Now more than ever, when we should all be up to date on the real news and happenings of this country (!!!), is the time to buy or subscribe to local newspapers. Instead of tossing them out or scrunching them into a fireplace, however, I’ve got several fun ways to extend the life of your favorite stories, sections, or images.
Certainly, there are special moments for the prettiest gift wrap (wedding gifts?) but everyday food gifts should be wrapped quickly, in a scrappy fashion, just good enough to create the element of surprise before it’s opened in five seconds flat. I opt to put my available money and time into the food I share, and never worry about wrapping or serving. Here are five ways I like to use my favorite newspapers (beyond reading them, of course) and I hope they come in handy to you as we enter this merry season.
1. Wrap a Box: Think about the last time you had to wrap a gift and didn’t have the right (or any) wrapping paper for the occasion. Enter newspaper as it is always in style and makes an ordinary box shine. Simply find the print you want to display and wrap the box accordingly so it shows. I hoarded — not in a TV-show sort of way, promise — the food sections of various newspapers for years precisely for this purpose
2. Use in Work Space: Newspaper makes a handy layer to work on when handling seafood, fruits, or veggies. It makes clean up so much easier and gives you something to read while you wait for things to cook.
3. Make a Tag: Simple and sophisticated and all that is required is scissors, glue stick, card stock, and an image or print that appeals to you. Decide on the size of your tag and cut the image and card stock to the same size. Glue the back of the image to the card stock, et voila! you have a homemade tag. You can pierce a hole for string with a paper clip or tape the string to the back.
4. Wrap a Jar: If you need to give a gift in a hurry — perhaps a homemade jam from your pantry — newspaper is there in a pinch and makes really unique wrapping paper for an everyday gift, such as a thank you, new neighbor, last-minute dinner party, etc. Just wrap it as you would a gift, and don’t worry about the tape showing — it’s homemade, after all.
5. Use as a Tablecloth or Plate: I share a recipe in my cookbook, Food Gift Love, for a traveling cheese plate that requires a newspaper as the plate. From this simple idea, I realized how often newspaper makes a wonderful backdrop for a casual meal. If using as a plate, simply cover the newspaper with parchment and enjoy the ease of it all.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.