Tag Archives: pears

Punkin Bread Puddin

Last week, after making Indian Pudding and Sops of Pompion for the Mass Bay masses….I found I had rather a lot of sops of pompion left.

There are some things that can be re-heated and be just fine…but OTHER things need to be re-imagined to turn into something else altogether to eat.

Let’s start with the sops……..

Here’s the 17th century recipe for the sops…..

To butter Gourds, Pumpions, Cucumbers or Muskmelons.

Cut them into pieces, and pare and cleanse them; then have a boiling pan of water, and when it boils put in the pumpions, &c. with some salt, being boil’d, drain them well from the water, butter them, and serve them on sippets with pepper.

– 1675. Robert May, The Accomplist Cook,

RobertMayTheAccomplishtCookFrontispieceI’ve never tried this with gourds or cucumber or even muskmelons – only pumpkins.And my pompion/pumpkin/punkins  in this case were pre-peeled butternut squash from the grocery store.
In Austraila butternut squash is called butternut pumpkin...confused yet?

In Austraila butternut squash is called butternut pumpkin…confused yet?

I cut the pumpkin into smallish cubes, and dropped it into a pot of boiling, salted water. When it was tender I drained it.

Just like macaroni.

I toasted sliced Thirded Bread from Plimoth Plantation’s  Plimoth Bread Company. For the Boston event I carried both elements separately and finished the sops when I got there to Boston:

Put ample butter in a frying pan, add the cubed, boiled squash and saute until heated, golden and just starting to get a little not quite mushy, but most definitely soft. Spread the pumpkin and butter on the toasted bread – I cut each slice into halves or thirds to make it easy to eat as an appetizer.. Sprinkle the tops with fresh ground pepper. Easy. Serve. Great with beer.Or with soup. Once you have it, you’ll figure out how it fits into your life.

And then the leftovers ( a late 19th century term) …..otherwise known as the relics or the orts……to PrestoChangeo into

PUDDIN

  1. Take your pumpkin sops and eyeball them. You should roughly equal amounts of bread and pumpkin. There were some pears that were a few minutes past peak, so they got cut up and added to the mix. With a whole grain bread you’ll need to add a little more moisture. If you have an enriched type bread, not so much to worry.You can break the pieces up or keep them very large to be broken up in the serving.
  2. The liquid is going to be about equal to the mass of the bread and fruit (technically, pumpkin is a fruit, so is squash) so plan panage accordingly.
  3. The bottom half of a granite ware roasting pan was my choice

    The bottom half of a granite ware roasting pan was my choice. Any type of baking dish you can put in the oven will do.

    Butter the pan very well. Then butter it again even better. As Julia Child has said, “Add more  butter”. The butter keeps it from sticking and the butter will help the edges brown and crisp up nicely and just improve everything.

  4. Mix equal amounts of milk/cream and/or half and half with beaten eggs . We used 6 eggs, but four would be enough for a smaller amount. I’m thinking the ratio is 1:1:1:1 – bread:fruit:eggs:milk. If you have juicy fruit (peaches, say, not the gum) keep that in mind when sloshing in liquids. It’s very forgiving. A little longer in the oven helps dry it out.

    juicy-fruit-vintage-packaging

    Commercial Break!

  5. Mix the eggs and milk together with the bread and fruit. Now is the time to think about spicing…..if you don’t know how to pumpkin spice…….pumpkin pie spice
  6. Or you could go with something different….Ginger, cinnamon and some anise seeds are good. Nutmeg on top another good choice.  Or orange peel and fennel seeds…..
  7. Drizzle honey all across the top. Be generous, like the caramel on a sea salt caramel latte generous.
  8. This whole thing can sit while the oven heats up…helps every little thing to soak up and get it’s act together, working out the melody and the harmonies so it can stand up and sing when it time to serve it.
  9. Bake in a 350° oven until heated through and has crispy edges and a knife in the middle comes out dry and not dripping.
  10. Enjoy hot, warm or cold.

