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When I visited home for the week of the 4th of July, I wanted to make something special for my 90-year-old grandma. Like me, her favorite dessert in the world is bread pudding. Therefore, I set out to make her the best possible bread pudding.
Complication: her diet is pretty restrictive these days. She can’t eat most fruits. Nor does she need super-sweet toppings that will mess with her blood sugar.
I found a recipe at Will Cook For Smiles that fulfilled a lot of my needs. It produced a small batch. It included pumpkin puree, but in a small amount that I figured could be omitted without destroying the recipe. I could switch in almond milk for my own taste-testing comfort.
I also loved that the base recipe used King’s Hawaiian Rolls, which are pretty much the only type of store-bought bread I will still eat. It’s awesome. However, because I was going to be in my hometown, that presented another option. Central California has a large Portuguese community, and there’s an amazing Portuguese bakery less than a mile from my parents’ house. Their sweet bread is one of the most divine things on the planet.
I took my trusty kitchen scale to California so I could measure exactly 12 ounces of sweet bread, the equivalent of a pack of Hawaiian rolls. That ended up being about 2/3 of a loaf.
I prepared the bread pudding, tucked it in the fridge, then baked it after lunch. It cooked in exactly 45 minutes. We let it cool awhile before we dug in. I thought it was just about perfect with a drizzle of maple syrup over the top. It was surprisingly light and spongy–not heavy at all like some bread puddings.
However, the most important thing was my grandma’s reaction. She declared this to be the best bread pudding she had ever had, and she’s tried quite a few bread puddings in her day. Grandma was thrilled to have this as a dessert and breakfast for a few days, and said it was even better cold straight from the fridge.
I declare this recipe a win.
Being a writer means a lot of rejection and waiting, but it also carries certain perks. That said, I never expected free gourmet tacos and margaritas to be part of the deal, but by golly, I’ll take it.
I was ambassador to the Arizona Taco Festival last weekend. I have a full write-up of the amazing experience over at the Holy Taco Church.Read More
“Be daring, take on anything. Don’t labor over little cameo works in which every word is to be perfect. Technique holds a reader from sentence to sentence, but only content will stay in his mind.” ~Joyce Carol Oates
I will always think of October 17th as earthquake day.
1989. I was nine, at home in Hanford. I was watching the 5 o’clock news on KSEE 24 out of Fresno with my mom and brother. We felt the earth move. We all looked at the hanging lamps; their sway confirmed that an earthquake had indeed occurred. When the news resumed after commercials, Bob Long and the other broadcaster mentioned they had felt something, too. The breaking news quickly shifted to San Francisco.
Today the news is all on Ebola and war and lots of other scary things. A new year, a new fear.
Moving on to more pleasant things…
J. Kathleen Cheney did a great interview with Jeremy Brett on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Archive at Texas A&M. This is of particular interest to me because I now have two earlier editorial drafts of The Clockwork Dagger at the Texas A&M archive. You can actually go into the Cushing Library and view my materials. As a library geek, this pleases me to no end.
My story “Hatchlings” can be read at Daily Science Fiction. It’s about the cruelty of children and the benefits of pet monsters. This one was inspired by Pokemon.
Also, I have a guest blog and excerpt from The Clockwork Dagger up at Coffee Time Romance.Read More