or at least it was in my depression-baby father’s kitchen.*
Fortunately there are delicious ways to repurpose food after they’ve gone stale.
Tonight we had one of my favorites… Bruschetta.
Slice stale bread
Liberally drizzle olive oil on top
Cover with garlic (crushed, diced, sliced… you make the call)
Bake in oven until garlic is starting to brown. (I like 375 for 10 min, but you can do it for longer at lower temperatures or shorter at higher. Heck, you can even broil.)
Take out of oven.
Spoon diced tomatoes seasoned with basil, oregano, garlic, salt, or really whatever your heart desires over top.
#2 wishes we could get away from food-as-morality, which I think contributes to lots of unhealthy attitudes in our society (fat-phobia, overeating, anorexia, bulimia, emphasis on weight instead of health, overemphasis on willpower and self-control over biology, etc.). It makes eating into an anxious situation fraught with meaning and duty and power, when really it’s just all about fun! Also, telling your kids, “Eat that! Think of all the starving children in China!” will only make them hate you and whatever you are trying to feed them. I always thought that the starving children in China were QUITE welcome to my lima beans, or whatever. Let’s get away from a sickening combo of food-and-guilt, please, and just focus on having fun with food.
#1 notes that her household never had a “Eat that! Think of all the starving children in China!” Instead we were encouraged to take small portions and go back for seconds. Taking a large portion and not finishing resulted in eating leftovers from that meal the next meal. In any case, the point about not wasting food in this post is not to throw out tons of wasted food from the fridge each week, instead to menu plan more carefully, and to use creativity when faced with things like stale bread. (Because, of course, you only buy/make high quality bread.) But we still should be careful about language. Or else #2 gets grumpy. And that rumbling isn’t her stomach, no matter how delicious bruschetta is.
What are your favorite ways of repurposing leftovers? #2 likes to make “whatever’s in the house, over pasta.” (#1 also likes the same as an omelette or stir-fry.)
*Caution: Don’t take eating old foods too far. Food poisoning is not frugal. “If in doubt, throw it out.”
postscript: DH tried and failed at making mozarella this weekend. Sadly, that resulted in a gallon of (organic, whole milk) buttermilk. So we had pancakes for breakfast and buttermilk rolls at lunch. Then DH made ricotta and a cheesecake. Mozarella attempt #2 ended up with cream cheese. Also, did you know that when maple syrup gets a skin, that’s mold, and you can take it off, reboil the syrup, and it should be ok to consume. According to chow-hound anyway.