Yesterday’s Wine

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.

Day After Savory Bread Pudding
Day After Savory Bread Pudding

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 Billboards 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
Adapted from Emeril
Serves 8


  • 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.

You give the appearance
Of one widely travelled
I’ll bet you’ve seen
Things in your time
So sit down beside me
And tell me your story
If you think
You’ll like yesterday’s wine
Yesterday’s wine
We’re yesterday’s wine
Aging with time
Like yesterday’s wine


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  1. Wonderful reflective post for the day after Thanksgiving. The recipe sounds wonderful. What to do with all those leftover rolls.

    • Thanks Carolyn. I hope it doesn’t appear melancholy – it isn’t. Just different and changing and that, we cannot prevent. Boys are eating it right up so I must’ve done ok. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

  2. Nice Tammy. I sometimes feel guilty that I enjoy having a pass from the holidays. A quiet day alone is a rare treat. Hope you had a wonderful day, and the pudding looks wonderful.

    • When I write a reflective post I almost always get an email from a customer who is afraid I’m getting discouraged and want to quit farming. Can’t imagine if I wrote about the really bad stuff, lol.

      • I’ve had the same thing happen although you and I have both been so remiss about writing that anything is good, right? Hope your day and your eggs were dandy. We’ve got some lovely temps here today for hiking or just wandering around outdoors.

  3. Love this post. The recipe, the song and the story.

  4. I didn’t know that about Willie Nelson. He certainly is a brilliant songwriter/story teller. It’s a shame your son wasn’t able to be with you for Thanksgiving. Good to know your other son is doing well in the wooing stakes. This is a great use of leftovers and a beautiful and comforting dish xx

  5. Lucy

     /  November 28, 2014

    Saying a lot in just a few words. Thank you for this reflective post.

    • Time and its passage and the change that inevitably comes with it. We have to accept it and move on. Today, I’m thinking a lot about the differences between knowledge and action – really basic but so profound too. I see you filled with action Lucy (not to mention the knowledge).

  6. We have something similar every morning after Thanksgiving–we call it “morning after eggs.” I’m bookmarking this recipe to try soon. Thanks!

    • Although this is a heavy dish, it works for a breakfast or a dinner and really does use up whatever you need to rid of.

  7. Loved this Tammy and had heard of bread pudding but didn’t know how to make it! Now I do! And I am encouraged as my Thanksgiving is always so different from other people’s. I am okay and thankful as long as I don’t get lured into thinking that it is bad to do what I do!
    Thank you!

    • Once you have the basics of bread pudding, then you can make it in hundreds of varieties. This is a super hearty dish but good for any meal and complete protein because of the eggs and dairy. Why is your Thanksgiving different Debbie?

  8. Great recipe! I used up my kale last night in a vegetarian curry, but I know where the next batch could go (other than a salad). Plenty of squash on hand yet. And thanks for your reflections on change–it’s not bad, is it? But we all need time to process it, and you passed that along nicely, thanks.

    • No, change isn’t bad but our reaction to it can be. I love cooked kale in any format – love it raw also. What was on your table at Thanksgiving?

      • Roasted root veggies, green beans, brussels sprouts, cornmeal pumpkin muffins, cranberry relish, turkey, dressing, gravy and yipes! potatoes. Almost did a kale salad, but, really, people can only eat so much. lest you think I cooked all that myself, there were about 4 contributors and 12 happy eaters. Ah, there was bubbly as well. I do love Thanksgiving. How often are people so ready to spend a day together in and out of the kitchen and then sit down to a long relaxed meal? I WILL be trying that recipe–perfect for using up the bits of vegetables that don’t go into lunches for work and that collect in small containers in the fridge…Enjoy the rest of the leftovers!

  9. Things do inevitably change, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to keep reinventing ourselves and our lives. Only one of our daughters was here for Thanksgiving leaving room at our table, so we invited a single mom and her 3-year-old son we recently met who has no family in this country. Little Jonathan livened things up and reminded us that family can include anyone you choose to welcome into your life.

    • I love to scoop up anyone without a plan for meals like this. Hope you and your family are doing well and are getting set to enjoy a great holiday.

  10. I love leftovers and anything savory so this is perfect for me. BUT even better is a clean kitchen – well done!

  11. The beginning of this post sounds like a country and western song! I so need to conquer the savoury bread pudding concept as I often have left over bread rolls 🙂

  12. Hi Tammy–love the Willie story—the man is an icon here in Nashville–and I can appreciate the change-ups in traditions. Our most unusual Thanksgiving was spent in 2006 in Bahar Dar Ethiopia, a city by a lake that felt almost tropical; no turkey, dressing, cranberries or casseroles in sight!
    the recipe looks really good–especially with the addition of chilis and stoneground mustard.
    all the best to you and yours this holiday season. Nancy

    • He is coming to Phx in January and I am going to see him! Ethiopia sounds amazing. Love their food – esp. injera which might not make the best bread pudding.

  13. In 1971, I wasn’t even born yet! 😀
    This savoury bread & butter dessert looks fantastic. Mmmmmm,….☺️☺️

  14. I love how people are adapting so many sweet recipes for savory ingredients lately! Yesterday’s wine is never a problem for me–can always go into the vinegar, but the veggies take a little more creativity!

  15. I have made bread pudding only once and it was a major fail 😦 I should try this!

  16. Naomi

     /  December 19, 2014

    Such lovely nostalgia, thank you Tammy – and for this delicious-looking recipe! Your post is really heart-warming, along with the snowflakes on your blog 🙂


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