It’s been a weekend full of prep and cooking as my household has joined in to assist me with a wedding reception. At ten o’clock at night I often kick myself, and say: ‘What was I thinking?’ But, it’s been rather fun honing my entertainment skills to make someone’s day extra special. I can’t miss a beat, everything has to be perfect-o. When this wraps up it will be interesting to see if my family agrees to assist me ever again.
We continue this week with foods from the great depression. Folks should probably be paying some heed to this style of cooking. Nothing was wasted &
frugal was the name of the game. Many meals were meatless and achieved protein through different versions of beans. This past week I saw an article about the somewhat ‘gross’ things people ate during this time frame. One dish that has surfaced over and over, in my reading is peanut butter stuffed onions! In northeast Missouri where I was raised, I never heard a soul speak of this dish.
Bread pudding can be made with a variety of left over breads. One of my favorites was served at the KCI Marriott Hotel. I was working part time in the catering offices while teaching school. Often on Mondays, the employee cafeteria would have the most decadent bread pudding. I couldn’t stand it any longer, so I finally approached the chef and asked what his secret was. He actually told me! On Sundays they served a well-known breakfast buffet filled with croissants, bagels, muffins, donuts and delicious pastries. The chef used his ‘leftovers’ to make his exquisite pudding.
At home my favorite bread to use is cinnamon raisin bread and sourdough. The sauce of choice in my presentation is rum. My spouse, doesn’t like undertones of alcohol in his foods, so ‘sometimes’ I’ll switch to a plain vanilla sauce. (Interestingly enough he has a more adventurous palate than I do.) I have several dishes that rely upon the flavor of specific alcohols to make them sail. If I had to list the alcohols I use the most in cooking it would be: Sherry, rum, dry wines, merlots, and orange liquors.
As we look at some of the desserts from the depression era we stumble upon
dishes featuring farm standards like eggs, cream, milk, molasses, honey, some sugar. One thing I have noticed about cooks raised by depression era parents, is how they frequently use less sugar, specifically in their pies.
Alrighty, let’s take a look at this easy recipe. For the fall try adding pieces of apples and nuts. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.
1 loaf, stale French Bread
1 quart milk, cream or blend
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup raisins
2 apples, peeled and diced
1/4 cup butter
Pull the bread apart and mix with the milk. Beat eggs and add to bread mixture stirring well. Add remaining ingredients except for the butter. Melt the butter in a 9X13 inch pan on low on the top of the stove. Pour the bread mixture in on top of the melted butter. Bake about 50 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven until firm.
Prepare topping while baking.
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups water
1 jigger of rum
4 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cook sugars, water, and flour until clear (high boil). Add butter, vanilla, and rum, stirring until the butter melts. This should be about pudding thickness. Even if it’s runny, it’s wonderful! Pour over the bread pudding. Serving both the pudding and sauce warm.