergreen tree whose branches come out in an even whorl.  If you're going to be using it for food, make sure it's not a yew or other toxic wood.  A fun option is to use the top of your Christmas tree when you're done with it or need to trim the top!

STEP TWO: Cut the length you want your utensil to be below the whorl.

STEP THREE: Remove the needles and save for tea.  Trim center trunk/handle as desired.  You really have two options here.  Choose the side of the whorl that will make the right diameter handle for you: not too spindly and not too thick.

STEP FOUR: strip all bark.  I started to do this with a knife, but found it came off easier just peeling it by hand.  It was a little sticky, but smelled AMAZING!  I also whittled down the end I wanted to be flatter under the whorl of branches.

STEP FIVE: Drawing up the tines to the handle and pushing out a little bit to get them to the right angles, I held and wrapped with wire and allowed to dry completely for a week or two.  

I made a second Tvare out of the next whorl down on the tree, using the section of trunk above the branches for the handle as an especially large whisk with short, unbound tines for my big cauldron.  

It worked great!  I can't wait to make more of these in the future!  Maybe even make it a New Years tradition to make one from the top of our Christmas tree.


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