Celebrating the end of school with orange-almond bread pudding
For the past three months, I’ve been working five days a week and taking a food history class on my two days off. Since the class is for work but is held on Monday and Wednesday afternoon, my work schedule has been adjusted to give me those two days off. I work on Tuesday and then Thursday to Sunday. This has been great in terms of giving me time to attend class and do homework. It hasn’t been great in terms of being able to see G. or friends or attend to life’s little tasks, such as filing my tax returns or cleaning my apartment.
G. has been incredibly supportive, especially since my class started just before his father died. I know he’s needed me in Wisconsin, and I haven’t been able to get there. But instead of complaining, he tells me constantly how proud he is of me for taking the class and doing well in it.
Then last weekend, G. did one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. As I mentioned, I haven’t had time to clean my apartment since January. It’s condition was . . . dusty, to say the least. But when I came home from work on Saturday, it was clean. G. had spent the day dusting, vacuuming, mopping the floors and scouring the kitchen and bathroom counters. I was stunned. Remember — this is the man I had to convince to hire someone to clean his house.
“I can’t believe you cleaned my apartment,” I said.
“Well,” he said. “I got up and saw the dust on the dresser and I knew it was bothering you, so I started dusting and then, you know, I get carried away, and I just start scrubbing everything.”
He noticed the dust on the dresser?! It must have been worse than I realized.
But now my apartment is clean, and today I handed in my last major paper. One more tiny one to go. To celebrate, I made bread pudding.
I used leftover Lemon Bubble Rolls only because I had them, and I didn’t have bread. Then, because they had lemon in them, I decided I needed to go with a citrus theme. I didn’t have any more lemon (there’s been little time to shop), but I had an orange and some slivered almonds. With those items on hand, I put together the recipe below.
And, I hope to be doing more cooking again soon. This morning, when G. was taking me to the train station to come back to Chicago for class, he said, “I’m really excited I’ll get to spend more time with you soon.”
I’m excited too.
Orange-Almond Bread Pudding
3 cups Lemon Bubble Rolls, cut in cubes (feel free to substitute any dense bread)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon almond extract
grated peel of 1 orange (about 1 teaspoon)
Toast the almonds in a frying pan over medium heat until just golden brown.
Combine cubed bread and almonds in a lightly greased 1.75- or 2-quart casserole.
In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk and butter just until butter is entirely melted.
Combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, almond extract and grated orange peel. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed. Slowly add milk mixture.
Pour batter on top of bread. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve warm.