Have you ever over-ordered bread rolls for your barbeque, picnic, or hot-dog feast? You know you have. Haven’t you? Sure, the leftover bread can be frozen, but have you room in your freezer? You know you haven’t, if you are normal. It is already full of the prawn shells and lemon wedges from your last party, isn’t it?.
So, what to do with these untouched specimens of the Staff of Life? You can keep the bread rolls in the pantry until they are stale and/or mouldy, whence you can throw them out with a clearer conscience of course, but there are other options. If I may continue with my theme of odds and ends of ingredients (and bread is surely the ingredient par excellence), then perhaps some of the following ideas from past times, when such profligate waste was considered sinful, may give you inspiration.
Asparagus, forced in a French Roll.
Take three French rolls, take out all the crumb, by first cutting a piece of the top crust off; but be careful that the crust fits again in the same place. Fry the rolls brown in fresh butter, then take a pint of cream, the yolks of six eggs beat fine, a little salt and nutmeg; stir them well together over a slow fire, till it begins to be thick. Have ready a hundred of small grass [asparagus], boiled, then save tops enough to stick the rolls with; the rest cut small, and put into the cream; fill the loaves with them. Before you fry the rolls, make holes thick in the top crust, to stick the grass in; then lay on the piece of crust, and stick the grass in, that it may look to be growing. It makes a pretty dish at a second course.
The Female’s Friend and General Domestic Adviser (London, 1837)
The following idea for a savoury bread-pasta pudding, also from The Female’s Friend, specifies a roll hot from the oven. I presume this means hot and fresh, or perhaps it means re-heated – but as the bread is soaked in wine, I cannot see the necessity for the bread to be hot or fresh. Perhaps there is a scientific explanation for the instruction, so if you know it, please let us all know in the comments.
Drunken Loaf (to make a)
Take a French roll hot out of the oven; rasp it, and pour a pint of red wine upon it, and cover it close up for half an hour; boil one ounce of macaroni in water, till it is soft, and lay it upon a sieve to drain; then put the size of a walnut of butter into it, and as much thick cream as it will take; then scrape in six ounces of Parmesan cheese; shake it about in your tossing pan with the macaroni till it be like fine custard; then pour it hot upon the loaf; brown it with a salamander, and serve it up.
Quotation for the Day.
Poverty is an anomaly to rich people. It is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner do not ring the bell.
Walter Bagehot (1826-77) Literary Studies.