2016 Dec 8
by Shehara Naleer
Like most other kids growing up, one of my favorite pastimes was checking the fridge for anything I could find to munch on, and then consistently checking again every 5 minutes after, hoping that something much more appealing to my hunger pangs would have magically appeared behind the closed door in the few minutes I wasn’t looking. That being said, a reason behind me never finding anything acceptable to gorge on (other than most of it being healthy) was probably because half the food in there was close upon expiry. When thoroughly cleaned every week, half the edibles in there would disappear. Sounds familiar? However, of everything that we end up throwing away, I think getting rid of that bag of stale bread is one of the biggest mistakes we can make! Bread, being one of the most versatile carbs, can be used in tons of different ways, and read on for a few suggestions you could turn to the next time that loaf of bread has been sitting around for more than a few days:
That plate of fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven rolls and cutlets that are a staple dish served at most Sri Lankan occasions, from birthdays to when your aunty comes over, would not be the same without the coating of breadcrumbs, adding to that crunch we all love. You could also go that extra mile and experiment with savoury breadcrumbs – a combination of herbs, spices and grated hard cheese. Sounds yum!
2. Bread pudding
Ah, bread pudding. The standard dessert served at many a Sri Lankan wedding or party, alongside a dollop of creamy custard, is one of the legacies left behind from the colonial era, and is a delightful result from adding a few more ingredients to those slices you were about to ditch!
It’s almost sinful when you consider how easy croutons are to make. Just toss some diced pieces of stale bread along with some oil, dried herbs and toast until golden brown. A beautiful, but simple addition to give your soups and salads that flavorful crunch!
4. Bird food
A well-known use for those stale crusts is to simply cut up a few pieces, and behold, you’ve created a meal for the pigeons, squirrels and the various other birdlife you can find around the Vihara Maha Devi Park, as well as in wooded areas around the island.
5. Garlic bread
There’s nothing to complement a gooey, cheesy pizza like garlic bread can, and stale bread is the perfect ingredient for this dish! So instead of further emptying your wallet when ordering in from Dominos or Pizza Hut, pull out your bread box and treat yourself to some delicious, homemade garlic bread. All you need is some bread, butter, chopped garlic, with a sprinkling of parsley, and you’re good to go!
What could be better to accompany a hot cup of Milo on a rainy day, when you are snuggled on your couch or in your bed, whilst the bustling city life outside slows to a standstill in the traffic that often accompanies the monsoon, than a crispy, golden-brown toast, slathered with a sweet layer of Kist jam? Simple, yet scrumptious, this is a treat that is easy to whip up, and could also be accompanied with cheese, a spoonful of Nutella, or if you want keep away the calories till Christmas lunch, try it with some sliced avocado or a poached egg.
7. Bread and milk – pet food
In addition to fish, chicken, cake, or anything left over from dinner, my cat loves his bowl of bread soaked in milk. Every morning, at the crack of dawn, the day starts off with Mewton (cool name, huh?) whining the house down till he gets his favourite breakfast. So why waste a very essential component of the little guy’s meal? Cats do not discriminate –a bowlful of this goes a long way to winning their hearts!
These are only seven of the many different ways in which you could work with the bread you were about to discard – all you need is a little bit of creativity, and you’ve got yourself a tasty treat from what might have ended up with the garbage!