Today had its ups and downs (R took a little bit of a tumble, nothing serious but a bit of a shock and a sore bump for an already cross, teething baby). But there was a moment in the sunshine when I felt very happy and at peace. I’d just picked our first pea harvest; mangetout are the yellow ones and Dwarf Early Peas the green ones. I sat and shelled them by the veg patch so that I could toss the pea pods into the pig pen. Pigs love things like that but they can’t eat food scraps that have been in a kitchen because of cross contamination. So I made sure I shelled the peas in the sun, by the veg patch and the hedgerow while the pigs wuffled in the background. It was lovely.
I’ve decided to make Use it or Lose it Recipes a regular feature on the blog. I talked a little bit about food waste in the first Use it or Lose it Post.
We make our bread in a bread machine and whilst we use most of it up, there is often a crust or two leftover. I save them up and then blitz them in the food processor for breadcrumbs. Then I freeze them. Breadcrumbs last ages in the freezer and if the bread is sufficiently stale they don’t seem to freeze together in one clump – this means you can take out one portion at a time and leave the rest of the bag in the freezer.
This recipe is for using up stale bread. There are lots of ways of using up stale bread as it happens and I’m sure I’ll come back to this particular type of leftover in the future. As a child my Dad made the most amazing stuffing for Sunday lunch. He experimented with all sorts of flavours and herbs from the garden but my favourites were the sweetcorn stuffing and his mushroom stuffing. The other day I was thinking about the huge bad of breadcrumbs sitting in the freezer and remembering the stuffing of my childhood. I realised that stuffing doesn’t have to be relegated to a Sunday lunch side dish but would make a great lunchtime dish – especially as a good finger food for fat little baby hands. At the same time someone posted a recipe up on a baby-led weaning group on facebook which was basically stuffing and with a bit of tweaking from me I think I’ve got something just right.
So this is my Lunchtime Special Stuffing – good for using up stale breadcrumbs AND wilted veg from the fridge. Doesn’t that sound appetising? I’m sure Nigella Lawson would describe it as the mouth-crunchingly-perfect miniature beads of bread with juicy sweet carrots and sunshine-jewelled sweetcorn kernels.
This should serve 2 adults and 2 children for lunch with a salad/fruit. It makes great picnic food for going out and about as well.
230g of shredded or finely chopped vegetables/herbs (I used carrots, sweetcorn, fresh basil and fresh parsley)
30g grated cheese (e.g. cheddar)
2 big handfuls of breadcrumbs
2 medium eggs beaten
2 and 1/2 tsp of mixed dried herbs/spices
(I used 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp marjoram, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika but use what you have – this is supposed to be a recipe about using things up – not buying lots more things)
Preheat the oven to 190c/180fan/Gas Mark.
Mix all the above ingredients together until well combined. Then either shape into individual patties or press into an oven dish. Personally I usually press it into an oven dish. Sometimes I have the time to make ultra-cute baby sized portions of things, but this mixture is fiddly and messy and easier to put in a dish.
If you do make one big oven dish then dot the butter over the top.
Bake for about 25 mins until golden brown on top.
If you used an oven dish then now is the time to cut it into slices, otherwise just serve with fruit and salad.