DIY Decorative Leaves for a Cheese Plate

• 04 November 2012



The other day I went searching for our cheese knives and in the process stumbled upon a small  package of decorative parchment leaves I picked up years ago at Williams Sonoma (it's actually quite amazing they survived so many moves).  I looked at them for a moment and then thought about all the beautiful, bright-colored trees I pass everyday and thought, "why am I not making my own decorative leaves this time of year?".  Who needs to spend $16 when you can easily create your own authentic version instead?



All you need for this super simple DIY, (besides leaves), is a leaf press (or a couple of heavy phonebooks if you happen to have those still!).  When choosing your leaves, consider those that are very bright in color, seemingly flawless and large enough to stage a small wedge of cheese.  And options are good, so pick up a few more than you think you'll need.


Take your stack of leaves and gently rinse them one by one under a stream of warm water.  Lay them in a single layer on a dry dishtowel.  Use an additional towel to pat dry.  Once you've removed all visible moisture from the leaves, it's time to place them in your press (single layer, with ample space around each leaf).  You'll want to tighten your press as much as possible and then allow the leaves to flatten and dry out over the next 48 to 72 hours.



Once they are pressed, arrange them on a cheese board, tray, plate or platter.  Add the cheese wedges, as well as the accoutrements, et voila...you have a beautiful cheese plate!  Here I chose a brie called Pierre Robert (can you really ever go wrong with a triple-cream?), a personal favorite,  P'tit Basque and new-to-me blue appropriately called Bleu d'Auvergne (amazing with figs!).  I'm also a huge fan of Tomme de Savoie and Montagne.  What are your favorites?

8 comments:

anna | Today I like Blog said...

ooo I love what you've done! what a simple yet cute idea! And having cheese with fruit (specially figs and raisin of course) is delicious, so French! Are all of these leaves for real or some of them are from Sonoma? You know what, I still have some cute autumn leaves I picked up in Boston 6 years ago, they're in the kitchen!!!

Starr said...

Lovely photos.

I've never seen a leaf press before. (Phone books & a Complete Works of William Shakespeare are the pressing devices in my world.) I admit I'm intrigued by it, though.

Favorite cheeses: Ribblesdale & Dutch Goats Gouda.

Petra said...

Love any way to hang on to those beautiful fall leaves a little longer.....

Anonymous said...

I've found the best way to preserve leaves is modge podge. Paint both sides with glue and they stay flat and colorful for years.

Stephanie said...

Anna, all of the leaves shown are real!

Starr, my FIL made this press for me one year during a handmade Christmas. I love it. You can find some on etsy as well. Although phone books are pretty awesome too!

Petra, my thoughts exactly :)

Anon, I have never thought of that before. I'm not super familiar with modge podge so thanks for the heads up!

AlisonB said...

I loved those parchment leaves from WS and never thought to do my own - thanks for the idea! Any advice on which leaves are safest and which to avoid? I'm taking either a cheese tray or a cookie plate to an auction this weekend and am using your trick either way.

We are hopping the pond at the end of the month and can't wait to bring back cheeses. My husband and daughter love blues, so I just found a Blue Shropshire at Metropolitan Market that was a fun change!

SaraGezelius said...

This is such a great idea!
Amazing!

Sara
http://saraforsoker.blogspot.se/

Taylor Hart said...

such a pretty cheese plate. I miss the Fall in the Midwest... we don't get that in Austin.

nothing but a pigeon

xoxo

Taylor

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 

stephmodo © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger