Thursday, June 11, 2009

Folding Tips - Part 2: Folding Print

Score (verb) - a crease in a sheet of heavyweight paper to facilitate folding.

Why is this important? If you are printing on thick stock, scoring will help prevent cracking. Cracking occurs along the fold as small white paper fibers appear and look as if the inked image is tearing apart at the spine.

Think in 4's. While a printer can do a number of varying folds, in most cases only page counts divisible by 4 will work when the printed product must stitch. This is not a rule and there are exceptions to this (in fact our own web press is capable of folding an 18 page signature). However on most standard stitched books, page counts divisible by 4 are a must.

Signature (noun) - in printing and binding, the name given to a printed sheet after it has been folded.

Why is this important? The more signatures you have, the more costs are involved. If you print a 32 page booklet and the printer is capable of fitting up to 16 total front and back pages on one large sheet of paper, your booklet would have a total of 2 signatures (one for each press sheet comprised of 16 pages). Each press sheet/signature needs plates, paper, ink and finishing services. Anything you do to reduce the total number of signatures (not necessarily pages) will save you big money.

Folding Tips - Part 1: Folding Your Food

Beaten egg whites are folded into batter to create a light and fluffy texture. When you beat egg whites until their color turns white, you create air bubbles. The purpose of folding is to retain those air bubbles in the batter mixture. Because the beaten eggs can settle rather quickly and the bubbles can go away, make sure all other ingredients are already mixed in and that this is your last step right before cooking. Also, eggs at room temperature whip better than cold eggs. To fold eggs, first gently pour the beaten egg whites on the batter. Use a rubber spatula to cut down the middle through the mixture and move the spatula across the bottom and up the side, bringing some of the mixture from the bottom to the surface. Turn the bowl one-third of a turn each time until you complete the process.

When making and folding an omelet, always cook on low heat. The omelet will not uniformly cook on high heat (the bottom will burn and the top will be too runny to stay together when flipping or folding).

Folding food can be effective, but it does not mean it is the easiest method. For instance when making deviled eggs, mix the yolks and combine with all other ingredients in a zip lock bag and squish them together (many recipes call for folding the ingredients into the egg yolks but I think this works better). Once the ingredients are mixed together thoroughly, cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze to fill your eggs.