Friday, June 8, 2012

The Near Crouton Catastrophe of 2012

One Friday evening several months ago I made big a tasty salad for dinner and I wanted that little crunch that only croutons would provide.  I dug into the cupboards, but there were none to be found.  I thought out of the box, maybe we had some tortilla chips or crackers I could crumble up.  Negative on that front too.  So I was faced with the option of a late Friday afternoon trip to the store with two small people in tow, or no crunch for my salad.  Panic set in and I felt my heart began to race at that thought of rounding everyone up, getting into car seats, driving to the store...  I knew that if I went, it was unlikely the trip would be quick, easy, and without tears from one of the three of us.  I also knew I wanted crunch for my salad.

That's when the light bulb went off...  couldn't I make some?  The answer according to Google was, yes I could.  Low and behold oven+bread+olive oil+seasoning = croutons.  I know this would be painfully obvious for most people, but the near crouton catastrophe of 2012 was an eye opening experience.  I'd become reliant on the grocery store for dried out crusty bread, when I could easily do it myself, control the ingredients, use old scraps of bread I might have otherwise tossed, save money and use a lot less packaging.  I began to wonder what I else I could and should do myself.  What else could I do to become more self reliant?

So began this journey. Welcome.  I can't wait to see where this goes.

By they way, croutons are easy and yummy.  Here is what I did:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
-Slice bread into relatively uniform bite sized cubes (I've used whole wheat, oat nut, and leftover sourdough so far)
-Spray lightly with olive oil (you could also use butter and be more heavy handed with it to get a deeper flavor, but a tiny bit works as well)
-Sprinkle with Trader Joe's seasoning blend (you could use anything here too.  I imagine a bit of parmesan cheese would be awesome)
-Bake on a cookie sheet about 15 minutes until your croutons are toasted and tasty

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