MY FAVORITE THINGS
This post starts a random series of declarations of love for objects. Kitchen items. There are some that I am so taken with, I find it necessary to write about these culinary obsessions.
On this Saturday, I am writing about parchment paper. For decades of baking, I never used it. Once I discovered its versatility as well as its work-saving qualities, I haven't been without out it. I love parchment paper.
Mostly, I line cake pans and cookie sheets with parchment paper. Never do I worry that the cake won't come out of the pan or that the cookies will get stuck. It is never an issue.
Here's what you can do with parchment paper:
- Wrap your sandwiches with it. Make that cool deli-type fold over the top and tuck in the bottom. Very chic. Wrap a pickle spear to continue the deli theme.
- Cut circles and line your round cake pans.
- Cut rectangles and line your cookie sheets.
- Make a sling for your loaf pans, extending the paper a good few inches over each side. When the loaf is cooled, it will lift right out of the loaf pan.
- Make a collar for your souffle pan.
- Use it as a counter protector when you're making scones or cinnamon rolls. When you're done, gather it up by the edges and throw the mess away.
- Roll your piecrust on it - draw the desired-sized circle on the opposite side and roll to the line.
- Make a cone and snip the end - use it as a pastry bag. Write a happy message on a cake.
- Take a large rectangle. Place a fresh fish fillet (tilapia, salmon, whatever) in the center. Over that, load up some fresh veggies and a lemon wedge, season it up a little, and fold over, crimping edges to make a pouch. Bake in a moderate (350 degree F) oven for elegant fish "en papillote" which is especially good because the pouch allows the fish and veggies to steam inside, keeping all the flavor in.
- Cut a rectangle and give your grandson some crayons and have some fun together.
- Wrap a cookbook and add a pretty ribbon and a little wooden spoon or metal cookie cutter for a gift from your kitchen.
- Hand-wash in hot soapy water, air dry, and use again.
Photo image: http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/parchment-paper-questions-1.jpg