I was asked in a comment if I was A Cook? I don’t know how to answer that. Does a guy that stokes up the grill and dry rubs and bastes brisket and sausage and chicken and tenderly turn and baby his meat make him a cook? Throw in the fact that when you ask him about some potato salad you simply receive a blank uncomprehending stare.
I can cook some things as long as they are not too complicated or take too long. I do enjoy messing around in the kitchen as long as I can get out of there pretty quick and eat. Secondly if cooking isn’t fun I don’t want to do it. I’m not much of a measurer and I get a kick out of messing around with recipes and sometimes people will even eat the product.
It’s called Plain Old Cooking Which May or May Not Taste Halfway decent.
Sometimes though people gravitate to my Rustic and Bloopy Bread Pudding. It’s rustic because it looks kind of odd coming out of the oven and it’s bloopy because…..well, you’ll see.
Step Uno: Turn the oven on to 350-degrees. How do I know this? 350-degrees is a universal temperature as prescribed by the Culinary Institute of the Universe. If you tune in to the Cooking Channel you will see that 95% of the time the oven is set to 350-degrees.
Step Dos: Actually this is a two step process and I don’t mean to confuse the whole. It involves a cooking vessel and a liquid.
First find a casserole pan, you know – something four of five inches deep. The next part, put milk into it up to almost half-way. Yeah, if you want some extra calories you can use Half and Half but plain old American milk seems to do just fine.
Step Tres: Throw some eggs into the milk mixture. Unshelled. I figure it takes two eggs but I usually end up putting in three because it just seems kind of neat. I’ve never tried four eggs so I will leave that up to you. Let me know.
Next Step: Grab cinnamon and splat four or five shakes into the milk-egg stuff.
Next Next Step: Grab a whisk or fork and kind of beat the mixture a little bit. Mainly you want the eggs to get un-eggy and sort of mixed in. That damn cinnamon just won't mix and will float on top making faces at you. Don’t sweat it.
Next Next Next Step: Sugar – to pour, not spoon. Dump some sugar into the middle of your concoction. You want to make a little mountain of sugar with its peak just poking through the liquid. You are welcome to add more or less but the mountain pokey thing works for me.
Step Siete: Put a capful of Vanilla into the mix. Or if you are like me you will think that the smells so damn good that two capfuls must be better than one. Now stir it.
Step Siete plus One: Bread. This is Bread Pudding after all. Find the oldest moldiest bread or hamburger or hot dog buns that you have. Tear off the mold and throw that in the trash can. Then step back….oh, around ten paces. Rip off a piece or bread and calmly toss it at the casserole dish. Keep trying until you start getting some of the bread pieces to actually land in the dish. It works better if you imagine that a crowd of 10,000 is watching you and they ooh and aah when you connect. Step back further and toss more. This is the bloopy part.
Now you can be a fuddy duddy and lay out bread precisely into the mixture and that is actually so boring and doesn’t improve the taste one bit. The goal here is to load up the bowl with bread pieces – well, you need to pick up the bread pieces that missed the dish and probably clean up the splashed milk all over the counter, but that is a small price to pay for Boopy Awe.
Okay, take a fork or something and kind of squish the bread down so that it is all soaked. You see the combination of the starch in the bread and the eggs and the milk will result in oxymorification which is kind of technical in that it involves gravitons and quasars but will result on a puddingy concoction.
Step Nueve: Here you can do what you want to or not want to. Since my wife likes raisins I throw some of those in there and punch them down into the pudding. You can add nuts, chocolate, brussel sprouts or whatever you want to. I would be careful with the brussel sprout thing.
Step Finale: Put your casserole dish on a pizza pan or something to catch the stuff when it boils over because it will because you probably screwed up the precise measurements. Slap it into the oven for…..perhaps an hour. Just check it every now and then. It will puff up and turn brown. You want it to be a toasty brown….and you can take it out and shake it every now and then and if it feels puddingy you are done but if it feels liquidy you need to cook some more.
Presentation: You can whip up some powdered sugar glaze (with milk) or lemon sauce (add lemon extract) but we like it without any extra stuff. Heck, if you want to plop some strawberries over it. Now if you are a guy trying to impress someone you can heft a big spoonful into a large plate and sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar and cinnamon all over it and maybe place a pine cone on top. The colors will meld nicely. If you are a female and like pretty stuff – do the sugar and cinnamon sprinkle that put a cherry right on top. Then maybe run into the back yard and pick a couple of leaves off the tree and position them adoringly around your concoction.
Why are you people recoiling in horror? Just because the Food Channel says that one should never put inedible things on a plate – well, who made them boss? The problem is easily solved when you serve the precious desert. You simply say, “Don’t eat the damn leaves! Or the Pine Cone!”
Quick Focus: If this sounds complicated lets look at it another way. Put some eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla into a casserole dish. Throw in some bread and raisins or whatever. Cook at 350 until done. Prep Time: Seven Minutes. Cook Time: An hour more or less. Calories: More then Brussel Sprouts.