Saturday, July 28, 2012

Foodie Faves: Cheesecloth

Once upon a time, I thought I’d take up faux painting as a hobby. You know, be someone who paints faux finishes on walls or chairs and gets friends and neighbors to call her for fun projects. So I took a course. And I invited my friend, Barbara, to take the course with me.

It took place on a Saturday, so I got my husband to take care of the kids, and Barbara and I drove way out on Long Island and spent a full day learning all the techniques and variations on what you can do with those techniques. And we went home with a stack of poster boards that looked a lot like these, to remind us of what we could now achieve.

I never did another bit of faux painting. It turns out that it was less fun without a talented, knowledgeable friend to work with, and a large wall – or three or four – is a lot less fun than a 2-foot by 3-foot piece of poster board. So I am now what you might call a faux faux painter.

But one really great thing I got out of that class was a roll of cheesecloth. The pieces were all nicely cut into 2-foot squares – just the size you might want if you were applying paint by hand to a wall. Also, coincidentally, the size that’s just perfect for straining homemade ricotta. Or various types of soups or sauces. Or you could cut a piece in half and make a sachet d’épices (a small cheesecloth sack of herbs and spices) that you drop into a broth for seasoning.

I will admit that for a sachet, these little cheesecloth bags that you can buy (I get mine at Sur La Table) are really lots neater; and in the absence of cheesecloth, you can use a paper coffee filter or a couple of Bounty paper towels to strain the ricotta. But I cannot tell you how often I’ve been really happy I hadn’t used that giant roll of cheesecloth to paint a bunch of walls.

P.S. Barbara, for her part, has gone on to faux paint tables and chairs and bookcases and walls and even a garden rail. She has a website. She’s such a show-off.

1 comment:

  1. This was so much fun to read. That class was so inspiring and a nice reprieve from the more serious work Lee and I were doing at the time. I was a little afraid to take on a faux project at first. I started with a small table and each project was a little more ambitious after that. There's a bookcase I designed for a client. And most recently I did two whole rooms for another client. check out a few of these projects on my Facebook page.