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Why Soda Firing

The pots in a soda kiln usually don’t have much glaze on the outsides of them, they are glazed by the introduction on soda ash, which volatiles when it hits the flame and creates a glaze. The flame then carries the soda ash through the kiln and the pots become glazed wherever the flame and soda kiss the pots.

Here you see me spraying the soda ash which is mixed with boiling water, into the kiln at about 2200 degrees.

 The results can be greatly varied with this type of firing. For me, that's a big part of the fun of it. You never know with 100% certainty, what you will get from the kilns.

This pot shows where the glaze hit the surface and really added a nice difference in appearance. The green you see is a spearmint glaze that I used inside the pot and along the rim. The soda mixed with that glaze and made it very dark, almost black in some spots and almost white in others. You can also see where it kissed the shoulder of the vessel and the handles. The orange color is from a flas…

Meatless Monday - Barley Salad with Fried Cheese

What in the world is fried cheese? If you’ve ever made a grilled cheese sandwich you know that sometimes the cheese melts out of the bread and into the frying pan or griddle.  I find that friend, melted cheese delicious as well as a bit messy. However, some cheeses are well suited to being intentionally fried. They get nice and crispy on the outside while being warm and soft on the inside and don’t make a mess of your pan. These are cheeses that don’t really melt very well. Many vegan cheeses don’t melt well so they are very well suited for this salad. I used queso panela but you could also try kefalotyri, halloumi, or any of the other grilling cheeses that look good to you.

Barley is not gluten free but you might be able to substitute something like quinoa or millet for the barley if you are unable to process gluten.

Since this dish is made with barley it can be served warm for a hearty winter salad or cold in the summer. You might want to bookmark this recipe or add it to your Pinterest boards so you can come back to it when the weather changes.

Barley and Fried Cheese Salad by Future Relics Pottery
Barley and Fried Cheese Salad


1 1/4 cups Barley
1/3 cup dried blueberries
6 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
juice 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red onion, finely diced
1 large bunch parsley, leaves picked
1/4 cup toasted natural almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup grilling cheese


Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the barley. Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes until tender. Drain and place into a serving bowl.

Slice the cheese into 1/2in slices. Put a dry frying pan on medium-high heat and cook the cheese until it is golden brown on both sides. This will only take a minute or two. Add this to the barley.

Add the dried blueberries, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the warm barley and cheese. Throw in the onion and parsley and toss everything together gently. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


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