Grackles and Bread Pudding

It’s almost Christmas Eve, and with my parties done, I was able to relax and indulge. I stayed in bed late drinking coffee and curating my Twitter account, the yet unwalked dog curled up warm and cuddly under my blanket. After walkies I met one of my closest friends for lunch and to go see her new condo, which feels spacious and beautiful. We exchanged Christmas presents. I gave her my favorite novel of all times (Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley) and a John Ross Palmer Christmas ornament. She gave me a whole bunch of fun stuff, including champagne flutes, which I badly needed. Yes, I have thus far committed the sin of serving champagne in wine glasses and been scolded by my mentor!

Later I had two other friends stop by the gallery. One brought me homemade tamales, which are Christmas thing here in Texas, and which I wanted badly, but been too busy to procure myself. They have butternut squash inside, also beans, and cheese. They are so good!

Also I got it into my head that I want to make bread pudding for Christmas dinner with the leftover butter croissants from yesterday’s Open House. I went to Whole Foods, which is where I saw the grackles, and got pastured organic eggs, also butter, heavy cream, and a large bag of pine nuts I’d been eyeing for a while. I also got caviar for the New Year’s Eve party because Whole Foods had a very attractive sale.

Then I went home and combed the internet for the most exquisite wisdom on bread pudding. Here’s what I learned: It’s best if you let the croissants soak up the custard overnight; always use heavy cream (duh!) and mix in a bit of melted ice cream; add a pinch of salt to the custard; butter your dish before baking and, for a special caramelized crust, sprinkle sugar over the butter and bake until browned before adding the bread pudding mixture; you can use a Dutch oven; you should cover the bread pudding for 3/4 of the time it bakes, but do leave room for it to rise.

You’re welcome! I’ve no idea why I delight in all this knowledge so much, but I do. Perhaps it’s because this has been the year when I have done the least amount of cooking and I miss it. I’ve been too busy but things are looking up. Also, I made a test batch of the bread pudding in a small ramekin dish and it is pretty scrumptious! Also, I bought Holly her Christmas present and I think she likes it.


  1. E, the best bread pudding ever is made at Bread & Chocolate, a bakery cafe in Washington D.C. They use all the leftovers from the bakery case at the end of the day, including maybe chocolate croissants and raspberry Danish, etc. So when I make bread pudding I scatter dabs of raspberry jam and Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips into the mix. Soooooo delicious!

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas! I’m actually going to DC in January. Maybe I’ll go check it out!

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