Sunday, March 28, 2010

Non jewelry, and non-fibery blurb!

Because I NEED to share for a moment.
So I have 2 gallon bags of bread cubes at the moment. Normally, when I make bread, if it goes stale, I shove it into the food processor and make more bread crumbs. How can you EVER go wrong with home made bread crumbs? Well, you can't. And since I have several friends who are allergic to various ingredients in most store-bought breads, it is just simpler to use home made bread crumbs.

Well not this time! This time I really wanted bread pudding. Don't know exactly why, but I really did. So I cubed up 2 loaves of bread, 1 French and 1 Sourdough. I have let them sit for over a week, and they still aren't completely stale. (stupid non-staling bread, why can't you teach the bread that I want to make into toast or sandwiches that trick? Stupid bread.)
Anyway, so they aren't totally stale. Not a big deal. I found my basic recipe for bread pudding and was appalled (again) at the total lack of flavors in it. This is pretty normal for me. Plain bread pudding is okay. I NEVER add raisins because I think raisins should be only eaten as raisins. Not baked into things, but as a handful of raisins, or dribbled across my morning oatmeal along with sliced almonds and nutmeg. Currants aren't too bad, but I didn't want them today. So plain it is, but I couldn't bring myself to do the 1 spice flavor in a basic, plain recipe. They call for cinnamon and that's it. How boring can you be? Jeez!

So I dismantled my entire spice cabinet (and THAT'S an undertaking, believe you me) and found my cinnamon. They wanted 1 teaspoon... Well, I'm sure there's a teaspoon in there... Those were HUGELY HEAPING half teaspoons that I put in there. Yeah, that can't be all... so I "accidentally" spilled some whole cloves into the milk, and put in the cinnamon as requested. I don't know how it happened, but a whole nutmeg fell out of the cabinet and just HAPPENED to grate about 1/3 of a teaspoon into the milk as well. Oops. ;) Then, just to add insult to injury, a whole vanilla bean somehow got split and scraped into the milk pan. I don't know what happened, I just turned my back for a moment!

The only downside is that I did find the missing vanilla beans that I had bought a bit ago and they hadn't been stored properly, so they were totally dry. A moment of silence, please, for the valiant vanilla beans. ::Pause:: So I snapped them into pieces and shoved them in my vanilla sugar jar. :D You wouldn't throw them OUT, just 'cause they're DRY!! (Great pig like that, you wouldn't want to eat it all at once!)

Want to see one of my most favorite kitchen views in the whole wide world?

Beautiful, isn't it? That's the inside of a split vanilla bean. It shimmers and glitters and the smell flows through your ENTIRE house. It's wonderful.

Anyway, got all the spices into the milk and butter, heated that SUPER SLOW on the stove, and then poured it through a sieve into the pan with the bread cubes.

This is the part that always makes me guffaw... All the recipes printed nowadays say either "put in the oven in a water bath" or "let sit for a couple of minutes, then put in the oven in a water bath"... Um, WHAT?! What about flavors, and the bread soaking up those flavors?! You're going to get jello with bread in it, not a bread pudding! Yeah, it should actually sit there for about 30 minutes so the bread can absorb the liquid. You don't want the bread to dissolve, but you want most of the liquid to be absorbed. THEN you can bake it in the water bath.

Anyway, my bread pudding is sitting on the stove top, cooling and I am already contemplating making another... perhaps chocolate this time? I have all that bread to go! :)

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