Tuesday, May 7, 2013


   This smooth and creamy, golden-orange bread pudding gets rave reviews from our taste testers—also known as our customer service team, the friendly folks you talk to when you call our 800 number or baker's hotline.

6 large eggs
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin or squash
2 cups (16 ounces) light cream
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
3/4 cup (5 7/8 ounces) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) rum, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 cups (about 18 ounces) bread*, cut in ¾" cubes


*Try using our Holiday Pumpkin Bread. The recipe makes 2 loaves, so you can enjoy one, and save the other for this pudding. Or use any non-savory bread: brioche, a sweet bread, or plain white or whole wheat bread.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, half and half, milk, sugars, rum, salt, spices, and vanilla, stirring to blend.

Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish or a 9" x 13" pan; if you’re going to refrigerate the pudding before baking, be sure to use a dish that can go from the fridge to a hot oven. Place the cubed bread in the dish in an even layer, and pour the liquid mixture over it. Let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, or for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

When you're ready to bake the pudding, stir it together to redistribute the custard; quite a bit of it will have been absorbed by the bread. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg, if desired; and bake in a preheated 350°F oven till set and beginning to brown, about 40 to 50 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream; garnish with minced crystallized ginger, if desired.
Yield: 2 dozen small servings, or fewer larger servings.


   The Feria de Abril de Sevilla, literally Seville April Fair, is held in the Andalusian capital of Seville, Spain.  the fair generally begins two weeks after the Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week.
   The fair officially begins at midnight on Monday, and runs for six days, ending on the following Sunday.  During past fairs, however, many activities have begun on the Saturday prior to the official opening.  Each day the fiesta begins with the parade of carriages and riders, at midday, carrying Seville's leading citizens which make their way to the bullring, La Real Maestranza, where the bullfighters and breeder meet.

  For the duration of the fair, the fairgrounds and a vast area on the far bank of the Guadalquivir River are totally covered in rows of casetas (individual decorated marquee tents which are temporarily built on the fairground).  Some of these csetas belong to the prominent families of Seville, some to groups of friends, clubs, trade associations, or political parties.  From around nine at night until six or seven the following morning, at first in the streets and later only within each caseta, you will find crowds partying and dancing "Sevillanas", drinking Jerez sherry, or manzanilla wine, and eating tapas.


   The Fair dates back to 1847 when it was originally organized as a livestock fair by two coucillors, Jose' Maria Ybarra and Narciso Bonaplata.  Queen Isabel II agreed to the proposal, and on April 18th,  1847, the first fair was held at the Prado de San Sebastian, on the outskirts of the city.
   It took only one year before an air of festivity began to transform the fair, due mainly to the emergence of the first three casetas, belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier, the Town Hall , and the Casino of Seville.  During the 1920's, the fair reached its peak and became the spectacle that it is today.


   La Feria of Abril is accompanied by men and women dressed up in their finery, ideally the traditinal "traje corto" (short jacket, tight trousers and boots) for men and the "faralaes" or "trajes de flamenca" (flamenco style dress) for women.  The men traditionally wear hats called "cordobes".