Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Back to Normal

Not depressed anymore. Not too thrilled that all the news channels have forgotten that there is news in places other than Sandy Hook, CT. I really don't need or want to see next-day interviews with any of the victims' family members, or clergy or shrinks. In a week or two, I do want to hear what law enforcement has pieced together as a coherent theory of what led to the crazy guy's acting out his delusions.

To me, the tragedy is just one more proof that there are no gods, nothing supernatural is watching over us, and  things do not "happen for a reason".

There was a good football game on the tube, Nevada vs Arizona. A wonderful high-scoring game with almost no defensive plays, with less than 2 minutes to go, Nevada was ahead 48-35 and the announcers were doing their usual going overboard singing the praises of the Nevada coach and how he has beaten a ranked team in a higher division. As they were pontificating, Arizona scored twice and won by 1 point.  

My traditional lunch for a college football game is hot dogs. A while ago I was all out of buns and almost out of hot dogs, and Costco had both deeply discounted, but you had to buy a wagonload. I had divided up the buns into packs of 4 until I ran out of zip-locks and threw the remaining dozen into the freezer with them. When I opened the freezer to get a couple of buns I saw there were far too many left, taking up valuable ice cream space, so I pulled out that dozen bag (plus two for lunch) and grabbed the Fannie Farmer cookbook and found a recipe for bread pudding. It needed some tweaking, but I had all the ingredients, once I realized there was an unopened carton of "best of the egg" in the fridge "best used by 9 November 2012".

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 quart of lactose-free milk
12 hot dog buns (defrosted)
1 cup of "best of the egg" (about = 4 eggs)
1/2 cup vanilla
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp nutmeg
If I had ground cardamom I'd have added 1 Tbsp of that too, but I didn't.
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 can of jackfruit because I didn't have canned apricots
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325°. Set the butter in a dish on top of the stove to warm it up

Into a huge mixing bowl:
tear apart the hot dog buns into quarters
Add all the liquids. Soak for 5 minutes
Mix in the sugar
Add the spices & salt
When the butter is mostly melted, add 1 stick of it too
All this stirring is done by hand with a wooden spoon Mom handed down to me. Any large spoon will do, but wooden is classier than plastic, and an heirloom makes everything more poignant.
Throw the raisins and jackfruit into a food processor and use the chopping blade in surges until the fruit is in small bits. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a chef's knife. Try not to hurt yourself.
Mix in the fruit and nuts, and stir until it is evenly distributed, and someone looking over your should would not be tempted to say "Oh, you made this from hot dog buns!"

This can be made in bread pans or a deep dish pan. I prefer glass but if you don't care that your pudding is burned on the sides you can use metal ones.
Use the remaining 1/2 stick to grease the pans (it will probably take 2 or 3 bread pans).

Fill them to within 1" of the top with the pudding mix. The mix will rise, and if you fill it too high the melted butter will make a mess and maybe catch fire. I know, where's my sense of adventure?

Cover with Aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes

Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes

The tops should be golden brown. A cake tester may help decide if it is done but hey, this is pudding. I actually had to add 15 minutes to the uncovered session.

Hard sauce:
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup vanilla
An undisclosed amount of the Secret Ingredient mentioned in Guys 'n' Dolls' recipe for Dolce de Leche

While the pudding is baking:

This butter was also on the stove getting melty while you were mixing the pudding
In a small bowl, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer on low, until it is smooth and creamy. Add the 80-proof or 151-proof Bacardi and stir by hand until it is safe to use the electric mixer without splashing precious secret ingredient all over the place.

Put it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap.

Cut yourself a piece of pudding, add a dollop of hard sauce and let it melt. A short shot of microwaves can be used to encourage this.

Serves about 12.

While the pudding was baking, Milo disappeared. I could not find him anywhere. Domino was on the top level of the cat tree, a place I have never seen her go before. Hmmmm. How does one lose a 16-lb cat indoors?

Speaking of lost, the other day I reported that I could not find my Polaroid tripod. I found it, it was in the bedroom closet under my scuba gear bag, which had fallen over behind the shirt rack. There was also a monopod which has small tripod legs which can extend. Now all I need is a remote.

Found Milo in the bedroom sleeping among my T-shirts. Two black ones were at the top of the stacks, and his dark fur blended right in.

The bread pudding was marvelous, the hard sauce was very hard in the alcoholic sense, but melted at room temp FTW.  I ate three slices, almost decided to have half the pan as dinner.

It took me so long to write this, dinner will be very late. ;-)

The pudding project derailed my plans to go see a movie, but so did the football game and a lot of online "research".  No way am I going to the cinema on a Saturday night with several blockbusters in their first weekend. Maybe tomorrow. I may go to Cheetah's.

Plans for tomorrow:

Massage maybe
Janice at 2:30 to give her a calendar and a key, but that's just for an hour, probably
Movie maybe
Tags: cats, cooking, food, football, philosophy, politics, psychology

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