Soapstone griddles and accessories. Available at Woodburners Two, 6033 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, 241-1400.
The renaissance of the wood-burning stove has spawned a whole collection of pots, pokers, gloves, grates and other implements for more convenient heating and cooking. What are considered to be some of the most efficient accessories, soapstone griddles, are actually revivals of time-honored cooking vessels. The newest versions of soapstone griddles come from England's Stove Store, a Virginia concern that quarries soapstone from a mountainside in Nelson County, Va. (better known as "Walton's Mountain"). The North American practice of cooking in soapstone vessels, says owner Fred Henley, has been traced back centuries to both the American Indians and Eskimos who recognized soapstone's ability to absorb and retain heat and to radiate it for a long time after the original heat source has cooled down. His company carves slabs of soapstone into griddles (from $25) of various shapes and sizes for use on top of wood-burning stoves, as well as 8-inch-by-8-inch tiles ($8) that serve as trivets or bedwarmers. Food can be cooked directly on the non-stick surface of the soapstone or in a pot or pan.