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Gerber flat birdseye diapers as cheesecloth substitute


Catherine Iino
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These are great: all cotton; hemmed squares; thin enough to drain yogurt or squeeze out, say, grated potatoes; sturdy enough to wash. You can line a dough basket with one or strain liquid through them. They come in packs of 12 for about a buck a piece. I love them.

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Just because these are suitable for external application on a baby does not mean that they are food grade and do not have substances that will be ingested that are potentially harmful.

I would advise contacting Gerber and listen to what they tell you about the suitability for food grade applications.-Dick

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I don't have any cheesecloth, but I use a couple of layers of 'sheer' curtains which someone passed on to me. So far, I have found them to work for all draining and squeezing jobs.

They also keep off the insects of summer, including the plaguing fruit flies. I sewed up a pillowcase of sorts from one of them into which my large fruit bowl fits quite nicely.

Of course they wash and dry like a dream. They are doubtless some 70s kind of synthetic seeing as they are at least 30/40 years old.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Catherine, I assumed that you've been washing them before use (jesus - you have, haven't you ?). For myself, I'm generally more wary, for instance, of the solvent traces that must be left on stuff like cling wrap - now and again, sure, but do I want to have that stuff in contact with my food daily ? (No).

Amateur that I am, I'm fascinated (no fascinated was when Jamie Lee Curtis got her jugs out in Trading Places) interested in foodsafe issues like this.

I wish these Gerber diapers were readily available here - in kitchen shops in Japan, you ask for muslin, or "cloth you could use for draining yoghurt or cheese" and they just look at you in conternation.

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Not a shill or anything, but Michael Ruhlman sells something for this exact purpose (food grade, hemmed, re-usablestraining cloths) on his OpenSky store. You have to have an OpenSky account to see his page but it is worth it..from the page (https://opensky.com/ruhlman/collection/all-strain-kitchen-cloths)

The All-Strains are cotton, reuseable straining clothes for all straining needs. No reason to keep buying cheesecloth. When you want to strain something, stock, soup, these are always at the ready.

You can also use them to strain the whey out of regular yogurt for thick, greek style yogurt. Or fill them with chopped or pureed tomatoes to make tomato water, a heavenly elixer that can be soup, sauce, or cooking medium.

They can be used to enclose aromatics added then removed from stocks, sauces and braises (called a sachet d'epices), and yes, you can even use them for cheese.

They're handsomely embroidered so that they're clearly identifiable as kitchen cloths and when folded, identifiable by size.

The Details

Each set contains three, reusable cotton All-Strain cloths:

10" x 10"

14" x 14"

18" x 20".

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Absolutely, yes, I wash everything I buy before I use it in the kitchen. (Well, not the cling wrap.) It's quite possible that there are fabric preservatives in the diapers when you buy them. I would ask whether they are also in the cheesecloth you buy; it wouldn't surprise me. The diapers are a lot easier to put through the wash--multiple times--than cheesecloth.

You know, I couldn't find them for a long time here (Connecticut), either. It was finally locating them at Target that triggered my excited post.

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I use solid white cotton bandanas. They are about $1 each at craft stores, less if there is a sale. They are about 20x20 inches, have hemmed edges, and are similar in thickness/weight to bed sheets. Of course, I wash them before use, and wash them with the regular laundry between uses. I store them with the dishtowels, and don't worry about the fact that they don't stay exactly white, due to being stained by whatever has been strained through them.

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Catherine Iino, I am thrilled to learn you can get the flat ones, still! All the cloth diapers I've seen in ages have had the quilted center piece, which prohibits their use as straining cloths AND hinders using them as burp cloths if one has an infant around! I'm off to Target! Thank you!

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Growing up in the Ozarks, I strained/squeezed many quarts of grape and other types of juice through those diapers. Before that, they used feed sacks (back when they were made of printed cloth). I even have a quilt my grandma made from feed sacks that had been made into dresses for my mother and aunt, then when they outgrew the dresses, she made the quilt!

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We use old T-shirts that have reached the end of their useful life - washed, cheap and clean.

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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Regarding muslin vs Cheesecloth....no, they are not the same, cheesecloth is very loose weave, muslin is tighter; and no, I never use softener when washing the muslin.

You can buy muslin from fabric store by the yard, cut it up, and re-use it for long time, very cost effective. :raz:

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Regarding muslin vs Cheesecloth....no, they are not the same, cheesecloth is very loose weave, muslin is tighter; and no, I never use softener when washing the muslin.

You can buy muslin from fabric store by the yard, cut it up, and re-use it for long time, very cost effective. :raz:

Not all "cheesecloth" is the gauze type, loosely woven fabric.

Real cheesecloth is also known as "butter muslin" and is reusable and I have some that has been in constant use for many years. Williams-Sonoma used to sell it at very high prices.

New England Cheesemaking Supply carries it and so do many other online vendors.

I also use regular lightweight unbleached muslin - it is 100% cotton and shrinks a lot but it works. I usually buy several yards at a time. It is used by clothing designers to make up trial patterns as, depending on how it is cut, it drapes much like other fabrics.

I also buy the 100% cotton "flour sack towels" that are sold by some vendors. Smart & Final sells them and I have also found them at Sam's Club, usually seasonal - for holiday baking.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 6 months later...

Check the beekeeping supply stores for straining material,used for honey. It's sold by the yard and can be folded to strain looser or more thoroughly. I use three layers for yoghurt and two for butter; great for jelly. Easily washed and dried, no musty odors or staining. Before I found this I used my trusty sackcloth towels and boiled them with a bit of TSP to clean and deodorize them. Dadant, Brushy Mountain are some of them

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Some time ago, Judy Rodgers of San Francisco's Zuni Cafe, mentioned that she uses clean, white, cloth napkins for straining stock. The idea made sense to me, and I now use old, white hadkerchiefs and lint-free napkins and towels for straining and filtering. I also use fragrance free, organic dtergent when doing the laundry, and I feel comfortable with this setup. No more cheese cloth and wasting money buying what is arguably a second rate product.

Some people are concerned about chemicals, etc., in t the towels. How pure is cheese cloth?

 ... Shel


 

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I have a very fine nylon mesh bag from a brewers' store that I use for this sort of thing. It cost about $8 - a lot more than a cheesecloth - but I've been able to use it quite a few times. I'm not sure how suitable it is for draining a stock, but it works very nicely for squeezing juice from fruit puree.

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