Yesterday I made a meal to take to a friend, and I had settled on spaghetti & meatballs because it seemed easy and I figured I had everything I needed for that. Except when I went to make the meatballs I took the breadcrumbs out of the freezer, checked the date just to be sure …..
Almost a year past date. Crap. I sniffed them — whoa, yup, definitely not good anymore. They smelled rancid. I sure didn’t want to make rancid meatballs to take to my poor friend. “Here’s your delicious dinner, just make sure not to smell it while you eat it.” Not cool.
I immediately turned my kitchen upside down trying to find more, which took approximately 2.5 seconds because my kitchen is that small. Nope, no more breadcrumbs. I didn’t know what to do. I had just been to the grocery store and I was not going back.
So I began to think ….. “Wait, breadcrumbs are bread, right? Like CRUMBS of BREAD. So maybe ….. I could make BREAD … into CRUMBS … thus producing BREADCRUMBS …”
Just kidding. It didn’t quite go like that. But kind of. You know. Anyway, fast forward to this:
(What, doesn’t everybody keep bread on their bed?)
I had a loaf of stale-ish Italian bread to work with. I tried laying it out on a pan just to dry out by itself, but I quickly realized that was going to take much too long. The oven worked much better. I also tore the bread into pieces to make sure it all got dried out. You don’t want any soft bread at all or it won’t crumb-ify very well.
Once it was toasted up all brown and crispy crisp, I threw it in the blender (in batches). BOOM: homemade bread crumbs. Kind of amazing, right??
Making bread crumbs from scratch made me feel sort of like a pioneer. Like I was eking out a meager existence in the middle of the unfriendly wilderness using only the most basic tools, my bare hands, and my iron will. Except I had a blender. And an oven. And bread that came from a plastic bag that came from a grocery store 5 minutes from my house that I drove to in a car. But other than that, it was totally like being a pioneer. Just me — lean, hungry, ever resourceful — alone against the world, fighting for survival, making breadcrumbs from scratch.
Afterwards, I felt proud, and tough. Like a survivor. “We’ve made it one more day, baby. One more day that we didn’t get attacked by a large, vicious, predatory animal or succumb to heatstroke while plowing the parched earth under the scorching sun. And now, thanks to these breadcrumbs, we will not starve tonight.”
What a legend I am.