Showing posts with label food history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food history. Show all posts

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bread Pudding

Okay, I have never liked bread pudding. I always thought that it was one of the most boring and flavorless desserts ever. But, over Christmas my mom whipped together some of her grandma's famous bread pudding, drizzled buttermilk syrup over it, and you have ecstasy in a bowl, it made an instant believer out of me! The great thing about this treat is that it calls for everything most people already have in their pantry. It's also a great way to use up your old and stale bread. It's delicious with buttermilk syrup (which I'll post tomorrow), caramel, with a side of ice cream, or just on it's own. Talk about comfort food! You've got to try this recipe, even if you don't like bread pudding, you won't regret it.

Bread Pudding
Great Grandma Ross' recipe


4 C bread cubes (a good, dense bread is best, i.e., not Wonderbread! Some recipes specify slightly slightly stale bread)
2 Cups Milk
1/4 Cups butter
1/2 Cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 raisins

Scald milk and butter

Mix sugar, eggs, salt, cinnamon and raisins.
Add this mixture to scalded milk mixture.
Mix in bread cubes, making sure they all get a good soaking.
Pour all into baking dish. Place baking dish in a larger baking dish that has about 1" of hot water. (This helps "steam" the pudding.) Bake for 40-45 min @ 350*

A Little Food History for You

Okay, call me a book nerd, but I happen to think that the history of food is incredibly interesting. It's amazing how many delicacies there are out there, that were once dishes created out of scarcity, necessity and for the purpose of survival. Bread pudding definitely falls into one of those categories and has been dated back to medieval times as being a rare treat, sweet or savory. It actually wasn't made much differently then it is today. Here is a little excerpt I found about how bread pudding played it's role during the civil war times...

"Desserts existed almost solely in the imagination, especially with the scarcity of sugar. "If we wanted something extra, we pounded our crackers into fine pieces, mixed it up with sugar, raisins and water, and boiled it in our tin cups,"..."This we called pudding." Some Yankees bought meal at a local meal and made flapjacks and puddings in what Fisk said was "a style of simplicity such as only soldiers would think of adopting." For Confederates, a final "course" could be even less appetizing. Fruit and berries were often baked into pies that for want of sugar and proper flour, could be fearsome to the taste and digestion. Some Kentucky Confederates made a sugarless fried pie, "this having all the tough elasticity of a rubber suspender." Once in a while, when there was a little sugar, soldiers with Lee made blackberry pies. Often the only sweetener available was watermelon juice, not easy to obtain when by 1863 a single watermelon sold for $40.00 in the camps." ---A Taste for War: The Culinary History of the Blue and the Gray, William C. Davis [Stackpole Books:Mechanisburg PA] 2003 (p. 26)
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