I never buy white bread except at Thanksgiving. When my mom taught me how to make Thanksgiving stuffing, she always used 1/2 a loaf of white bread. And I still make my stuffing the same way my mom did.

That leaves me with 1/2 a loaf of bread that I don’t really like to eat. But add some raisins — maybe even some apples — and leftover bread becomes delicious bread pudding. And a bonus…it’s better with stale bread too!

Simple Bread Pudding

Makes 8 servings

9 slices of day-old bread (completely stale) Soft butter ½ cup raisins 2½ cup scalded milk, cooled 2 beaten eggs ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ½ cup brown sugar plus extra for topping

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preliminaries: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-6-inch baking dish.

Assemble the bread pudding: Spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of butter on both sides. Cut each slice into 4 squares. Arrange slices in prepared baking dish. You will need 3 slices of bread for each layer. Spread some of the raisins on the buttered bread, then repeat with another layer of bread slices topped with raisins. Top the last layer of bread with raisins. Combine the remaining ingredients (reserving the extra brown sugar) and pour over the bread. Take a sheet of wax paper and lay it on the top of the baking dish and press down lightly. Let mixture stand about 20 minutes.

Bake the pudding: Remove the wax paper. Spread extra brown sugar on top to taste. If you like, sprinkle cinnamon instead. Bake on center rack in preheated oven for 50 minutes, then use a tester to determine whether the pudding has set up and it done through.

Butter Rum Sauce:

1 stick butter

1 pound box confectioners’ sugar

Rum, to taste

Melt butter and slowly stir in confectioners’ sugar. Add rum and heat until bubbly. Pour over each serving of Bread Pudding.

Presentation: Enjoy hot or warm.