Now if you had Pumpkin Bread….you could also make a different Punkin Bread Pudding again…

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Filed under Autumn, Bread, Recipe

Smoke and Ginger

Smoke and Ginger would be a great name for a Rock Band,or a cocktail….. it’s also the taste of the change of season.

The Days are still somewhat Summerish, but some of the Nights are downright Autumnal…..it’s interesting that as the traditional burning of leaves has been curtailed as environmentally unfriendly, the number of fire pits that people gather around has grown – is there less smoke now or is woodsmoke better then leaf smoke? There’s government money to spent on that study somewhere.

Anyhow, the taste of smoke to me always speaks more to the cooling weather then the heat of summer. It makes no logical sense; many more summer meals cooked over fire, but was that really fire taste or lighter fluid/charcoal briquette taste?
Could it be that I started at the Plant in September and wood smoke became the flavor of the season?
Could it be the many years of Charcoal Burn at work that has shaped my perception that smoke is autumnal?

Making charcoal - you thought it made itself? It takes a lot of smoke to make wood become charcoal

Making charcoal – you thought it made itself? It takes a lot of smoke to make wood become charcoal Photo by Sally Rothemich

 

Jack and Ginger, jack-whiskey-ginger-alenot to be confused with Fred and Ginger,

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Flying Down To Rio

 Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire Flying Down To Rio

….in terms of zingy names a Gin and Ginger would be a natural, which is also evidently called a Ginger Rogers, not the dancer sort, just to make he whole thing a little confusing
Liquid smoke is made from actual smoke….I just try to work this factoid into all sorts of conversations
But, here in real time, Norah brought in pears, pears from her Sainted Smudder’s pear tree. A 5 gallon pail of pears, with a note to take them. So I ate one. It was small, so I ate another. I put a few aside for lunch, but I’m not a greedy gobble guts. I ate one at lunch with my salad and other with some blue cheese. There were still some that need a home, so I took a few home to make Pear and Ginger Soup … but the next thing I knew there weren’t any left…they just disappeared like magic . They were fragrant and soft and juicy…all the good pear things.
If any had survived I would have made the soup. The beauty of this soup is that it is a great improver of pears. Now if you have a Farm Stand or a Farmer’s Market or a Tree, and you have lovely pears, they really need no improvement. The real challenge is to let their simple beauty shine though. BUT if you’re buying pears through the supermarket, chances are you’re getting pears that are tough enough to stand up to some pretty rough handling. In short, pears that could use a little improvement.

Pear Ginger Soup

6 ripe pears, peeled and cored

3 ½ cups water

¼ cup sugar

1 vanilla bean

1 cinnamon stick

4 whole cloves

1 2/3 inch thick slice fresh ginger

Powdered ginger to taste

  1. Combine the water, sugar and vanilla bean, cinnamon stick. Sliced ginger and cloves in a pan. When it comes to a gentle boil, add the peeled and cored pear bits and poach them 30-40 minutes until they are soft.
  2. Drain and reserve the liquid. Remove the vanilla bean, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Puree the pears and the ginger slice in a food processor or blender. Pour back into the pan.
  4. Add 2 cups of the poaching liquid or enough to make a soup consistency.
  5. Heat over medium heat. Sprinkle with powdered ginger and serve.

Serves 4

Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook. Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. 1983 (1994) p. 140.

MS Quick Cook

Smoked Turkey and Stilton Sandwiches

What? You need more direction that this? Smoked Turkey. Stilton Cheese. You can buy both of these things sliced at the deli counter. Mustard is good. A little lettuce or watercress is not amiss. Sprouts – not to overwhelm but to give a little green with the rich also works. Arugula? Easier to get then watercress these days and just as good. Now you see it.

I always cut this sandwich into 4 triangles, and turn them out like butterfly wings. I don’t know why, I just do. Some sandwiches aren’t meant to be eaten in rectangular form.

 Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook. p. 141.

pear, singleAlexander_Lucas_

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