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I love pudding. I know many people consider pudding nursery food, and maybe it is, but sometimes I will make chocolate pudding (never the instant stuff, just the cook-and-serve pudding) and eat it for dinner. Nothing else, just the chocolate pudding, still very warm. I love the skin, so I eat that first, then the pudding. The package makes four ramekins, and I usually save one for dessert after a salad the next day.
I realize this is not to be considered an entrée, but I only do that every few months. The next day (and every day, really), I do eat healthy. And let’s be honest, here: Tell me you never decide tonight’s dinner is hummus on pita chips or a grilled cheese and canned tomato soup or warm popcorn tossed with dry ranch dressing.
Here are two pudding recipes. While both are from scratch, one is for the birds. It comes from Daryl Perch, whose bird feeders are a wonder to behold (to say nothing about her photographic chops I see on Facebook). The second I made up myself. If you like donuts, you will adore this!
Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Daryl Perch
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 pound lard (the one you get in the refrigerator section
of the supermarket)
4 cups of chicken feed
4 cups quick oats
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 cups flour
Melt the peanut butter and the lard.
In a large bowl, toss chicken feed, oats, cornmeal and flour. Pour the melted ingredient and mix together.
If you have a flat-bottom bird feeder, freeze the bird pudding in disposable pie plates. If you want to put the pudding into hanging suet feeders, freeze the pudding in flat baking sheets; once frozen, cut them into and refreeze. Your birds will love you.
Donut Bread Pudding
Yield: serves 4 to 6
4 to 6 big, somewhat stale glazed coffee rolls
(yeasty spirals filled with cinnamon and sugar)
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
4 to 5 cups of milk (whole or 2 percent)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla or almond extract
1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon or rum (optional)
½ cup dried cherries, blueberries, currants, or raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with a rack in the center. Butter a 9- by 13-inch glass or gratin pan and set aside.
In a big bowl, mix together eggs, milk, extract, and liquor. Cut the donuts into one-inch chunks and gently fold them and the fruit into the egg-milk concoction. Let donuts steep in the milk mixture for about ½ to 1 hour.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, place the pan into a larger (roasting-type) pan and place into preheated oven. Pour very hot water into the roasting pan until the water comes about ¼ to ½ full.
Bake until pudding is just set in the middle, usually about an hour.
Remove the roasting pan carefully from the oven. Again, carefully, remove glass pan or gratin pan and place on a wire rack. The pudding can be served warmed or at room temperature or from the refrigerator with whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce, or just by itself.
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