Sunday, March 7, 2010

I still use mine...

So I was puttering about in the kitchen today making breadcrumbs and the thought occured to me that I was doing something that to me is just an obvious money and food saver. But I wonder if anyone else still does this? With the cost of food being so cheap at your local megamart, do people still keep the heels and scraps of bread to be used for something else just so they can save the couple bucks they would spend buying breadcrumbs.

Either way, here is what I do, let me know if you do something similar or if this is a new concept or you think I am nuts for doing this!

1) Save your scrap bread, bread ends, mis-cut pieces, stale or not, toss them in a paper bag. The staler you let them get, the better, but make sure it stays dry... wet bread will mold, dry bread will stale up nicely.

2) Once the bag is full (or you are cooking something that needs breadcrumbs), dig out the bag and your trusty meat grinder with the finest die that you have.

3) Clamp the grinder to your table or counter and start grinding up all the bread you have (or as much as you need).

4) I always do up all that I have and put the rest into a clean dry mason jar that goes right into the fridge or the freezer, depending on how fast I will be using it. I find that one brown paper lunch bag will fill up 3/4 to a full quart mason jar.

Spices, herbs, etc. can all be added to the bread crumbs when you go to use them. This means you don't need to buy bread crumbs and Italian bread crumbs and etc... It is pretty easy to make all the different flavors from whatever type of bread you have lying around!

5) Finally, time to clean it up. The grinder doesn't get very dirty, but I take it apart, run some hot water through and rub all the nooks and crannies with a stiff bristled brush, and then push a towel through. After that, I let it air dry on a drying mat.

* Just a trick that I learned a while ago. If you do use your grinder for meat (what a crazy idea), when you are done, run a few pieces of stale bread through. The bread and the crumbs will pull the meat out and bind up any oils and fats. It makes it easier to scrub and seems to help get all the pieces of meat out when you scrub it clean.

Write at ya soon!


Debbie said...

We don't eat a lot of bread and when I do buy it, it usually goes moldy or stale before we eat it all. (hate buying it but my kitchen is always too cold in the winter time to let it rise) I have a grinder and will have to use it next time to try this. Thanks for the idea!


FarmerGeek said...

I know how that freezing kitchen bit goes... but that is one of the reasons that I love having a gas stove. You can let your bread rise inside. Now, most modern gas stoves do not have a constant pilot light. Well, at least of the ones I looked at a year and a half ago. But one of the nice things anymore is if you put it on a low setting for 5 min to get it warm and then put the oven light on, that normally keeps it warm enough to rise. Just another thought!

Enjoy your breadcrumbs!