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Grackles and Bread Pudding

It’s almost Christmas Eve, and with my parties done, I was able to relax and indulge. I stayed in bed late drinking coffee and curating my Twitter account, the yet unwalked dog curled up warm and cuddly under my blanket. After walkies I met one of my closest friends for lunch and to go see her new condo, which feels spacious and beautiful. We exchanged Christmas presents. I gave her my favorite novel of all times (Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley) and a John Ross Palmer Christmas ornament. She gave me a whole bunch of fun stuff, including champagne flutes, which I badly needed. Yes, I have thus far committed the sin of serving champagne in wine glasses and been scolded by my mentor!

Later I had two other friends stop by the gallery. One brought me homemade tamales, which are Christmas thing here in Texas, and which I wanted badly, but been too busy to procure myself. They have butternut squash inside, also beans, and cheese. They are so good!

Also I got it into my head that I want to make bread pudding for Christmas dinner with the leftover butter croissants from yesterday’s Open House. I went to Whole Foods, which is where I saw the grackles, and got pastured organic eggs, also butter, heavy cream, and a large bag of pine nuts I’d been eyeing for a while. I also got caviar for the New Year’s Eve party because Whole Foods had a very attractive sale.

Then I went home and combed the internet for the most exquisite wisdom on bread pudding. Here’s what I learned: It’s best if you let the croissants soak up the custard overnight; always use heavy cream (duh!) and mix in a bit of melted ice cream; add a pinch of salt to the custard; butter your dish before baking and, for a special caramelized crust, sprinkle sugar over the butter and bake until browned before adding the bread pudding mixture; you can use a Dutch oven; you should cover the bread pudding for 3/4 of the time it bakes, but do leave room for it to rise.

You’re welcome! I’ve no idea why I delight in all this knowledge so much, but I do. Perhaps it’s because this has been the year when I have done the least amount of cooking and I miss it. I’ve been too busy but things are looking up. Also, I made a test batch of the bread pudding in a small ramekin dish and it is pretty scrumptious! Also, I bought Holly her Christmas present and I think she likes it.