everybody who has ever met me knows that i love summer an above-average amount. everything about that season is pretty magical. while it’s not nice to pick favorites… it’s not hard to say that summer is my favorite. but that doesn’t mean i can’t appreciate the rest of the year. especially on this campus, i’m always excited when fall comes, because autumn means a whole different kind of beauty that is amazing.
it’s been rainy here lately, and i walked to my spanish & peace and justice classes this morning with my head down. after my classes ended, i walked outside expecting the same dreariness, but instead found this:
yup, i love my campus. the leaves are just beginning to change, and every morning i wake up to the smell of autumn in new england. at the farmer’s market, i found gorgeous sugar pumpkins. great when roasted, perfect when baked with bread pudding inside!
bread pudding with home-made craisins, inside a pumpkin:
dedicated to my friend, small group leader, and big sister CW. besides from being one of the most beautiful women i know, she also grew up on a cranberry bog. how cool is that! her family grew the fresh cranberries used in this bread pudding :)
the first step here was to dry the cranberries and make craisins. i had never done this before, so it was pretty exciting. really simple too. take a bowl of fresh cranberries, and pour boiling water over them. wait a few minutes, and you’ll hear/see each of the skins pop a little bit. i did this part at 1 am last night, and it amused me greatly. if you do this in the afternoon, you probs won’t be quite as giggly. anyways, after that, scoop out your berries, and lightly coat them with sugar. then place these berries in the freezer for about 2 hours. this is going to help break down the cell walls, so they dry better!
if you are like eddie, chandler’s crazy roommate from season 2, then you own a fruit dehydrator. otherwise, you can simply heat your oven to 350 for about 10 minutes then turn it off. place your cranberries on a sheet and keep this in the oven overnight. then you have craisins, and it is a wonderful thing to wake up to.
ok now that we’ve converted these tart berries into chewy pieces of deliciousness, it’s time to use them in bread pudding. if you’ve ever made bread pudding before, you know it’s pretty simple. it involves:
cutting up leftover bread into cubes. mixing 3/4 cup half&half, one egg, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. in a baking pan, layer your cubes of bread, sprinkle around your awesome craisins, maybe throw in some chocolate chips or pecan pieces, sprinkle some cinnamon, and simply pour the wet mixture over this. i trust your judgment to appropriately soak the bread until it looks delicious.
but that’s just a recipe for regular, boring bread pudding. we aren’t really into boring here. so at the same time, take a small pumpkin, cut off the top, and scoop out the insides til clean - seeds and pulp. save this for pumpkin pie, pumpkin butter, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin flan, pumpkin seed granola, etc! coat the insides with a little melted butter and some sugar. so goooood. put the “lid” back on.
bake both your bread pudding and your pumpkin in a 350 oven. 25 minutes later, tada:
if only you could experience what that smelled like. why has nobody invented that technology yet? i really think that if fax machines can exist, anything can. cause really, think about it. they’re practically like magic! anyways, it smelled so good, i got that bubbly feeling in my heart that otherwise only happens when i look at pictures of sleeping babies, laughing babies, babies hugging other babies, or puppies nuzzling babies.
i scooped the bread pudding into my now golden-baked pumpkin bowl, and that combination of toasted spicy pumpkin, warm brown sugar, and tangy cranberry is something that you really need to experience. if you get a chance, you should make this and have your own welcome-autumn-party! you could even use smaller pumpkins and make each person their individual serving. if you try it, take pictures and share with me. that’d be fun :)
take your allergy meds, go outside, and roll in some leaves for me -