The universe has been pushing me to make beeswax wraps. We have a bulk supply of beeswax from years ago when a friend had a honey business at Nundle, I've had two conversations giving me how-to tips from grating, to oils to mix with the beeswax, and when 'Milkwood, Real skills for down-to-earth living' arrived it had a instructions on 'Making Beeswax Wraps' (featured on their blog this week). I have been following the Milkwood blog for years and I was thrilled when Milkwood founders Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar announced they were writing a book. I love the chapter on Wild Food, being blackberry, apple, fig, mushroom and nettle foragers.
With homemade stocking fillers in mind Sunday was set aside for making. Kirsten suggests using scraps of cotton fabric, like old skirts or pillow cases, to make the wraps, but being gifts I wanted the fabric to be strong so I opted to buy some botanical and food printed cotton fabric. I used pinking shears to cut the squares, circles, and rectangle shapes, but if you don't have them conventional fabric scissors are equally good. A tip for beginners, check the size of your baking pan before cutting your shapes. My first squares were too big for my pan and had to be cut down. One of our customers told me she uses our Kilner grater and jar for grating and storing beeswax for her wraps, so I gave that a try and it worked well. It's takes a bit of experimentation to discover the ideal amount of wax to sprinkle on the fabric, but you can always re-infuse if the fabric needs more. Adding too much beeswax can make the wraps too stiff. After an afternoon of grating, sprinkling, melting, and spreading wax with a pastry brush, our beeswax wraps are drying on the line, smelling good. Before sundown we'll have a new stash of beeswax wraps in the kitchen drawer for lunches and leftovers, and some to package for friends for Christmas gifts. Our nine-year-old will be relieved his wrap for lunch will be secured with a beeswax wrap, and he won't be eating it.