Now that there is a slight early morning nip in the air, our tummies are starting to think about winter food. In colder weather we need more calories, but we can’t really justify them if we never get cold or move about enough. So, turn down the central heating, put a jumper on, go for some brisk walks and then you can then enjoy bread and butter pudding (using storecupboard ingredients), toad in the hole, steak and kidney pudding and things with dumplings with a completely clear conscience. (These recipes will appear in future posts).
Personally, I count anything with raisins in as health food because raisins are fruit and slow release energy. I recently managed to persuade a friend of mine that chocolate was health food (after a wholly unexpected discussion about the value of confession and penitence) on the following grounds:
There is no need to repent of eating chocolate as it is health food. Chocolate comes from a bean which is fruit, it’s packed full of iron and is a natural antidepressant. Chocolate is the real Good News. God /gods don’t get fat because they burn off all the calories moving in mysterious ways. This is what you must aspire to – move about more and in a mysterious way, then you can eat as much chocolate as you like. Chocolate is a gift (together with shoes and enthusiastic lovemaking*), therefore you have a duty to share it and, like any other gift, it’s up to the recipient what they do with it.
And I can sell sand to the Arabs.
BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING
1 x medium casserole dish or similar
1 x measuring jug – 1 pint capacity or more
1 x chopping board
1 x whisk or a fork used with vigour
8 slices of wholemeal bread – buttered (I like the bread with seeds best)
Butter for spreading on the bread 1-2oz / 30-60g give or take
4oz / 120g raisins
1 pint / 600ml milk
3oz / 90g white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 pinch nutmeg
1-2 tblspn dark brown sugar (according to taste) for sprinkling on the top
Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 360 / 4
Grease your casserole dish with a little butter
Cut each slice of buttered bread into 4 triangles and place a single layer in the dish (the bread should allow for about 3 layers so allow a third of raisins per layer)
Sprinkle a third of the raisins on top of the bread
Do the same for the next 2 layers (use your common sense if the bread runs to more layers)
Whisk the milk, eggs, white sugar and vanilla together with a fork
Pour this mixture over the bread layers
Sprinkle the brown sugar on the top which will give it a lovely golden brown, crispy top
Sprinkle the nutmeg evenly over the top
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Take it out of the oven and let it rest for a little while before serving to allow it to set nicely
Serve on its own or with custard, cream or vanilla ice-cream
* * *
I would like now to apologise for there being no photograph. When I put it on the table on Friday night, The Boys and our guest fell upon it like foxes on a chicken coup, by which time it was too late. Next time we have it I will add a photo. I also owe you a photograph of fish cakes, which may be on the menu for tomorrow’s dinner.
* not my original wording