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When the Holidays are looming, this item is searched for with a great deal of anxiety. Not thought about the whole year long, suddenly it becomes seriously important. What is it? Cheesecloth. Poor cheesecloth, used for holiday soups as a holder of herbs. Then either thrown away or lost in that draw you never look in, until next year. (Guilty as charged). Why? It’s so much more than that. Besides being about the weight of two feathers (Real feathers, not those ones you get at the sports store. That’s just wrong). Fold it up into almost nothing. It’s reusable, and very handy to have if your fishing, hunting, camping, or running for the hills. The versatility simply never ends.

Cheese Making: Some animals produce milk that is not flavorful. In a lot of cases you can use herbs to produce a tasty cheese, for yourself or for barter. It’s easy to make small quantities at a time. All you need is:
About a gallon of milk
2 or 3 lemons, juiced
Herbs and a little Salt
Bring milk to a boil and add lemon juice, while stirring. The milk should form curds immediately. Have ready a piece of cheesecloth folded three times in a bowl, if you have one. Pour the curds over the cheesecloth to strain them. Sprinkle with you herbs and a small amount of salt if you like. Twist the cheesecloth into a tight ball, to get rid of all the liquid (Whey – it’s a yellow-greenish color). Tie off and let dry. You can crumble or slice over your preferred system of delivery. (When at home, I save the Whey to use as a substitute for water in baking, works well in bread). Yes, you can make bread in cans next to your fire. Nice.

Head and Face Covering: Yes, when folded in half, cheesecloth can and will keep bugs off your face and out of your ears. (If the bugs are big enough you have bait for fishing. It’s hilarious watching your partner trying to pull them out of the cheesecloth. I suggest you do it as you’re running away).

Jerky Covering: When you must make jerky on the fly, or just because it doesn’t weigh as much dried. (I explained that to my partner, over and over. Finally, just did it myself to prove the point. No Brownie points given) Set it out in the sun on woven sticks and put the cheesecloth over the top of it. Keeps out all those pesky flies.

Gauze: Makes a nice airy bandage that flexes with movement. Keeps out all those pesky flies and dirt (unless you fall down a lot).

Window Screens: Pretty much is self-explaining. But, if you cut strips of plastic and weave them into the cheesecloth, makes a good curtain.

Book Bindings: (It’s called Scrim, you those of you that like official stuff, like my partner, bless his soul). If you mix flour and water to a paste, you can dip your cheesecloth into it to cover. Let dry, it will reinforce most papers or broken books. (You know the one you threw across the campsite because the main character ticked you off?)

Flags: For those times when you want to get your partners attention without speaking. Like after a disagreement or just because. (My favorite).

Bathing Suit: Ok, I made this one up. It worked well when I went swimming. My partner suddenly forgave me for talking while fishing. (It was a stream, for crying out loud, it was already noisy).

Fishing Net: To catch fish swimming in a corner resting stop. (I didn’t make that one up, my partner did) Or, as a bag to carry the fish to the campfire or the bear, whichever comes first. (Yes, that did happen. I have never climbed anything so fast in my life, my partner didn’t appreciate, though. Said I was supposed to climb the tree. I figured if I climb him first, I’d have a few extra minutes).

Ornaments: If for some stupid reason you are in the woods, and it’s Halloween. (Unless of course, you have to be there because some idiot pushed the button). It makes good spider webs for that Halloween feeling. Make sure you leave it there. It’s probably already infested with spiders (they like a day off, too). Or to just freak the person out that’s been following you for three days. (They didn’t know where they were, forgot to bring a deck of cards with them. Believed that if they played solitaire, someone would come by to help move the cards around. Idiot.)

Water Filtration: Get the finest weave you can, and fold it a bunch of times anyway. (Someone at our campsite tried to use it without folding. Couldn’t figure out where all the little tiny rocks came from). Remember, to leave the campsite before laughing.

Dust/Contamination Mask: Fold it just enough to keep the dust out or you may find it hard to breath. (I asked my partner why he was breathing so hard. I thought he was dreaming again, he said no, but his face was red).

Camo-Netting: Because, you know the planes fly lower so they can see you. Please remember to dye it by rolling it in the mud. For some reason, white doesn’t work. (Also, you need large quantities for coverage, just run down to the corner store. That’ll work).

Abrasive Material: Make a bag, and stuff it with sand and sharp rocks. Works well at cleaning pans, knives, shaping arrows (If you have a bow. I think that’s a requirement), polishing the bottom of a can to make a mirror, and finally for throwing at your partner. (It works, for any reason you want, it works).

So, to wrap it up. Thank you for reading my ranting, reminder of cheesecloth. Oh, and my partner wants to put his twenty-five cents worth (It’s all I let him carry, he has holes in his pockets, we walk into a sports store and suddenly it’s all gone), in. He has asked me to tell you that it works for making tofu. I sometimes question his sanity. Well more than sometimes.

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