Tuesday, 22 March 2011

You Win Some, You Lose Some

I’ve written before about left over bread.  I tend to have a lot of it in my kitchen because, when I make sandwiches, I slice from the center of the loaf in order to ensure that my portions are consistent.  This leaves the ends of each loaf unused.  I usually process the left over bread into breadcrumbs.  Today, though, I decided to try something new. 

I was going to be out for much of the day and wanted something that would be ready to go in the oven when I got home, so I made a savoury bread pudding.  I cut the bread into cubes and then tossed them with chopped ham, diced tomatoes, grated onion, and grated cheddar cheese.  Then I made a mixture of eggs, milk, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings and poured it over the dry mixture.  I covered the dish and put it in the fridge to rest for the day.  When I got home I baked it.  The resulting casserole looked beautiful. 

I plated my savoury bread pudding beside a generous green salad and sat down to my supper with eager anticipation.  I took the first forkful of my bread pudding and it was…awful.  The texture was unappealing and—even though each of the ingredients was flavourful on its own—the finished dish was bland.  I tried a second forkful hoping it would leave a better impression than the first, but it didn’t. 

My bread pudding went into the garbage and, with the addition of some cold chicken left from last night’s supper, my side salad became a main dish.

I’m disappointed by the results of today’s experiment but I don’t regret having tried something new.  Even the best of cooks mess up sometimes; it’s how we learn.  Perhaps even more than our successes, our failed experiments have something to teach us. 

Today I learned that it’s always good to have a fall-back plan.

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