Thursday, November 19, 2009

Leftover Toast.

If one of the raisons d’être for the toasting of bread is domestic economy - by virtue of its making stale, leftover bread more palatable - then what does one do, if one is a very virtuous housewife, if some of that toast is itself, leftover?

Rest assured, dear readers, that generations of frugal housewives and cooks have come up with quite a large number of ideas over the last couple of hundred years.

One could, for example, make toast pudding. Toast can also be used in the following variation on the theme of bread pudding (not bread and butter pudding) is from the inspirationally titled The Family Save-All, a System of Secondary Cookery (1861).

An Excellent Pudding of Stale Bread, &c.
Soak two pounds of pieces of Stale Bread, or pieces of Stale Toast, all night in plenty of water, with a plate laid on top of them, just to keep the bread under the water; next morning, pour off and squeeze out all the superfluous water; then well mash the pieces of bread, and mix with it half a pound of flour, a quarter of a pound of currants which have been cleaned, four ounces of suet chopped fine, a quarter of a pound of moist sugar, and two teaspoonfuls of fresh-ground allspice; then grease the inside of a baking dish with a bit of suet, put the pudding into it, and bake it for two hours.
Or it may be tied in a clean floured cloth, set in boiling water, with a plate at the bottom, and Boiled for the same length of time.

Here is a more recent example, from a 1945 advertisement for French’s Worcester Sauce (“You get top-notch quality at half the price”.)

Creamed Fish.
Cube ½ cup of leftover toast, stir into 1 ½ cups hot creamed fish. Add 2 teasp. French’s Worcestershire, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

And finally, a recipe that could just has easily have featured in yesterday’s brief exploration of medicinal toast - a defiantly temptation-free idea for the invalid, from Isabella Beeton’s The Book of Household Management.

Toast Sandwiches
Ingredients: Thin cold toast, thin slices of bread and butter, pepper and salt to taste. Mode: Place a very thin piece of cold toast between 2 slices of thin bread-and-butter in the form of a sandwich, adding a seasoning of pepper and salt. This sandwich may be varied by adding a little pulled meat, or very fine slices of cold meat to the toast, and in any of these forms will be found very tempting to the appetite of an invalid.

Quotation for the Day.
The privileges of the side-table included the small prerogatives of sitting next to the toast, and taking two cups of tea to other people's one.
Charles Dickens.


KT said...

Toast sandwiches - bread for the bread, bread for the filling! Ingenious. :D

The Old Foodie said...

ingenious maybe, delicious? I doubt it!