Wednesday, February 04, 2015

soaking up the sweet

This past week an expected storm resulted in a snow day.  School was closed and the kids were cheerfully home.  We took this extra day as an opportunity to pack, prepare and finalize any school work before our son was going to embark on a snow adventure for an overnight school trip.   

It's amazing what a year of maturity can bring, as he demonstrated by packing his bags wisely, not just according to the weather, but also in an orderly fashion based on his travel habits.  Daily items in an easy access backpack. Extra snow gear at the bottom of the bag.  Everything placed according to how he's accustomed to travelling. After packing, we spent time chatting while shovelling the driveway, then he took a break and basked in the emerging sunshine.  Work is done!

I guess our family trips have surprisingly taught him lessons beyond cultural and geographical ones.  Although I am often frustrated (like any parent has experienced) when he loses or carelessly forgets his belongings, it seems like he has transformed overnight into a young adult....self aware of his own habits and abilities.  

On the morning of his trip, we woke up early to ensure we were prepared. As I anxiously went through his packing list one more time before we left, he smiled his big warm smile and reassured me that everything was "in the bag" (figuratively speaking).  

He was right (and for a brief moment I realized we were having a parent/child role reversal moment). I stopped micromanaging and let him take charge. It's a lesson to remember at times like these, to stop and see his warm smile and like this bread pudding recipe below, soak up as much of his child-like sweetness for as long as I can. For it will not be long before my young boy will be transformed seemingly overnight again, into an amazing, reassuring, sweet young man. 

Apple Crumble Raisin Bread Pudding
(makes approximately 12 servings)

This recipe combines the traditional tastes of bread pudding combined with the sweet as pie tastes of apple crumble on top.

  • 8 slices of raisin bread, cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½  cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 apples, peeled and sliced
For the Crumble topping
  • ½  cup of flour
  • ¼ cup of oats
  • ⅓ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg (to taste)
  • 6 tbsp. butter, cubed.
  • In a small bowl, mix the flour and oats.  Add the sugar and cinnamon. Add the cubed butter, and mix with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles crumbles (the size of peas).
  • Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, scramble the eggs
  • Add the vanilla and half and half.  Mix well.
  • Add the cubed bread and mix until bread soaks up the egg mixture.
  • Press bread mixture into an 8x8 square pan
  • Layer the sliced apples on top.
  • Sprinkle the crumble topping (recipe below).
  • Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes more.
Top with ice cream, caramel syrup or enjoy on it's own.

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