Savoury bread and butter pudding and a journey to self-awareness
Fighting food waste in my home is a little journey in getting to know myself better. I enjoy learning more about myself, increasing my self-awareness, even though it often comes with painful lessons one has to learn. When my mum came to visit a few days ago I did a big shopping since it was Easter and most of the shops were closed for three days. Whenever I have loved ones visiting I like to make it a feast. I make a meal plan, but time and again I simply overdo it. Usually I end up cooking only half of the things I have planned and then struggle to use it all up once the guests have left. Whatsmore, when my mum left, I was going out for dinner several nights and did not find the time to do any cooking.
Eventually some of things have gone off and I had to throw them away. Instead of living in the problem, I was thinking of some solutions to this dilemma. What can I do so this does not happen again?
Letting go: it’s OK to have less food than needed at home. I can always order pizza or take my guests out for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.
Looking beyond the visitors: what are the plans for the time when the visitors have left? Will I be able to finish the food when they are gone? Giving some away to friends or neighbours would be an option, alternatively inviting people around for dinner to cook with the leftovers.
Keep it simple: having food stuffs at home that are less perishable is better. Have a few meals that are quick to prepare and can be made from dry goods (pasta, rice, beans). Maybe also serve things that were frozen or preserved.
I will elaborate on this some more. But I guess since I am learning to cook with leftovers I will become more intuitive in handling this dilemma in the future.
One thing I had leftover a lot was bread (again). How could I fool myself that two people can finish so much bread! Totally unrealistic! I made some of the crispbread again to use some of the bread, however I had so much more. There was a loaf of sourdough that was stale already, so I intended to try a savoury bread and butter pudding. Again I like to do this by guess and by gosh. There is no point in giving a leftover recipe if the loaf of bread you have left over is different in size. I just prepare a simple custard with the ratio of 2 parts milk or cream (or a combination of both) and 1 part egg. You can also start small and see if you need more. I had a half kilo loaf left over and used a custard made up of 1 cup milk and 2 eggs.
Savoury bread and butter pudding
leftover loaf of bread, sliced into 1-1.5 cm slices
milk (or cream or a combination of both)
grated cheese (such as Emmenthal)
a slab of bacon cut in to cubes (optional)
handful of dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
caraway seed (optional)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter. Butter the slices of bread and arange in the dish. Fry the bacon (if using) in a pan until crispy and set aside. Put the dried porcini mushrooms (if using) into a bowl and cover with water. Leave to rehydrate for ca. 15 minutes then strain and squeeze out the excess moisture. Stuff the bacon and mushrooms between the slices of buttered bread.
Make the custard by whisking the eggs with the milk (and/or cream) and season with salt and pepper and the caraway seed (optional). I added about 1 teaspoon to my custard of 1 cup milk and two eggs. Pour the custard over the bread. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes on a middle shelf until the cheese has melted and the edges of the bread are nicely browned. Enjoy with a chilled beer.