I usually try to use up our leftovers, take them to work for lunches, or turn them into something else entirely so that it’s new and no longer left over. Sometimes I use the leftover merely as an ingredient in something else.
A few days ago I made twice-baked sweet potatoes. I’d never done that with sweet potatoes before. However, I was inspired by a television commercial for a certain brand of pecans that promised to ensure my twice baked sweet potatoes would be simply yummy if only I’d use them.
I got the potatoes, and I picked up a less expensive brand of pecans, and set to making this side dish. Of course, I needed a whole meal to go around them. It was a busy day.
And they were good. But they didn’t go with anything else we had the next day or even the day after that. I started going through the cabinets and freezer like a mad woman, searching for something, anything, I could do, or make to accompany, those twice baked sweet potatoes.
Then inspiration hit me like a ton of bricks. Only it wasn’t bricks. It was several small bags of unused bread slices that fell out of the freezer. I had collected them for making bread crumbs.
I took enough of those frozen bread slices, maybe 8 of them, to thaw on the counter while I looked around for some more stuff. Eggs – check. More pecans – check. Milk – check.
I scooped out the sweet creamy filling from the sweet potatoes’ once hardened shells. In my saucepan, I combined that filling, complete with its crumbed and nutty topping, with a can of sweetened condensed cream. I heated it only enough to be able to work with it.
I tore the bread into small pieces. I let them soak in a couple of cups of milk that had been whisked with two eggs and some vanilla. Then I mixed in the sweet potato filling. I baked it in greased ramekins.
I had just made sweet potato bread pudding. How cool is that?
My husband wouldn’t touch it. He said some things just don’t appeal to him, like the idea of bread and pudding together, and that it’s that idea that causes him to be predisposed to dislike anything of the sort.
My confused look prompted him to ask me to imagine a breakfast cereal made with tuna. The grimace on my face immediately provoked, “There! That’s the reaction I’m talking about!”
The leftover twice baked sweet potatoes, when turned into the bread pudding, made five servings. I ate one of them when they first came out of the oven. I thought it was pretty good. I think it would’ve been better with a vanilla cream sauce, though.
So now there are four containers of leftover sweet potato bread pudding in my fridge. I will spend today trying to figure out what to do with them.