Worth replacing: Cheesecloth

wrcheeseclothAlthough I’ve never made cheese (I’d love to try it!), I always keep a package of cheesecloth on hand.

Besides using it to encase the flavouring ingredients that I want to remove easily from broths and infusions, I also use cheesecloth to line my strainer when I make homemade soup stock; it filters out all the little bits perfectly!

Likewise, once the bulk of the liquid has passed through to a clean container, you can squeeze every drop out of the cheesecloth-wrapped solids and then toss the waste into the composter – so much easier than trying to clean all the little bits out of a chinoise!

Amy Snider introduced me to one of the cleverest (and prettiest uses) I’ve seen for cheesecloth. Amy wraps a piece of cold butter in cheesecloth and ties it into a little beggar’s purse that she serves with hot corn on the cob. The idea is to rub the bundle over the corn so that every cob is swathed in a perfectly even coating of butter. Smart!

Do you keep cheesecloth in the kitchen? If so, do you have any innovative uses for it that you’d like to share?

NB: I’m traveling a lot this week and will pop in and out to add updates from Ottawa, Halifax and St. John’s and to respond to comments when I can; however, I won’t be as present as usual. For continuity, I’ve pre-written some posts for the week so please do pop in daily.


On deck this week are:
• Double crust pie making tips,
• Ideas for making squash delicious,
• Inexpensive Sunday roast options and
• Info about Jane Goodall’s influence on the food business.



Canadian Blog Awards Announcement

I’m very happy to report that my blog Dana McCauley’s Food writer’s blog (http://danamccauley.wordpress.com) has been nominated for the semi finals in two categories of the Canadian Blog Awards.

Please take a moment to vote for me in the categories of:

Best Blog: http://cdnba.wordpress.com/vote-2008/best-blog/

Best New Blog: http://cdnba.wordpress.com/vote-2008/best-new-blog/

If enough people vote for my blog in this round, you may hear from me again, asking for your support as a finalist!

Thanks for any support you can offer!



14 Responses to Worth replacing: Cheesecloth

  1. Rosa says:

    Congrats! I’ll vote…



  2. Cheryl says:

    I have cheesecloth, though I really only use it a few times a year. But like a root canal, when you need it, you need it.

  3. beth says:

    I’m dashing off to do two things;

    1.buy cheesecloth

    2.Vote for you – good luck!

  4. danamccauley says:

    Thanks for your support folks!

    Cheryl, I’ve never had a root canal (thank goodness) but I think I get what you mean none-the-less.

  5. Maris says:

    Very cool – I always wondered what you could do with cheesecloth besides making cheese. I’m sure if I bought it I would find a use for it or 2 🙂

  6. I voted.

    In addition to cheesecloth, I like to have butter muslin around. It is finer and stronger than cheesecloth and strong enough to use for juicing fruit. I’ve also used just plain unbleached muslin when I couldn’t get the butter muslin.

  7. Diva says:

    Done and done – delighted to vote for you and best wishes towards the win, Dana! What a lovely honor. 🙂

    As for the cheesecloth, its one of those things I always *mean* to pick up – yet never have on hand when I need it. Thanks for the reminder and happy travels to you.

  8. Congrats, Dana. I’ve voted!!

    I will have to break down and buy cheesecloth, but Peter’s butter muslin sound intriguing.

  9. Cheryl A says:

    Enjoy your trip… Halifax is my former home and I love Ottawa. Hope you get some shopping and good eats in.

  10. danamccauley says:

    Charmian, I am also very curious about what Peter’s talking about. I’m going to email him and ask him to come back and do some ‘splaining!

    Cheryl A – thank for the good wishes. The sched is tight but I always seem to be well fed and my credit cards could use a rest so not having shopping time might be a good thing.

  11. Butter muslin is a tighter weave (90 threads per inch) than regular cheesecloth. There’s no need to use double or triple layers, plus it’s washable. It’s available from stores that sell cheese making supplies. The New England Cheese Making Supply Company (www.cheesemaking.com) is where I but mine. I use it when I drain fromage blanc (see http://xrl.us/oyasf).

    The unbleached muslin is a tighter weave and much stronger. I use this when I have to put a lot a force against the cloth, such as when I juice strawberries before making strawberry syrup. It’s not uncommon to find pictures in old books of two cooks squeezing the liquid from some slurry by twisting the ends of a cloth in opposite directions. In the old days linen was used. A one-person version of this technique is used in this recipe for blanc mange (http://xrl.us/oyas2).

  12. Christine says:

    Congrats and I will vote you deserve it! As for cheesecloth, it is on my list to keep in the kitchen I just never got around to getting it. Since I want to make homemade mozzeralla I better stock up on cheesecloths!

  13. Heather says:

    I think that I may need to find me some muslin, I hate using layers of cheesecloth. I can’t begin to count the number of times that cheesecloth just hasn’t been strong enough. I’ve also heard that a coffee filter works well, but often, I’m sure that it wouldn’t be large enough.

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