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Remembering our Loved Ones with Food {Sourdough Bread Pudding Recipe}

admin December 4, 2013

Make this delicious sourdough bread pudding, a healthier version of an old family favorite, to be shared with loved ones, new and old.

By Jeanne of O’Mamas, Contributing Writer

I remember so vividly the moment my grandmother (affectionally known as Pidge) gave me her mother’s recipe for bread pudding.  It was October 2001.  I had broken up with a long-time boyfriend and just moved into a new apartment in Beverly Hills on Peck Drive.  As in Gregory Peck.  One of my favorite actors of all time.  (Have you seen Big Country? or To Kill a Mockingbird?  Then you probably love him, too!)

Anyway, I was on the phone with Pidge (which was not unusual as my grandmother was one of my best friends).  Gram was an amazing woman for whom family always came first.  Her prayers were never for our success (not that she didn’t want us to succeed), but for our happiness.  And her love and devotion unwavering.

Back to October 2001 … I’m sure I called to wallow in sadness over my recent break-up.  But a great lesson I learned from Pidge was not to wallow in sadness.  To look in front of me and see all the promise of a new day.  To find grace and keep faith that no matter what heartbreak and hardship was looming, because nothing lands on our plates that we can’t handle.

So there I was wallowing in despair, “Oh whoa is me.  I will never find love … Wah Wah Wah.”

And Pidge did what she did best.  She changed the subject.  She got me focused on the moment I was living in.  She told me stories of my cousins back in New Jersey.  She reminded me that the sadness was yesterday.  Today, the sun came up, and there was life to live.  And she somehow reminded me that I was supposed to be bringing something sweet to a brunch the next day.

Enter, Poor Ol’ Nan’s bread pudding.  (I know, it’s awful that we called Pidge’s mother “Poor Ol’ Nan,” but that’s what we called her.  I don’t know who to blame.)

Gram started reminiscing about her mother’s bread pudding … you can imagine the rest of the call as she gave me the ins and out of how my great-grandmother transformed stale bread into a delicious treat with five whole food ingredients.

And every time I make this pudding I remember her love (Pidge died on Sept. 9, 2011, just a few short weeks before the birth of our baby boy), which makes the fact that I miss her so much just a little more bearable.  And makes me so thankful that our girl had the opportunity to meet her.

I know this is a long story to tell that Pidge’s bread pudding has made it onto our Christmas breakfast menu (even before she died, because I didn’t often get to travel home for Christmas and it always made me feel like even if we weren’t together, she was with me).  Thanks for sticking with me.  Because having that touchstone, the act of making the dish (cutting the bread, whisking the eggs and cream), the smell of it baking, the taste, gives me tactile sense memory of my grandmother that I need and want on Christmas.  It gives our children the experience of her love (even though only one of them had the blessing to spend time with her).  And it gives me joy to share some of Pidge’s goodness with friends and family.

And it’s not just Pidge’s bread pudding that we get to enjoy (smothered this year in Abby’s vegan caramel sauce … oh my).    My husband’s Nana Ivy made molasses cookies and his mother gave me the recipe before she died.  So good.

Nana Ivy’s molasses cookies

Image from Omamas.com

So we make these treats together, we remember our loved ones, and we share in the warmth and goodness of the goodies and remember the love that shared them.  Makes for a pretty special holiday, I think.

sourdough bread pudding

We’ve made a few adjustments to Pidge’s recipe (maple syrup instead of white sugar and using sourdough bread), but her memory still lives on with this treat.

Sourdough Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf stale sourdough bread
  • 4 tablespoons pastured butter
  • 2 finely chopped tart apples (or 3/4 cup golden raisins)
  • 3/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk (or buttermilk or half and half)
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Grease a 3-quart casserole dish or pie plate with coconut oil.

Step 3: Butter both sides of the bread and “toast” both sides in the oven as it’s preheating.

Step 4: Combine maple syrup, eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix well.

Step 5: Break up (or cut) the toasted bread and layer it in the casserole dish. Add the fruit (apples or raisins).

Step 6: Pour egg mixture over bread and stir.

Step 7: Bake for 40 minutes.

Sourdough Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf stale sourdough bread
  • 4 tbsp pastured butter
  • 2 finely chopped tart apples (or 3/4 cup golden raisins)
  • 3/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk (or buttermilk or half and half)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 3-quart casserole dish or pie plate with coconut oil.
  • Butter both sides of the bread and "toast" both sides in the oven as it's preheating.
  • Combine maple syrup, eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix well.
  • Break up (or cut) the toasted bread and layer it in the casserole dish. Add the fruit (apples or raisins).
  • Pour egg mixture over bread and stir.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.

Do you have a holiday recipe that reminds you of loved ones near and far? Have you ever made sourdough bread pudding?

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2 Comments

  1. […] guest posting a tried and true bread pudding recipe today over at Modern Alternative Mama. (Apparently, we are bread pudding crazy this week).  We’re also reminiscing about lost […]

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  2. […] Remembering our Loved Ones with Food {Sourdough Bread Pudding Recipe} @ Modern Alternative Mama […]

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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