Frugal Day 2: I Need Ravens

It’s a common activity in northern Canadian communities for residents to feed the ravens with stale bread and crackers. It’s probably not the healthiest thing for the birds, and it creates quite the racket, but it keeps the waste out of the landfills and the raven population doesn’t seem to be hurting from it!

Iqaluit, Winter Sunset

Iqaluit, Nunavut
A 2008 winter sunset at 2pm

In all my time living in the north I only witnessed others feeding ravens this way –  I never had enough spare bread to do it myself. I eat it til it’s gone or make it into something different to finish off the loaf. In fact this is how I operated with all the food that comes into my house. If I can’t find a way to finish it before it goes bad, I cook it or hive it away into the freezer to be repurposed at a later date. Only the later date doesn’t usually take this long to come along.

As part of my freezer clean-out in an effort to use up what I have (Frugal tip #1) I am faced with a whole lot of frozen bread, and much of it white, so not the healthiest bread products at that.

bags of bread

In the absence of ravens I’ll have to be creative:

Cubed Bread

It’s easily prepared and puts you way ahead of the game for Thanksgiving stuffing and fall feasts!

  • Just slice the crusts off and cube the bread.
    • Don’t worry if some parts are already harder than others – the goal, after all, is stale.
  • Toss onto cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees F for 20 min or until all cubes are crisp and dry.
  • Freeze in a double ziplock bag until you’re ready to use them.

making bread cubesI’m a little sad to be putting mine back into the freezer, but this time the bread is in a much more useable format and well labelled in matching bags, instead of the mess of bread bags that were there before!

Bread Pudding (bonus, it’s vegan!)

For me bread pudding will be made from hamburger buns. I doubt it’ll be distinguishable by the time I’m done, so no one will know or care.

  • Coconut oil for greasing ramekins
  • 3 cups cubed stale bread
  • 1 small banana
  • 2 packages of stevia or 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (use other spices if desired)
  • 1-13oz can coconut milk
  • raisins, nuts or dried cranberries (optional)

making pudding

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease ramekins with coconut oil.
  2. Mix together all ingredients except the bread.
  3. Toss in the bread and let sit for 15 min
  4. Pour into ramekins and press gently.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool to a little before serving.

In these small portions and individual ramekins I’ll be adding these to my take-to-work lunches for something a little different this week.

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