A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine, and.... How to use up that stale bread in your pantry

This is not a recipe--it is a love story.

My parents were young adults during the Great Depression of 1929-30. I am the youngest of six children. We lived in a modest 19th-century house badly in need of a new coat of paint. Daddy drove a well-used but reliable car to his night-shift job. Mama worked as a presser at a dry cleaning plant. Our dinners were frugal but filling. The Sunday pot roast would reappear several times during the week, often as a slice of meat on bread covered with gravy, or in a hash that was mostly potato with a hint of beef.

For Daddy and Mama the words "Use it up, wear it out, make it do" was more than a catchy phrase or thoughtless mantra. It was a way of life that they carried with them each and every day until the end of their lives in the latter part of the 20th century.

In my growing up years, we were frugal long before living green was "in".

We re-used aluminum foil. We saved the heels of loaves of bread to make our own bread crumbs. We didn't purchase oil for frying--mom had a little pot sitting on the back of the stove into which she poured the grease that remained from frying bacon. (I still hold onto two of those three habits).

There was no fast food, take-and-bake pizza, or meals from the Safeway deli. Daddy and Mama both worked, but with planning and organization we had comforting meals each evening. Our house was old and drafty, but warm with love. We had little, but we had enough. More than enough.

I have carried the example of my parents into my own marriage and family, not out of poverty but out of love. With love I create nourishing meals. With love I shop carefully. With love I rely on my cooking skills to feed my family rather than wasting our hard-earned money on fast-food and ready-to-eat garbage.

And with love, I plan ahead. We do not have leftovers. We have planned-overs. Nothing goes to waste. We still "use it up, wear it out, make it do".


A Loaf of Bread, A Jug of Wine, and Thou

(from "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" - illustration by Edmund Dulac)
(from "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" - illustration by Edmund Dulac)
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© 2015 Carb Diva

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4 comments

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Carb Diva 23 months ago Author

Oh, AudreyHowitt, we are certainly kindred spirits. I was first "introduced" to bread salad while visiting my sister in Italy, and life since then has never been quite the same. I've even been known to purposely let bread go stale so that I can make the darned stuff. It's that good. Thanks for stopping by.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 23 months ago from California

We seldom get to the place of stale bread--my waistline is a testimony to the carbs I eat--but I love the idea of bread salad!


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 23 months ago Author

Oh Bill, I love you! I know you will always be the first to reply to my hubs. (And it's after 3pm--shouldn't you also be taking a break by now?).

As of 1/1/2015 I am starting to enjoy life as I have not for more than 10 years. The volunteer position that took 20-30 hours each week is now in my rear view mirror. I have retired. Finally I am sleeping at night and not fretting about numbers. Life is good. Thanks my friend for stopping by.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

First, I thought you were taking a break from writing.

Second, we have chickens, so stale bread does not exist in our household.

Third, great suggestions.

Now, you really need to take that break. :)

bill

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