Not My Mama's Breadpudding

March 31, 2011

I love bread pudding. It ranks right up there with tapioca on my list of sweet, gooey, comfort that you can eat with a spoon. I grew up eating a lot of bread pudding. My mama has a reputation for her bread pudding. Most of the time it is the traditional combination of stale bread, raisins, sugar, eggs, milk. But other times, especially during our annual beach trips, my mom's bread puddings take on a life of their own.

My mother is the queen of saving and re-using items. That ingenuity and creativity has served her well in making art, but it is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to bread pudding at the beach. You see, when you have a beach house full of people, you have lots of left-overs. By the end of the week my mom has usually assembled quite an interesting collection of food items to add to the dreaded always surprising bread pudding...half-eaten bowls of cereal, old grapes, apple chunks, limp pasta, and perhaps even a random piece of broccoli. Yes, my mama's beach house bread pudding is quite unique and always memorable.

Earlier this week, while flipping through one of my well-loved Barefoot Contessa cookbooks,I stopped at the recipe for croissant bread pudding and it hit me that I had never made bread pudding for my own children. I don't know why. It seems like such an easy, kid friendly dessert with a direct connection to my roots, and yet, I have never done it. And then I came down with a horrible case of strep throat (which is still causing me problems). Suddenly, my desire to make bread pudding shifted gears from nostalgia to a desperate need for comfort at its most extreme: something warm, soft,easy to swallow, and full of vanilla sweetness. And that's exactly what this recipe is. It's not my mama's bread pudding recipe, but it brings me just as much comfort and makes me smile to think of her beach house puddings. Click here for the Contessa's recipe (FYI, I cut the recipe in half for our family of four). I'd give you my mama's recipe but it is a well-guarded family secret and that is probably for the best.
Valarie said...

Bread pudding is this families favorite dessert. We love to eat it in a bowl soaked in milk. Enjoy your bread pudding. I bet it's divine made out of croissants.

Mom2Isabel said...

Hey chica!
Speaking of your annual beach reunions... when are you going to be here in Jax? For how long? Isabel is excited to see Mei Mei. And I am excited to see you! Put us on your calendar for dinner. We'll grill and have fun catching up. Tell Adam I look forward to seeing him as well.

Love (and miss) you guys dearly.


T.L. Holmes Williams said...

Ohhhhh, I swoon over bread pudding!! While eating at one of our favorite restaurants last night for "girls' night", my mom ordered their fabulous white chocolate bread pudding with whiskey sauce. It was nearly torture, as I gave up all forms of dessert for Lent! haha
I'll have to try your recipe for Easter :)

likeschocolate said...

So cruel not to share family recipe when it is the best. The best I ever had was in Seattle where they used some almond flavoring yet it was not over bearing. It was devine.

Francesca said...

Hope the barefoot contessa's breadpudding made you feel better, even if it's not your mom's.

Laurie said...

I LOVE bread pudding, though I have never made it (and to my memory, neither has my mother). I am giggling at the thought of broccoli in bread pudding though! :)

Cami said...

Every post I read seems to have been written by me! I have had strep too, and I've been eating all sorts of things I don't normally eat. The night it was the worst, I just wanted oatmeal. And then I made apple crisp the next day. Comfort food make everything better. I haven't had bread pudding for ages! I ought to give it a try again.

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