I often dismiss the culinary side of my upbringing, tossing aside my meat and potatoes diet and wondering where in the world I acquired my curiosity for food.
My palate has expanded light years since moving to the Pacific Northwest and perhaps so has my mom’s, still planted in northwestern Minnesota, but the more I look back the more seedlings I uncover. My brothers and I did eat our fair share of macaroni and cheese with hot dogs (economical), venison chops (our freezer was stocked for months after hunting season), and every version of hotdish (Minnesota for casserole) you could imagine, but there were a few shining stars. Experiments and new recipes were thrown in to shake up our taste buds.
One that recently comes to mind is bread pudding. Back then I didn’t realize it was such a jewel, but I recently rediscovered the recipe and developed a new love for a refreshed version. On a quiet Saturday, I went a little overboard with corn muffins. They were piled high, overflowing from a woven basket, and they were not exiting fast enough. Unwilling to throw them away, I scoured a dozen recipes in an attempt to repurpose the muffins. This is when I stumbled upon bread pudding. My mom’s version contained stale white bread and raisins, but I kicked my version up a notch. I broke apart the corn muffins, replaced the raisins with frozen berries I found in the back of my freezer, and whipped up the egg and milk mixture to pour over top. The result was heavenly – sweet, not too heavy, with a delightful texture.
Now I make cornbread just for the cornbread pudding. Make your own using the recipe found here.
Stay tuned for more snippets of the culinary side of my upbringing.