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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Because I Could

September 24, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It had been one of those lovely fall days where there's sun and wind and the temperature is just right and you feel like getting things done because it's going to get cold one of these days. Real cold.

So I got up early and went to town on the pantry. I got that all cleaned out and dusted and filled a bag for the food shelf because I could. (Sometimes I like doing things because I can. Makes for fewer regrets.) Then I swept the sidewalks and the garage, and whipped up a batch of scrambled eggs for the kids, who were sleeping in (because they could) and when I pulled the blueberry muffins out of the oven, there stood Mr. Sundberg in his red plaid wood cutting shirt, holey old jeans and brown work boots. He took two muffins, told me he'd be back around noon, and headed out the door.

After the kids ate and went upstairs to dress, I dragged the winter clothes boxes down from the hall closet and unloaded them onto the dining room table and began sorting it all into piles. Which the kids were not happy to see as they headed outside to play catch. This will not take long, I told them. All you have to do is try on a few things and you're done.

It was a good hour later when we finished. They were all antsy to get outside so, Go, I told them, and they did, and I hung all the wrinkled coats in the closet and put mittens and scarves into the basket on the shelf and packed up a box for Goodwill. Not bad. Have to buy only one new coat this year, and two pair of snow pants (the kind without the bib this time, please), but three new pair of winter boots are in order. I could hear them laughing and calling to each other as they passed a football in a triangle. I thought about how, in a few years, there will be only two of them. And then one. Got me a bit teary-eyed, I'll confess. Much as it's a lot of waiting around and an occasional pain in the butt, being a mother is about as good as it gets. Especially when you find the three people you've been lifting up all those years are figuring out ways to lift you.

Well, time for a break, I figured, and headed on out to play some catch with my children, my tribe, my own little people. Because they're around for only a while, and because I could.

Bread and Butter Pudding

Custard:

1 quart milk
6 eggs, beaten
3 egg yolks, beaten
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Bread:

1 1/2 lbs leftover bread, cut into cubes
6 T butter, melted
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chocolate chips (optional for choc chip bread pudding)*
1 lemon zest, grated

Preparation:

For custard, combine all ingredients and mix well.

For bread prep, drizzle melted butter over diced bread and toast in the over, careful not to burn or color.

Combine custard, bread, raisins, chocolate chips and lemon zest.

Pour gently into buttered molds or custard cups or buttered baking dish.

Bake in 325 water bath for 45 minutes or until custard is set.

Serve warm with vanilla sauce.

Vanilla Sauce

(makes 3 pints)

1 quart heavy cream
15 egg yolks
1 1/4 c + 2 T sugar
2 fresh vanilla sticks

Bring the cream and vanilla to a boil. Set aside.

Mix yolks and sugar together.

Gently whisk egg and sugar mixture into the warm cream.

Continue stirring until firm, careful not to boil again (or sauce will split).

For chocolate chip bread and butter pudding, add the chocolate chips as mentioned above.

Enjoy!

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