Whether we admit it or not, there’s something in everyone’s kitchen, or something that should be in your kitchen, that’s haunting you. Now, the Accidental Locavore is not talking fuzzy science experiments in the back of the fridge, but scary stuff masquerading as normal household objects.
Take my friend Cozy. Normally a savvy entrepreneur and founder of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, a published author with multiple Today show (scary, live TV) appearances under her fashion-forward belt. Recently she admitted to a terror of parchment paper. Yes, parchment paper. While you or I may look at it as waxed paper’s ancient and more useful ancestor, she saw an alien object on a roll. Or maybe she didn’t see it at all. One of Cozy’s fears was that while she knew it existed, she didn’t know where to find it (any grocery store) or what to do with it once it crossed her threshold.
Enter the Accidental Locavore! You may have made the mistake I did, years ago, substituting wax paper for parchment and ruing the day, or like Cozy, just not be familiar with it. Cooking in parchment is one of those cheap tricks that makes everyone think you can really cook. One of my favorite recipes for zucchini is to wrap it in parchment, it’s like giving everyone at the table their own gift. Fish is great in it and that’s what Cozy did, fighting her fear and steaming some halibut with Israeli couscous and vegetables. Her verdict? “It was pretty successful!” I recently did a piece of halibut in parchment with some very thin lemon slices and arugula pesto, popped it in the microwave for two minutes, delicious! What Cozy didn’t have was these cool parchment bags, just written up in the NY Times.
If you don’t have a Silpat (and if you’re scrunching up your face right now, you don’t have one…trust me), parchment is a pretty good substitute for lining pans and makes cleaning up gooey messes super easy, just throw the paper away! In Paula Wolfort’s Moroccan squash soup she has you topping the squash with a disc of parchment. What’s your favorite use for it?
And the Locavore’s friend, Cozy? “I realized there’s nothing to be afraid of and it’s easy as pie”. What’s in your kitchen that scares you?