One of the best things about this Club are the generous, creative members who pop up with wonderful ideas for food prep! Rainy has offered bits of wisdom, for which we are grateful:
“Got Bread Coming Out Of Your Ears?
At one time or another, we’ve all had bread piling up on the counter or in the bread box. “What to do with it?” you may wonder. Depending on your family composition…whether you have kids in the house, are a single person household…your bread needs may wax and wane day by day. Still, most households have bread sitting around waiting to be used.
In my house, the heels of bread are rejected…left alone sitting in the bottom of the bread wrapper. Now at certain times of the year, when it is more common for me to think of making stuffing; I will save them up in freezer bags to save up until I get enough to put together a nice sized dish of stuffing.
Those very same crusts of bread make great croutons for the tops of our salads when they are drizzled with a little bit of olive oil and dusted with some of my favorite spices and seasonings. I love homemade croutons because I can flavor them the way that I want, without all of those preservatives that purchased croutons have in them.
There have been moments when I confess to having gotten overzealous in purchasing loaves of bread, when they were perhaps on sale, or I over-estimated how much my family would use for lunches and for toast to go along with their quick morning breakfasts. This seems highly wasteful to have loaves of bread sitting in their wrappers going all stale and risking getting moldy.
Because of this…I have gotten very creative at saving loaves of forgotten bread. I have to confess, when I first got married my mother in law tried to convince me of the wonders of bread pudding. Can I just tell you that the way she described it to me turned me off right from the start? She said, “I just take all of the dried up OLD bread and the milk that is starting to turn bad and dump it into the bowl with some cinnamon, sugar and raisins. It tastes great!” That might be but, she needed to be a bit more creative in her descriptive skills. lol
I had never had it. She made it for me but I still wasn’t impressed. Over the years I have come to love bread pudding…but I had to experiment with it. For one thing, I love her dearly…but, her recipe seemed undone to me; it could have cooked a bit longer for my liking. Another thing, I have discovered that bread pudding can be made with whatever fruits that you love that make your mouth water. Bread pudding doesn’t HAVE to be made with raisins. Just this morning I made two batches with varying fruits. One of the dishes was made with blueberries and apples; the other was made with some left over canned peaches & pears. Yummy.
Ok, so you may not have whole loaves of bread sitting there staring you in the face. Maybe you only have a few slices. Why can’t you just whip up some egg, milk & vanilla or cinnamon and fry up some french toast. If you have extra…fry it up too and put it into freezer bags for those mornings when you don’t have time to cook. Just heat it up for a quick breakfast on the run.
Still not feeling the love for that lonely loaf of bread? How about a cheese strata? In a large greased cake pan lay down a layer of bread across the width of the pan. In a separate mixing bowl, whip eggs and milk. Pour egg mixture over the bread, sprinkle some shredded cheese (either whatever flavor you prefer) and sprinkle some garlic powder, salt, onion powder and some tumeric. Maybe you like some Italian spices or possibly some parsley…whatever seasonings you love sprinkle them over the egg mixture. Then, layer another layer of bread over the egg, milk and cheese…pour the leftover egg mixture and pop it into the oven. Bake until the Stratta is done when a knife is inserted in the bread and comes out clean…and the top of the strata is golden brown.
Always try to find veggies and/or fruits to have as a side dish when you are using bread as a main ingredient for one of your meals. The bread is great because it can be a wonderful filler for hungry tummies…but, the body needs its fruits and veggies too.
I hope I have given you some useful ideas. Maybe you have a few ideas of your own to share with the readers…please do. I love learning new ideas for dishes made with left over bread. Just because a family is limited on funds, it doesn’t mean that meals have to be stuck in a rut or boring, right? It is great learning from one another!”
Yes, of course those ideas are GRAND, me love. Thanks again! I do hope others will chime in with their great ideas, too.
Mother Connie Sez:
Here’s my two cents’ worth. I throw the leftovers-although we ‘fight’ over the crusts around here-into the food processor and crumble them til they look the way I want them to look. They go into a freezer bag and are laid flat. Whenever I need bread crumbs for a particular dish they are at the ready!
I can remember my mother slicing home made bread and lining it up on cake racks to sit overnight on the counter, draped with a fresh dish towel. She wanted it to be dried out so she could make French Toast the next morning! Some chefs advocate letting the bread soak overnight in the refrigerator in an egg/milk mixture. So go figure!
I have fabulous news to share! We have received more new club members this month than any month since we “opened for business” and it is thrilling to see the list of names growing! We are grateful to each one who has come by. We are excited to get comments and email messages: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, boys n girls!
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