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.