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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Fruit Bread Pudding

Fruit Bread PuddingFruit Bread Pudding

1 loaf French bread
4 tablespoons softened butter
8 oz blackberries
1/4-1/2 lb figs
16 oz sliced strawberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups milk
1 cup condensed milk (or if unavailable, one additional cup milk)
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Roughly 1/2 cup chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts, or other favorite nuts.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grease a baking dish. My personal favorite is coconut oil, but butter or plain old cooking grease work as well. Beat eggs thoroughly in their own bowl.

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Layer the bottom of the baking dish with strawberries, figs, and blackberries, scattered and mixed. Tear off chunks of the loaf of French bread, and drop them over the berries; stir in nuts, then slice the butter and gently fold it into the bread-nut mixture.

In a saucepan, heat milk and condensed milk just until bubbles form around its edge. Turn off the heat and beat in the sugar, stirring until it has completely dissolved. Stir in the eggs and beat until, again, the mixture is homogeneous. Any stray traces of egg white will cook into hardened egg white, which can be detrimental if they are too prominent. Add cinnamon and vanilla.

Pour milk-egg mixture over the baking dish. If the bread is not completely covered by the mixture, press it down into the mixture with a spoon until the entire surface is wet. It should flatten out as you do so. If your baking dish demands it for even cooking, then place it inside a larger baking dish and fill the larger dish with about an inch of water; if you are using a ceramic or clay dish like I am then this shouldn’t really be necessary.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife can be inserted in the center and pulled out clean. Allow to cool for about a quarter of an hour before serving, can be served warm or cold. Serves eight.

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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Recipes

 

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Banana Chai Bread

I’m not generally a big fan of bananas. However, banana bread is a secret weakness, particularly when it has been modded, mucked with, and spiced up in original ways.

I would like to complement this with a picture or two, but we’ve already eaten it all. That’s how good it was.

You will need:

1 bunch ripe bananas; the riper the better
1 can condensed milk
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla (or roughly a cap full)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch sea salt
cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper
nutmeg
clove
1 ½ cups flour
molasses (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Peel the bananas, and mash them into a paste in a baking bowl. Add the condensed milk, stir until homogeneous, then add the dark brown sugar. Afterward, add the vanilla, the baking soda, and the sea salt. Measurements of the spices are to taste, but I recommend about a tablespoon of cinnamon, half a fresh ground nutmeg seed (roughly a teaspoon), four or five ground cloves, and for personal taste I used a little more than half of a teaspoon of black pepper. Taste it as you go to come to a consensus on what works for you, there isn’t any egg or anything harmful in it yet (depending on just how ripe those bananas were).

Add the beaten egg, stir everything together, and gradually add the flour, stirring as you go. You should have something of the consistency of pancake batter. Pour it into a baking dish. Mine was an old round ceramic baking dish, but these are relatively hard to find; any bread pan will do. Drizzle the molasses over the top of the batter—do not stir it in—and cover if possible. Bake for roughly thirty minutes, when it’s finished you should be able to insert a knife into the center and pull it out clean. Allow the bread to cool.

Banana Chai Bread has a charming peppery after taste without being intrinsically hot or sacrificing sweetness. It makes an excellent breakfast with a little cream cheese or condiment molasses, and is an excellent compliment to a spiced tea.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Recipes

 

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Commitment to a Blog

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I have never, personally, been happy with Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or any other mass blogging service; but it isn’t really anyone’s fault but my own. There is a part of me that longs for the days of the typewriter and snail mail, and covets the feel of old paper. It is forever in conflict with another part of me, which ambitiously awaits three dimensional video; enjoys the gradual meld between print, film, and interactive press; and is addicted to the pounding beats of underground Electronica. Neither is right, and neither is an island, each feeding off of the other for inspiration and grounding in my own hodgepodge tribal roots.

Committing to a blog is both an essential part of being a writer, and an acceptance that the only way for these two to get along, to live in peace, is for them to work together in the greater context of my ever-changing environment. I would appreciate the creation of a firm piece of legal with the set ink and indentation of a printed journal, but everyone reading this, like myself, knows that the web is an integral and alive part of our world. It isn’t just to be celebrated, it is to be embraced; to do otherwise is to go the way of the dinosaur, and reluctant as I may have been, I have always known this.

You can’t build a future without first wrapping your arms and head around the present. To stand against it is like a stone standing against a river. It might stand in it, unmoved and immobile, but in time, the water will wear at it until it reduces, erodes, and one way or another, conforms. I don’t like to think of myself as a stone, I certainly don’t feel eroded, but I do like the concept of conformation and I love a little resistance from time to time.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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