For the rest of the week, until my computer is mended, I will bring you some simple stories - essentially just recipes - with minimal commentary. Today I give you some ideas on that perennially popular topic of how to use up leftovers (also called 'secondary cookery', 'made-over cookery', 'second dressing'', and a couple of others that I have forgotten.)
There are a couple of exhortations common to most cookery books or chapters dealing with leftover food. The first is to plan your cooking well, so that you minimise the problem in the first place. I have never managed to do this well - I mean, how can you plan for the appetite of various family members on a particular day? The second is to do it deliberately for those foods that lend themselves to recycling, especially those that require long (or complicated) cooking in the first case - such as roast beef for example.
It may not be that you regularly have the problem of leftover cake in your house, but in the event that you do find yourself in this situation, here are a couple of ideas from The Cook-Book of Leftovers (1911)
Coffee Pudding (from Sponge Cake)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup strong, sweetened coffee, cold
8 small, stale sponge cakes
3 yolks eggs
Cream butter and sugar, add yolks of eggs, and beat very light. Cut sponge cake into slices, and spread with creamed mixture. Pour coffee over cake. Put in mold, let stand, and turn out on dish. Serve with whipped cream.
Mock Plum Pudding (Cake)
Two cups stale cake-crumbs, softened in about one-quarter cup of hot milk. If crumbs are very dry, it might take a little more milk. Add to the softened crumbs:
1 well beaten egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses (Porto Rico)
1/4 cup stewed prunes, chopped
3/4 cup chopped raisins
2 teaspoonfuls mixed spices
1/4 teaspoonful soda
1/2 teaspoonful salt
2 teaspoonfuls lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
Bake in a moderately-hot oven 45 mins. Serve hot with foamy sauce.