Last week I bought two baguettes to use as the bread part of some pepper-and-egg sandwiches. In this instance, however, while one baguette was not enough, two were a bit too much. So I cut the ends off each of them. After supper, it seemed a shame to just toss these, but what would I do with them? They would be stale the next day. I already had a sackful of breadcrumbs.

Then inspiration struck. I hollowed them out, using a sharp small knife to cut through the crumb as closely as I dared to the crust, then pulled out (and discarded) this plug with my fingers, put the resulting "bread cups" into a plastic storage bag, and, on the following morning, used them to make this tasty breakfast.

The oven was preheated to 350oF. Meanwhile I spread a little butter at the bottom of each hollow, broke an egg into it, and set them in a buttered ovenproof dish, and baked them until the whites set, somewhere between twenty and twenty-five mi).nutes. (You want to get them out as soon as they do if you like your yolks runny.) Not only were these things cute as a button, but the bread became very crunchy during the baking. Delicious little meal.

Be sure to butter the dish before putting the bread into it. I did so, myself, but not too carefully, and the white seeped through the bottom of one of them and firmly adhered to the dish. No big deal, but easily prevented.

The egg seeped through because I had sliced off a bit of the bottom of each end so that it would stand up. One conclusion to draw from this is that if you become attached to this dish or want to serve it to more than one person, you could just cut a baguette into 4-inch lengths (an egg needs more space than you mi).ght think) and hollow each one out from one end, leaving about a half inch to serve as a bottom. That should work as well as using just the heels, although it is especially pleasant rescuing something headed for the garbage and working a little bit of magic with it...even if the only person delighted with the trick is yourself.