On your Mark, Get Set: And the Bread Goes On
By Katherine Bynon
I misbehaved badly from the week before Thanksgiving until New Years Day, so I spent the entire month of January atoning for my dietary sins! I have been living on greens from my bodacious, bountiful, beautiful backyard garden that is largely the result of the efforts of Urban Plantations, a San Diego based company that installs edible landscapes. Now, I am not complaining about eating such nutritious meals direct from the garden, but enough is enough. I was craving some dessert – something soul satisfying and just homey enough to go with (you guessed it!) a big ol’ pot o’ greens.
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While trying to come up with something to relay off of Stephanie’s Winter Veggie Strata, the first thing that caught my eye was her use of artisan bread. Bingo!!!!! A bread pudding is just the thing to fulfill my dessert-y desires. This will not be just any old boring bread pudding… oh no! I have fallen madly, deeply in love with the warming spices of Morocco and thought that it would be fun to jazz this pudding up with some outrageous and unexpected spices. Nothing normal happens in this neck of the woods! Something about California being the land of “fruits and nuts”? That be us!!!
I have a couple of Moroccan cookbooks and many of the recipes include citrus in some incarnation – pickled lemons, tangerines in tagines, and oranges, ahhh….oranges! Off I went, up to the family ranch thirty miles East from San Diego where my Dad has about 10 orange trees. With orange season in full swing it seems that just one of our navel orange trees could produce enough fruit to prevent scurvy in small village.
With a Westy full of oranges and a collection of my favorite spices already on hand, all I needed was some fresh artisan bread. I headed to Bread and Cie, a local San Diego bread baking company that prides themselves on their premium ingredients, stone hearth oven and age-old artisan bread making techniques. I selected a beautiful braided loaf of Challah to get this bread pudding rollin’.
Come back on Thursday for continued adventures in San Diego as I search for local ingredients to finish my bread pudding extravaganza and a completed recipe that will surely be unlike any other!