Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Bread Pudding That Doesn't Suck

I am rather torn about whether to call this "bread pudding" or "french toast casserole". My kids seem more enthusiastic about it when I use the latter name. Anyway, this is possibly the simplest version you'll find anywhere. I made it up after reading a lot of other recipes. I consider the flavoring parts to all be flexible-- if you want more vanilla extract and less sugar, go for it. The result should be edible, and eating your mistakes is the best part of practicing at making desserts.

10 slices or so of white bread. Stale bread is just as good or better.
6 eggs
3 cups of milk (I don't bother to scald it, as some recipes suggest)
2/3 cup sugar (+/-, to taste. I've used as little as 1/2 cup and as much as 1 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
1 or 2 tsp vanilla extract.
healthy dash of cinnamon (to taste)
light dash of ground cloves (to taste)

Raisins might be good in this, but the aforementioned kids don't like raisins.

Preheat your oven to about 375F. I live at sea level, and my oven tends to run a little hot, so you may need to adjust.

The last time I made this, I made it in a 9x13 shallow baking dish. Rip up the bread and put it in the dish. Get out a nice, big mixing bowl and beat your eggs in it. Add the milk and beat that in too. To that, add the sugar, the salt, the vanilla, and the spices. Mix and mix some more. Then pour it over the bread. Feel free to push the bread around with a fork to make sure your mixture gets everywhere and soaks all the bread.

Bake for 20-30 minutes. You don't want any runny egg mixture, but you don't want it to dry out either. The last time I made this, I did put a roasting pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven, below the pudding, but I've done it without that before also. I'm not sure if it made a difference. More experimenting needed. ;)

Why cloves and not nutmeg, you ask? (A) I ran out of nutmeg quite some time ago and keep forgetting to get more, and (B) I like cloves better.

Tuesday! w00t!

I am making some effort to maintain my blogs today. I posted a new pregnancy update entry over on Little Critter Chronicles, I made some small changes to the templates of both blogs, and I updated my profile.

I've changed my username to Meep, just because it is a cute word. I am out of my dark phase, and back to being my normal, sunny self, so it seemed like a good time to give up being Prisoner #87146754. I'm not quite out of the Oubliette yet, though. I still feel like I am at the bottom of a hole with little possibility of escape, as far as my overall life situation.

I know I need to adopt a better attitude about things, but I just keep making one stupid blunder after another. Some of the things I have done have been good, but then I do something dumb like drop out of school and quit my job in the same week. WTF was I thinking?!?! That's something I have yet to even begin to repair.

I don't regret getting pregnant, but it might have been nice if I had put a little thought into planning for the baby and related downtime before the last two months of my pregnancy. Again, WTF was I thinking?!?! I was living for the moment rather than in the moment, I guess. Such a pity I didn't see the difference at the time.

I just wish I had someone else to blame for me being such an idiot. I used to blame my parents, but I'm 34 years old, for goodness' sake. I'm pretty sure that every moronic thing I've done for at least the last 10 years has been entirely on my own, without any need for outside influence.

There's not much I can do but pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back in the saddle. I am starting to feel like I can do that, so maybe there is some hope for me yet. I have a couple of subversive friends that have been encouraging me to believe that I deserve to be happy, and I am actually starting to believe that happiness is possible and I might even deserve it too.

That makes it seem as if I am not happy now. I am happy a lot of the time. This is a failing of the language. It doesn't distinguish between transient "feel good now" happiness, and happiness as a state of being. I imagine that "contentment" could be used for the latter, but I hear satisfaction and even complacency in that word, while I am looking for a word to describe a more open, active, and expansive approach to life. I will have to meditate on it, until I know the word I am looking for.

In any case, I think my next constructed language project will make that distinction right from the beginning, and not just for happiness or contentment, but for any emotional state that can become a basic personality trait or way of life.