1 pound panettone with raisins and candied orange peel, cut into cubes
3 cups milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract Instructions
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place panettone cubes into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the bread and stir gently until the bread is coated. At first, the bread may float on the milk mixture, but after a few minutes it will begin to absorb it and sink. Let rest for 15 minutes or so and then pour it into a 9-inch square lightly buttered ovenproof casserole dish. Bake until the eggs set, the pudding firms and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. I served the bread pudding with cranberry glaze left over from the sugared cranberries I made, but it is just as good on its own.
Chicken Pot Pie: The Second Act (Taken with Instagram at Point St. Charles)
Brunch at the Edge of Summer
Mark made it very difficult for me for to leave Montréal today. I woke up to blueberry and buttermilk pancakes and maple smoked tempeh bacon this morning, my last day in the city this long Labour Day weekend. Tomorrow, though quite a bit away from the official start of autumn, does already feel like the end of summer since it is the first day of Frosh Week at universities in Ontario, where all the first year students start exploring campuses and making their first forays into their new lives as academics and young independent adults.
Though I terribly miss the carefree days of summer, I’m already looking forward to making warming stews, apple and pumpkin pies, hot chocolate, roasted squash, and those wonderful heartier food stuffs that the autumn bounty brings. Of course running through parks full of the changing leaves while wearing handmade knits, and teaching again are also why ultimately fall is my favorite time of year.
What makes you excited about autumn?
Beautiful, vegetarian lunch: curried squash pie and Tuscan salad (Taken with Instagram at Wanda’s Pie in the Sky).
Going to Wanda’s for lunch the next day after getting back from Montréal is apparently becoming a tradition for me. I get in so late the night before I, a) typically sleep in a little later than I am supposed in the morning leaving me no time to prepare a packed lunch, or b) more often than not, have next to nothing in the fridge to make said lunch. As you can see from the photo above, I’m not suffering at all.
Late Summer Feasts
I finally made one of Mark Bittmans’s cold summer soups that I posted about last month on the blog. On the bike ride home today I stopped by the Riverdale Farmers’ Market, and picked up all the ingredients for watermelon gazpacho. It was quite a challenge bringing a watermelon home on my bike, even though it was the smallest one the farmer I bought it from had!
I adapted the original recipe a bit, since the tomato and watermelon ingredients where stated in pounds, and I do not have a scale here in Toronto. As well, the original recipe does not call for salt. I find salt brightens all gazpacho soups.
- 1 cup chopped, ripe and fresh heirloom tomatoes
- 3 cups seeded and cubed watermelon
- fresh mint leaves
- 1 diced yellow cucumber (a heirloom variety you can get at a farmers’ market)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Greek goat feta
- salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
Combine tomatoes with watermelon, cucumber (don’t bother peeling it if you are using a yellow cucumber), a handful of mint leaves, olive oil and salt in a food processor. Process until chunky-smooth. Add lemon juice. Garnish your soup with crumbled feta and chopped mint.
I served this with a big slice of Mark Bittman’s no-knead fermented bread I made, slathered with pesto and warmed in the oven, and a glass of white wine.
To interrupt our regularly scheduled food blogging, Mark and I are making sandwiches for lunch, and listening to Revolver by The Beatles. This got me thinking about my hero, and ur-boy, John Lennon. While right now I’m reading though the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin (I’m halfway through the third book, A Storm of Swords, and suffice to say, winter has not come yet!), I think I’m going to take a break to switch gears and instead read the national bestseller, John Lennon: The Life by Phillip Norman. I also have a copy of the autobiography Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith (lead singer of the seminal British post-punk band The Fall) that I have been meaning to read for a long time, but I don’t know if right now I can mentally deal with submersing myself in Mark E. Smith’s tragic life, that unlike John Lennon’s doesn’t seem to have much light, or joy to it.
I just placed a hold on a copy of John Lennon: The Life from the Toronto Public Library to have delivered to the branch near my work. Does anyone else want to join me reading this book? TPL has 7 available copies left in their system.
Easy Homemade Pickles
I’m in Montréal, and we just finished making a batch of refrigerator dill pickles. Hopefully this will be the last batch before I start making proper shelf stable canned goods. I love this recipe so much, even through it only keeps for a month in the refrigerator. Who am I kidding? WE LOVE PICKLES! Mark alone can polish off the whole jar in two weeks, and adding me to the mix means we can barely make it last a week. This is a great recipe because it is super easy, and it makes just a small batch perfect for using up any vegetables you got too many of at the market.
- 1 1/2 pounds pickling cucumbers (approximately 5 cucumbers)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup filtered water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 4 teaspoons pickling spice mix
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- large handful fresh dill
- 1 clean quart Mason Jar
Wash and dry cucumbers. Chop ends off and slice into spears.
Put garlic, 3 teaspoons of the pickling spice, and 3/4 of the fresh dill into the jar. Pack the cucumber spears into the jars as tightly as you can without crushing them. Add remaining teaspoon of pickling spice, and dill to the jar.
Combine vinegar, water and salt in sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Pour the brine into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Put lids on the jars, and let them cool on the counter top. Once they’re cool, put them in the refrigerator. Try to resist the urge to eat them early, and let them cure for at least a day before opening the jar. They are worth the wait!