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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Badger Paddles' Tip of the Week - Wax Your Cheese

Badger Paddles' Tip of the Week includes information on paddling, camping, portaging, boat transport, and maintenance tips, as well as any other information that we may find to be useful around our sett.

I don't know about you, but we like to bring cheese with us on our canoe trips. (Quite frankly I can't live without it!) And when Mike and I were just starting out together, he surprised me with a technique* for waxing and preserving cheese that can really make the difference on a long or even short trip into the bush.

Waxing your cheese stops the cheese from sweating and getting that "white stuff" all over it.  And I love cheese so much - it's probably one of the reasons why I married him!

Preserving Cheese for Canoe Trips:
  1. Cut chilled cheese** into meal size blocks. 
  2. Wet cheese cloth (Mike used J-cloths!) with vinegar (enough to saturate the cloth but not soaking wet).
  3. Wrap cheese blocks individually with the cloth wet with the white vinegar.
  4. Dip into melted paraffin wax to seal. Repeat.
  5. Coat the cheese blocks with the wax enough to have a thick layer when it hardens.
  6. Note: Do not have the wax too hot as it will be harder to get a good coat of the paraffin on the cheese, noting that if you don't want to use paraffin - you can substitute cheese wax or even make your own using non-toxic crayon wax.
See the original here: CCR- Gear
Then, when you are out on your wilderness trip, you just have to open up one of the waxed blocks of cheese for your meal. It is like having a fresh block of cheese right out of the package every time - a great way to add some flavour to a meal (or snack) on a long canoe trip. And don't be worried about how the vinegar will affect the taste of the cheese. Mike has a real aversion to vinegar (it really bothers him). But he swears by this technique, even reports he isn't bothered by any vinegar taste or by any overpowering smell at all. That's saying something- believe me!

As a side note, I entered this very tip to the Canadian Canoe Routes website not long after the first time I tried it on a trip with Mike - you can still see it here: Tips And Tricks-Preserving Cheese. There was also a photo submitted (see picture above), by a canoe manufacturer in Temiskaming, of my father and I for the Canadian Canoe Routes' website's gear section.

*Mike had learned this technique, among other things, from his professor, Clair Magee.
**This technique is not recommended for really soft cheeses and is best utilized for hard cheeses like cheddar, etc.

Do you have any tips to share? Send us your tips and paddling advice - and if your tip is featured here - we will send you a free Badger Paddles sticker!!! All you have to do is email us your suggestions.

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