Making Use of Excess Batter/Hope Chests


Have you ever been baking bread or a cake and had too much batter for your pan? I just hate to throw good food like that away! I used to try to force the excess batter into the pan anyway. Of course, this made a mess, if it ran-over in the oven. Then one day I had an idea. I'd make a single mini-loaf of bread or cake from that dab of batter. It works great, and there are a number of fun things to do with the mini-loaf:

1. We have several friends who are older and live alone. This size is perfect for sharing with them!

2. If I'm making a new recipe and am sharing the big cake/loaf, the mini-loaf allows me to "taste test" the new recipe!

3. These loaves can be wrapped, frozen and used for a quick breakfast!

What do I use for a pan for the mini-loaf? I use the little Pyrex dish in the photo. As I am writing this, I am shocked to realize that I've had this tiny piece for 40 years!! When I was six, my cousin, who was a young wife and mother, was tragically killed by a drunk driver (please, please never drink and drive.) Her mom, a very special aunt of mine, gave me this little dish of hers. I put it in my hope chest, and it stayed there until I married. If you're unfamiliar with what a hope chest is, it is a chest that young ladies collect items in for their future. I loved putting items in my hope chest, and I am still using several of those items to this day!!

Here's Wikipedia's definition of a hope chest:

A hope chest, dowry chest, cedar chest, or glory box is a chest used to collect items of clothing or household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life.
The term "hope chest" or "cedar chest" may be used primarily by Midwestern and Southern U.S. women, "glory box" is used by women in the United Kingdom and Australia.
I collected all sorts of things in mine - from the mentioned linens to kitchen gadgets!! I still have the hope chest itself, too!
Larry and I have only moved a few times over the course of our marriage, and this little orange (a big color back in the 70's) has always made the move with us and had a place in our kitchen cabinets. It's small enough to slip in the oven alongside the larger main baking dish. I do usually have to remove it a bit sooner than the large loaf or cake. Any small, oven-safe dish will work. Ramekins are great for this!!

The dish provides a lot of bitter-sweet memories. I think my aunt and cousin would like that I still use it and keep it in my kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. I am starting a home ec. curriculum with the girls this fall, and our continuing project is adding to a hope chest! How neat! I hope MC is working on one!

    I love the pampered chef mini pan tray... to do just as you said, or to do a whole batch of mini loaves. They do make great gifts!


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