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Old 03-07-2006, 04:50 AM   #1
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Towels

I didn't know where to put this, but I'm sure someone will move it if I'm wrong. One serious hint to all new cooks is kitchen towels. Stacks of them. Preferably white, nothing cute, no terrycloth. Many of mine actually came from the automotive department of Wal-Mart or Target. But it is wonderful to have a stack of them ready to go. If you just finished meatballs, you wipe your hands and toss. If you spill some red wine while struggling to get that darned cork out, you wipe it up and toss. If your glasses get splattered with grease, you clean them and toss. Then once a week I soak them, wash them, and start all over again. It is less than one load of laundry (certain other cotton items that need that extra something go in with them), and it sure beats those cutesy ones. Having a clean cloth at my fingertips when I need it is a necessity, and something you don't hear much about.

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Old 03-07-2006, 07:08 AM   #2
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I certainly go along with having plenty of kitchen towels. I only use them one meal and then to the washer. For my really dirty cleaning of stove, sink nasty wipe ups, etc, I keep a stash of old bath towels cut into kitchen towel size pieces, avoiding heavy stains on my white towels. I wash them all with a bit of bleach. I also use a lot of paper towels.
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:22 AM   #3
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We have a ton pf then and use them constantly. I do not like the white ones that much though as they show all the stains. I prefer the darker colored ones. I always have one on a hook under the sink for drying clean stuff, and at least one on the counter to wipe up spills and dribbles and stuff like that. after a week (or less) the one on the counter goes in the wash and the one that was used for drying replaces it. Then a fresh one goes under the counter.
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Old 03-07-2006, 01:17 PM   #4
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I always have LOTS of towels out. By the stove... by the sink..
I throw them in the wash when ever I do a load of clothes.
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Old 03-07-2006, 01:24 PM   #5
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I have a drawer full of dish towels and dish cloths in the kitchen. They get washed separately in a load with bleach to clean and disinfect.

I try to get them at outlet stores or clearance centers to save a buck or two. I look for heavy duty towels that will last for a while.
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:43 PM   #6
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flour sack towels are the best. Buy them in your grocery store (for cheap) or at Wms Sonoma (less cheap).
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:13 PM   #7
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Estate sales quite often will have stacks and stacks of towels for next to nothing. I buy them to use on everthing from my kitchen to my car, my dog, and my patio furniture.
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:13 PM   #8
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I'm with you GB on stains in the white ones. I have hunter green, tan and cranberry colored towels in my kitchen.
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:12 PM   #9
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I like flour sack towels too, Mudbug. I also like to have some terry ones for draining the big bowls, pots and pans that I handwash. I have tons of them.

I also use a lot of Bounty paper towels for drying hands and assorted clean-up jobs. We buy them in giant packages of 12 rolls at Sams. When you use the paper towels, you have a germ free towel each time. After you dry your hands with it, you can use it to wipe up the stove or counter.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:37 PM   #10
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I like the bar towels from Bed, Bath, Beyond 'cos they're really thirsty. They soak spills and water right up; on the negative side, they're white. But since I found their cheaper cousins at Target, will continue to use.

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Old 03-08-2006, 12:37 PM   #11
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We use the flour sack towels for our nice wine glasses and china. Other than that, we have a hefty stock of Williams-Sonoma kitchen towels for everyday use.
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:46 PM   #12
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For those of you who would like to buy some white kitchen towels...I will suggest you go to www.kingmenus.com. You can buy a nice 17x21 cotton terry cloth for $ 12.49 for five dozen. That's only 20 cents a piece! This is what we use in our restaurant and we are very pleased with them.
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:39 PM   #13
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Mine are just basic bar towels, I think I last paid $5 for a dozen at Walmart. White with blue stripes. Use them for wiping spills, wiping my hands, use a damp one rolled up as a bowl stand when wisking with one hand and pouring (oil, etc.) with the other. I don't really do anything special to wash them except to use the "Hot" wash cycle.
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:51 PM   #14
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flour sack towels for dishes etc, kitchen or bar towels (side towels) all over the place, at the stove, at the sink, etc. also tasting spoons...I have a small canister of spoons I keep by the stove for tasting.
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Old 03-18-2006, 01:09 AM   #15
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I have a nice assortment of towels for use in the kitchen.
B U T ! ! They all have became almost waterproof!

I never use fabric softner when washing any towels.

Any suggestions on how I can get them to absorbent again?

TIA,
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:26 AM   #16
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Most of mine I found in Wal-Mart and Target as "detailing" cloths in the automotive dept! I think they got wise to me, though, because I don't see that quality there any more (they're herringbone weave, hemmed, tough as nails and very, very absorbant).

A few years ago, I bought a batch of towels that were never absorbant. I still have them, and they've never quite become as absorbant as my favorites in spite of lots of washings in hot water, etc. It's like they're made with celuloid or something (in spite of saying 100% cotton). These were labelled as kitchen towels; don't remember where I bought them. They looked just like kitchen towels I used to buy from W-S, white with a thin blue pinstripe going through them.

I also buy white face cloths by the bundle at Wal-Mart or outlets. These get used for virtually everything. They are so cheap that if I do a particularly nasty job, I don't feel guilty for just tossing them. I just go through my drawer and find the most ragged and stained ones, do the job, and trash afterwards.

I prefer white because -- #1 I can bleach them, and #2 I know what is in there. I look at them and see a stain, and know it is red wine I wiped up, turmeric from a curry, but that it is sanitary because I laundered it.

These towels aren't for public display. Even though people hang around in my kitchen no one has ever commented on the stains on these towels. They are literally one-use. Yes, I have paper towels. But I prefer cloth. I guess it shows my age!
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:50 AM   #17
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Anthony Bourdain makes a big deal out of his "side towels" in his book Kitchen Confidential.
I too think a good supply of them is an essential tool in my kitchens.
One word to the wise- keep the towels dry. Or if they get wet- get a dry one! Nothing will burn you faster than grabbing a hot pot with a wet towel- the steam is dangerous.
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Old 03-18-2006, 12:28 PM   #18
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I got a laugh out of reading Kitchen Confidential and remember thinking of my stacks of white towels and face clothes when he mentioned them being important. You can bet HE doesn't launder his. But it's only a load a week, and I either bleach or oxy them (the latter often works better on stains) in hot water. For a "fancy" meal, I may go through a drawer full. I keep them in drawers. Unlike the pro chefs I see on TV, though, I believe in potholders. I don't think towels do the trick, and it's too easy for them to catch fire. It took a little doing, but I've finally gotten used to the silicone ones, and they are so multi use (pot holder, trivet, jar top remover, and cutting board stabilizer, right off the top of my head). I've burned my fingers way too often through a towel, and caught a lot of them on fire. Keep that pan lid on hand, puts the fire out quickly!
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Old 03-19-2006, 02:43 AM   #19
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Towels

All these towel stories remind me of a "Heloise" letter a few years ago.
A lady wrote in and said that, she found that if she kept a towel, to wipe up spills, on the kitchen counter, it saved her a lot of paper towels!

Good thinking lady!!

Charlie
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Old 03-19-2006, 04:26 PM   #20
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I'm not so sure but I think the lady was right.
I hate paper towels for everyday use. Just too wasteful. I would rather launder cloth towels than buy, use, and throw away paper.
I don't think I'm wacko about it, but I do not encourage the "throw away" society.
But you guys need to do what you like...
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