Friday, April 10, 2009


Since currently there is nothing to prepare from the garden, I want to share with you an absolutely sublime bread pudding recipe. I have been looking for this version of bread pudding for years, and finally found it last week in my mother's favorite cookbook, of course, that black and orange tome, THE HOUSEHOLD SEARCHLIGHT COOKBOOK, published by the Household Magazines with the original copyright being 1931. If you have one, hold onto it; they have become quite valuable.

This bread pudding is not heavy and weighted down with too much bread as bread puddings are now. Instead, the bread part is about the top one-inch of the pudding and underneath is perfect golden yellow quivering custard. I substituted craisins--dried cranberries--for the traditional black raisins, though you could also use currants or yellow raisins.

Use a good artisan style bread if you can, or leftover cinnamon sweet rolls, scraping off the frosting and nuts and discarding. The commercial puffy white bread is not ideal for this recipe.


1 to 1 1/2 cups bread cubes (no crust) or sweet roll pieces about 1 to 2 inches in size
3 tablespoons cherry-flavored cranberries--craisins
2 cups milk, scalded, set aside to cool
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon
pinch of salt
garnish; modest drift of ground mace

Place a flat pan of hot water in the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Treat a 4-5 cup deep dish (a one-quart souffle dish is ideal) with release spray and set aside. Prepare the bread pieces and set aside. Measure out the craisins in a Pyrex cup, cover with water and microwave for 30 seconds; set aside.

You are now ready to begin. By preparing everything you need in advance, you will save lots of time. The French call this mise en place.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, heat the milk until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan; remove from the heat. Add the butter and allow the mixture to cool.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs slightly, or until broken up. Whisk in the sugar, nutmeg, vanilla and salt; blend, but not enthusiastically. You don't want a froth, just a mass.

Drain the craisins. Gradually whisk in the milk and butter mixture, then the bread and craisins. Transfer to the treated baking dish. Drift a bit of mace on top of the pudding. Lower the dish into the hot water bath. Bake for 1 hour, or until the top of the pudding is firm when touched with your fingertip and it holds together when lightly shaken. Immediately remove from the bath to a rack to cool. Can be served warm or cold, with or without a pitcher of cream..
Essen Gut! Eat Good!


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARCIA...I'm blogging you...I am preparing your bread pudding recipe for my family today...HAPPY EASTER TOO! Hope your having a wonderful day...see you Monday.

  2. Glad to read the article in the Journal...and to learn that you are doing well.

    Welcome back to my world...I have missed your insights and skills. Oh, you looked great in the paper and on the must share your secrets for your youthful appearance and upbeat personality. :)

    Sincerely, Lyn

  3. Lyn, appreiciated your kind comments. Thank you.
    My youthful appearance had a lot to do with the distance from which the photographer did the shooting! I have my share of facial wrinkles in spite of using Oil of Olay stuff every night. However, my mother had beautiful skin into her 80s, and part of what I see in the mirror every morning is genetic! The personality: that too is
    inherited; all the Grabills are like me. Our family reunions are great fun and rather noisy, for everyone wants to talk. At the same time.
    And do. And they are all good cooks! Please write back and let me know what you might like to specifically like to see on the blog, if it is not too much trouble, for I do want to provide what my readers need/want. Thank you for writing. marcia

  4. Dear Mrs. Adams:

    I am so very glad to have found your blog. I have missed seeing you very much. Our local PBS stations here in the Washington DC area are not presently broadcasting your wonderful cooking shows, instead we are being given a endless stream of instruction on pasta dishes and barbecued ribs. How I miss your varied and easy to follow cooking demonstrations!

    More importantly however I am thrilled to hear that you are doing so well, and indeed are writing a novel! How I do look forward to reading it when you've finished.

    With regard to your blog, I would love it if you shared with us some of what you are doing and what continues to interest you, whether it be cooking, literature or the arts. I loved the conversational style of your two journals, "Heart to Heart" and "Hearts Anew", and found both of them a source of inspiration during my long recovery from a near fatal MRSA infection last year.

    Again, I am so happy to see you again. It's like running into an old friend.

    I send you my very best wishes for continued good health and happiness.


    Everett Hitchner
    Washington, DC

  5. Marcia, I am a fan of youyr cookbooks and PBS series on Amish/Mennonite cookery. I am a 48 year old married man who loves to cook and enjoys food history.

    Alan Denniston
    Dayton, Ohio

  6. I have a copy of Household Searchlight that my dear grandmother-in-law gave me. I treasure this book :)



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