In 1971, country western singer, Willie Nelson had no hits. He and his wife had divorced, his Tennessee ranch had burned to the ground and he’d lost any money from his song-writing due to unsuccessful music tours. Nelson moved to a new ranch and went to a recording studio to record a couple of new songs. The concept album, as it was called was about the Imperfect Man and it contained the song, Yesterday’s Wine.
The album story commences with dialog between two men. An omnipotent thunderous voice asks, “You do know why you’re here?” A man’s voice answers, “Yes, there’s great confusion on earth, and the power that is has concluded the following: Perfect man has visited earth already and His voice was heard; The voice of imperfect man must now be made manifest; and I have been selected as the most likely candidate.”
The songs flow depicting the birth of a man, his attempt to live a good life and towards the end of the line up, a song with the regulars in a bar talking about their lives and reflecting on aging. Yesterday’s Wine peaked at number 62 on Billboard‘s Country Singles.
Our Thanksgiving was different this year. I wasn’t in charge of the meal, just a dish. My eldest son is away looking at a Canadian university where they are not celebrating Thanksgiving. I woke early on this morning after and looked at the remainder of my kale, butternut squash and walnut sauté and was grateful for a clean kitchen that did not overwhelm and a text from Montreal letting me know he was safe and warm. Ah, time.
I squeezed my youngest as he emerged from his bed and told him that by conquering a savory bread pudding recipe, he would one day woo women. He replied that he’s doing just fine without the recipe. But for the rest of you, here it is and it works wonders with whatever might be leftover in your fridge and it goes with the wine.
Savory Leftover Bread Pudding
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- one large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 hot chilies, minced
- 4 cups of cubed bread
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp stoneground mustard
- 6 eggs
- a handful of white cheese, grated
- left over veggies or meats (we used roasted butternut squash, toasted walnuts and kale)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan or wok, heat olive oil. Add onion, garlic and chilies and cook until soft. Toss in bread cubes and mix with oil and onions. Add in the leftovers and cheese and salt and pepper. Place in a well oiled 9 x 13 dish. In a separate bowl, place 6 eggs. Beat lightly with the milk and the cream. Pour over the bread cubes and bake for one hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.