Homemade Bread Crumbs

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When I first began to cook regularly, one of the items I learned to keep on hand was a container of store-bought bread crumbs.  It never occurred to me that I could make my own, or indeed that I would want to make my own, using an actual loaf of bread.  Aren’t bread crumbs just tiny crumbs of bread?

Well, not exactly.  Like so much of our food today, those bread crumbs you typically find in cylinder-shaped containers in the middle aisles of the grocery store are highly processed.  For example, here’s the list of ingredients in Progresso’s Italian Style Bread Crumbs (accessed from the company’s website on February 19, 2015):

Bread Crumbs (enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil [soybean and/or cottonseed and/or corn and/or canola], water, salt. contains 2% or less of the following: yeast, honey, molasses, sugar, wheat gluten, whey, soy flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, corn flour, oat bran, corn meal, rice flour, potato flour, butter, dough conditioners [mono-and diglycerides, sodium and/or calcium stearoyl lactylate, soy lecithin, calcium carbonate], yeast nutrients [ammonium sulfate, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate], vinegar, nonfat milk, buttermilk, lactic acid, calcium propionate and potassium sorbate [preservatives], sesame seeds, egg, sunflower seeds), Oat Flour, Salt, Dried Parsley, Spices, Onion Powder, Garlic, Natural Flavor.

Frankly, I am baffled by the need for so many ingredients in something as simple as bread crumbs.

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Chocolate Ganache & Strawberry Jam on Buttered Toast

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With Valentine’s Day arriving tomorrow, images of chocolate-dipped strawberries are everywhere.   Appearing all over the internet, in grocery and retail stores, and on special menus in restaurants all over town, their pervasiveness is a constant reminder that the holiday of love is almost upon us.

Now, don’t get me wrong.   I love chocolate-dipped strawberries as much as the next person. And in previous years, they were definitely a welcome gift.

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