I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Stale Goodie Pudding " Bread Pudding made from Love"

My mother loved to tell me the story of the big ceramic crock that sat on the counter in the kitchen of her childhood home. My mother loved this crock because it became a magic vessel that would hold the ingredients of a special dessert that could only be made once the crock was full. Everyday her mother would put stale bread, cookies, crackers even cake, whatever could no longer be eaten as is but was much to useful to throw away into this crock. Nothing that would rot or breakdown of course. Usually by the end of the week the crock would be full and the magic would begin. Her mother would take all the goodies from the crock and put it in a big bowl, she would add dried fruits if she had them such as raisins or apricots. If she was fortunate enough to have some nuts on hand those would go in as well. In another bowl she would mix some milk, eggs and a little bit of sugar (only because a lot of what was in the crock was already sweet). She would then pour the egg and milk mixture over the stale goodies let that sit in the fridge for an hour to thoroughly soak up all the liquid, place it in a deep baking dish, then into the oven it would go. My mother said she would just stare at the oven with anticipation; it was the longest hour she ever knew. But once the hour was up with bowl in hand she got a nice warm scoop of her mother’s “Stale Goodie Pudding”.
There really was no actual recipe for this but this is the recipe we follow when we need to indulge in the memory and feed our senses.

6 to 8 large eggs
1/2 gallon of milk
5 to 6 cups of bread cubed (any kind you like) the drier the bread the better the pudding.
1 cup of dried fruit (whatever you like)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)

Whisk eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. In another bowl have your cubed bread and dried fruit. Pour the liquid mixture over the bread let it sit in the fridge for at least a half hour to completely absorb all the liquid. Pour mixture into buttered 9 x 13 pan sprinkle cinnamon over top before baking at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. Great as is but a little vanilla ice cream couldn’t hurt.

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