Monday, September 30, 2013

Sore Throats? Left over bread?

It's that time of year. Scratchy throats, sore chests, cold heads. And too many left over ends of bread that don't seem to have a purpose. Abra ca dabra.

I found this lemon soother recipe over on Local Kitchen (see side bar) who had found it on Twenty-Two Pleasant.

It is not measurement specific.

 Slice two or three lemons (after washing skin) thinly. Don't fuss about seeds. 

Shove into one or two or three jars. 

Cover with honey. Let the honey sink. Shake. Cover with more honey. Repeat until lemons are fully covered with the honey/lemon juice combo. This might take a day, depending on how thick the honey is.

Ideally, let it sit for a week. Phoebe and Steve both came down with sore throats and colds. They dove into a jar the same day I made it. They brewed endless cups of lemon tea and loved it. Very soothing. They both added Rooibos tea to the lemon to make a heartier cuppa. Apparently, this lemon honey will do amazing things:
*keep in the fridge for weeks,
*can be added to by either slicing and adding more lemons, or adding more honey. An eternal jar kind of thing.
*co-join with your favourite alcholic beverage for an amazing toddy.
*do incredible soothing strokes to your ego for being home-made, synthetic free and wholesome.
*replaces throat lozengers if you make a tea, let it cool and take it with you to sip as you feel crummy during the day.


Magic trick number two, Bread crumbs.

OK, for you old kitchen duffers, this should (!) be an old trick. But for the newbies, this is a real money saver. Bread crumbs? you say. How can a jar of bread crumbs save me money? The answer is because it replaces expensive pre-packaged options.

Shake and bake - never used it. Panko-smanko. Hamberger Helper - please. (what puncutation indicates scorn).

Here's how she goes:
Abra ca dabra too

Collect assorted bread ends. Different kinds of breads make for more interesting crumbs.

Then you put the stale bread crumbs in the grinder upper. This style is best, a blender can work but needs to be fed a handful at a time, or it will clog up.

 Pulverize the buggers.

Add to an airtight jar. That little gizmo can be bought in the canning section of Canadian Tire or maybe a grocery store. I love it. It gets used for any kind of jar work. Saves a ton of mess.

Close the lid, put on shelf where you will see it. Add it to ground meat to soak up juices, (meatloaf, meatballs) add spices and use as a topping to give crunch to mac and cheese, tuna casserole, baked pastas with grated Parmesan and so forth. Also makes a nummy coating for fish, chicken, porkchops and other meats I refuse to eat. How do I know it's nummy if I don't eat breadcrumb covered meat. My kids tell me so.

What if you don't have a grinder upper. There is a smaller, one or two cup version for sale that is worth considering buying. Over the course of the year, this appliance is pulled out over and over again and is a major piece in using the food we freeze and preserve.  If I had to give up an appliance to save on electricity, it wouldn't be this one. Or the washing machine.

No money? Then consider a rolling pin. Take a tea towel, a sheet of wax paper, bread crumbs, a sheet of was paper and a second tea towel. Roll away. You won't get a fine crumb but a nice 'rustic' crumb. It won't work for coating meat but the other ideas will still be fine.

Ta Dad Too

A final bread crumb tip. Take the torn bits of bread, get a large zip lock baggie, put bread bits in it, toss in freezer. Keep adding until baggie is full. You now have the makings for croutons or a great bread pudding, especially if you added some raisin bread or sweety breads (like ends of banana bread)

So, if you followed my advice about roasting red peppers and freezing celery, buying real Parmesan, you will have a good kitchen structure to take you through the winter. See you at the farmers market.

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