Mantle of safety cookbook 2, 227pp.
by Port Augusta Air Branch Auxiliary
of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, 1980
Cooking on page 32
The Royal Flying Doctor Service is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive aero-medical organisations in the world. The 24-hour-a-day service covers the 71.5 million square kilometres of rural Australia.
When I started writing this paragraph, the map on the RFDS website showed that six of the service’s 63 planes were in the air on missions to provide emergency medical services across the country. As I type this sentence, the count is up to eight.
Quite a few years ago on a road trip to South Australia, I bought this fundraising cookbook, the second published by the auxiliary, for $12 at a rural tourist office. I was pleased to be of some support.
Each chapter divider has a line drawing, by Chris Jenkins, of an outback station in South Australia. Page 32 is in the chapter on soups and has recipes for two soups and croutons. I’ve done quite a few page-32 soups, so went for the garnish and crunch.
Soup delights (croutons)
Ingredients and method
To make croutons, cut stale bread into 2cm dice and fry in a little butter. For flavoured croutons, sprinkle with onion or celery salt, or garlic. Alternatively brush the bread slices with melted margarine, sprinkle and put into a slow oven. Poppy or sesame seeds can also be used.
How it played out
A couple of slices of stale homemade sourdough rye bread were perfect for this. I simply diced the bread and sautéed it in a bit of butter. When the croutons had cooled slightly, I added them to a homemade Caesar salad with extra anchovies.
Doesn’t get much easier than this. Go on, give these croutons a try. Crunch, crunch, crunch. It’s a wonderfully quick and tasty way to use up stale bread.
Given that I make sourdough bread at least twice a week, there’s usually some kind of delicious bread verging on stale. In future, I’ll experiment with some of the seasonings and seeds.
And if you’re Australian and looking for a charity to support, I think the Royal Flying Doctor Service is a worthwhile recipient.
We travel a lot—often by overland truck. I fondly remember a great meal we had at a truck stop in China.