Gratitude Day 160 – Bread 

Wed., Nov. 21, 2018

Matthew 6:11 – Give us today our daily bread.

Just in case you need a dessert for Thanksgiving, I HAVE THE PERFECT SOLUTION.

Nope, it’s not pumpkin or apple pie. It’s not a decadent chocolate dessert. It’s …

BREAD PUDDING.

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Yep, I know. Bread pudding and Thanksgiving aren’t exactly two things that go together. But if you make this bread pudding, you just might change your mind!

I make this recipe around the holidays. Every time, and seriously, I mean every time, I make it … someone tells me it is THE BEST. Last Friday night we had a neighborhood gathering at our house. That morning, I decided to make this infamous bread pudding. Why? The day before, Eric at work asked when I was going to make my famous bread pudding. Eric talks about my bread pudding every holiday in a very loving way. Yep, a guy. In love with this bread pudding.

What makes this bread pudding different from every other bread pudding? The sauce. What makes this sauce?

Port Wine.

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Port Wine is different from other wine because it has grape brandy add to it. I live in Wisconsin. FYI – Wisconsin consumes more brandy than like all the rest of the United States. For those who live outside Wisconsin and are wondering what brandy is, brandy is a distilled wine that is aged in barrels.

About 30 minutes from where we live is a lovely little winery called Wollersheim Winery. Several years ago, this winery began making a Port Wine. Actually, the bread pudding that I’m raving about? I picked up the recipe from Wollersheim Winery. A chief from a local eatery named Blue Spoon Café provided the recipe to the winery when they were having a special event. I use a white Port when making this recipe. I’m sure a red Port would work just as well.

Here’s the recipe for this fabulous bread pudding recipe:

Cranberry Pecan Bread Pudding with Port Wine Reduction Sauce

Bread Pudding:

8 cups stale bread cut into pieces

4 cups milk

2 cups sugar

½ cup melted butter

4 eggs

2 TBSP vanilla

1 c dried cranberries

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients. Mixture should be very moist but not soupy.

Pour into a buttered 9×9” baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 75 minutes until top is golden brown. Serve warm with sauce.

Port Wine Sauce:

½ cup butter

1 ½ cup powdered sugar

1 egg yolk

½ cup Port Wine

Cream butter and sugar over medium heat until all butter is absorbed. Remove from heat and blend in egg yolk. Gradually pour in the Port, stirring constantly. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve over warm bread pudding.

A couple of my personal notes:

  • I use old, leftover bread that I’ve kept in the freezer just for bread pudding. I like to use a variety of bread and always include some form of wheat bread. Seriously, I’ve been known to use hamburger and brat buns, sour dough, whatever I have handy. Don’t use your good fresh bread (unless you have nothing else). I cut them into medium-sized cubes.
  • I often make 1.5 batches of the recipe. I have a pan that I put it in and this is the exact among that fits. This way, I may have a little leftover after the party or event I made it for!
  • I bought a bottle of Wollersheim Port several years ago. There is just enough left for one more batch of sauce. While you can drink Port, I keep this bottle of Port just for this sauce. I’m confident there are other Ports available. What if you can find Port? I suggest brandy or wine or a combination.
  • Leftovers are great! Just pour the remaining sauce over what’s left. Pop into the fridge and reheat your next serving. Make it dinner some night … you won’t regret it!

While speaking at the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This week, most of us will eat more than we should. I pray that we are always thankful for the food we have, the availability of food and the overabundance of food we experience in the United States. In our abundance, it’s easy to forget and overlook the thousands and millions of people who don’t have enough to eat right in our neighborhoods. Let’s not forget to help out these people as well. Donate to the local food pantry. Provide food to local Thanksgiving meals. (I’m making the vegetable for the meals being provided to folks on Thanksgiving; my favorite corn casserole.) Take a plate or more to someone who won’t have enough. And certainly, give thanks for the abundance most of us experience on a daily basis this week.

So, if you need a dessert for Thanksgiving yet, give this bread pudding a whirl! I think you’ll be glad you did.

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For daily bread (and a delish bread pudding), I am grateful.

“Give us this day our daily bread …” It’s our request, Lord, to be fed on a regular basis. May we remember that feeding comes in a variety of ways: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual feeding. I pray we feed our souls in all these different ways today. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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