Do you make your own croutons?  If you don’t, you should try it.  In the past, I figured it wasn’t worth the effort since the store-bought kind taste pretty good.  Over time, I’ve slowly transitioned to DIY-ing anything and everything that I can.  It tastes better, I know exactly what we’re eating, and it’s much more eco-friendly.  Croutons are just another of the many items I used to buy regularly and now only make from scratch.  Despite my initial misgivings, croutons take about 10 minutes of actual work.  I confess that I never really use a recipe or measure anything because I make them so often, it’s just something I do by feel.

The basic idea is to mix cubes of bread with a bit of fat, seasonings, and then dry them out in the oven until crisp.  There are tons of variations you could make to suit your tastes – use different types of breads, use more olive oil than butter, play around with the seasonings.  As long as the bread has been fully dried out and there is no chewiness to the croutons, they will keep in an airtight container for a pretty long time – at least a couple of weeks.  Simple accoutrements such as these can make even the most boring salad a bit more appealing.  In fact, Andrew loves these croutons so much that he requests salad almost every night with dinner, and has been known to run laps around the house shouting, “I love croutons!”  True story.