Worry LESS Smile MORE
From the minute Lee Delaney began her demonstration at the recent Less is More Festival my focus was to gather all the information together to share with you. Fun, quirky and once you have your equipment together, all done in under 15 minutes.
Bees Wax Wraps keep food fresh, eliminating the use of single-use plastic. With 5 trillion pieces of plastic estimated to be floating around in our oceans and studies beginning to prove how storing food in plastic is detrimental to our health (read more on that here), it is time for alternatives.
So invite your friends over, source some Funky Fabric and #letsgetcreative.
You will need:
- Cotton material
- Pinking shears to cut material – this prevents fraying
- Bees wax
- Grater – which will only be used for bees wax once you begin
- Grease proof paper
- Ironing board
- Old sheets or material suitable to protect your ironing board
Step One – Preparation
- Prepare your pieces of material, 30X30cm will cover most requirements
Lee recommends to use 100% cotton and had the great suggestion of reusing bed sheets which are no longer needed. Cutting your material with pinking shears gives a zig-zag edge and is a quick and easy method to prevent fraying.
- Grate your bees wax into a container
This is the most strenuous and time consuming part of the process.
Bees wax can be sourced at Local Farmers Markets or alternatively there are many online options. Left over bees wax candles are another clever way to recycle, reuse, repurpose…
Protect your ironing board by firstly laying down a sheet (folded for extra thickness) before the baking paper (as shown below) and lastly your piece of chosen material.
Sprinkle an even coating of the grated bees wax, allowing approximately 1cm from the edge to remain free to prevent seepage. The even coverage is important as it is the bees wax which seals the material and prevents air from entering, ultimately keeping your food fresh.
Cover with baking paper then begin ironing, medium heat with no steam, until you completely melt the bees wax. Lee’s recommendation is to use a separate iron for this part rather than your everyday one. Alternatively you can cover your good iron with foil as shown in image number one.
Occasionally you might end up with too much wax. If this happens you can place another piece of fabric over the top to soak up the excess – two for the price of one!
Your fabric is now ready to be placed flat to dry and set. This surprisingly, only takes around 10 minutes or so.
- To prolong the life of your wrap prevent contact with heat (including hot food) which will soften and melt the bees wax. This means they are perfect to store in cool areas, rather than a hot car, or direct sunlight!
- Use the warmth of your hands to soften and mould the fabric then the coolness of refrigeration to harden the new shape into place
- Don’t place the bees wax wraps in the washing machine to clean, wipe them with cool/warm water (as apposed to hot) and allow them to dry naturally
And that, my friends, is all there is to it – pretty cool aren’t they?
These Bees Wax Wraps are perfect for covering containers, wrapping sandwiches, storing cheese and sealing the cut end of fruit and vegetables. This is terrific news for me as early last year CWMS had the Great Plastic Bag Stocktake and shortly after this initial assessment a decision was made to minimise the use of single-use plastic in our life. Glad wrap had to go. Lunches were already being wrapped in Sandwich Wraps but storing food, although do-able without reaching for plastic, did pose ongoing challenges. In the end we settled with food being transferred into containers or stored in a bowl with a plate resting over the top to seal. So these Bees Wax Wraps are going to be a welcome addition to our everyday.
The last quirky idea for Bees Wax Wraps is to use them as a ‘gift which keeps on giving’. Those of you who regularly give homemade culinary delights, produce, or preserves, can seal with a handmade wrap. Once the initial item has been enjoyed the receiver still has the wrap which they can continue to use.
These are only a few ideas to get the brain ticking. What else have, or would, you use them for?
Another great conversation starter…