Greggie’s Choice

Sometimes readers of my blog have great ideas that lead to new things and new posts! A few weeks ago — Election Eve, in fact — I wrote a post called “Barack, Brits & Bananas” about a spontaneous dessert I’d come up with for a last-minute party (or more appropriately, a long-planned party I’d forgotten about until the last minute): banana rum walnut bread pudding with Nutella dulce de leche. The post prompted a comment from my friend Greg:

“And in honor of President Obama you could make it banana macadamia nut rum bread pudding. Sounds delicious either way.”

I replied that I thought that was a fine idea, and left it at that. Until, that is, I had a couple slices of stale King’s Hawaiian Bread and was cooking Hawaiian-style pork ribs for dinner one night. And Uncle Greggie’s comment came flooding back into my head.

Greg is one of my oldest, dearest friends. We used to work together back when the world was flat and thunder was a sure sign of an angry god. I began calling him Greggie, and for some reason our mutual friend, Suzanne, added the “Uncle”. Greg and I don’t see much of each other these days, but we communicate on the blog and if it wasn’t for the anniversary cards he sends each year, I’m not certain my wife and I would remember when we got married.

I would’ve liked to have served this dish to Greg. After all, it was his idea. But he lives in West Hollywood, I live in Topanga — between us there are rugged sage-covered mountains, freeways choked with starlets and screenwriters, mini-malls filled with yoga studios and fast food joints and immeasurable other obstacles in a city where driving 12 miles across town can take 90 minutes. Gregg is single and works in philanthropy and has an active social life with his friends; I am married and work at home and have an active social life slogging wine and margaritas with other frazzled parents who live nearby. Our paths, sadly, don’t cross often enough. So I served the dessert to my wife and children, who are always happy to sample an experimental sweet.

I wonder if the bread pudding would stir fond memories for our 44th president? If anyone knows the Man, maybe they could forward this post to him. Also, I’ve got a Shepard Fairey lithograph that would be worth a lot more if I could get the prez’s signature on it. I’m just saying…

*   *   *

Banana macadamia nut rum bread pudding with coconut syrup
serves 4-6

2 thick slices King’s Hawaiian bread, cut into pieces
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 banana, chopped
1 ounce good rum
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup coconut syrup

Combine the milk, eggs and sugar in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Toss in the bread chunks. Cut the bananas into 1/2-inch slices and toss into the bread mixture along with the macadamia nuts and the rum. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 375, and boil some water in a kettle. Pour coconut syrup into a medium size baking dish (I used a 9-inch square Corningware) to cover the bottom. Stir the bread mixture, and pour over the top of the coconut syrup. Pour 1/2 inch of boiling water into a larger baking pan, and place the bread pudding dish inside that to make a double boiler. Place in oven and loosely cover the bread pudding with foil. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until bread is beginning to turn golden. Remove from oven.

Let cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the bread pudding from the sides of the baking dish. Place a large charger or serving plate on top of the bread pudding, and turn over, shaking the baking dish to loosen the pudding, which should fall onto the plate. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream, if you’d like.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Greggie
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 00:50:03

    Uncle Greggie’s mouth is watering at that picture. It’s actually a recipe that even I might be able to attempt. It sounds and looks delicious. Though I have no direct connection the White House, I am sure that the President would like to share such a sweet Hawaiian treat with Michelle and their girls. You can’t have just apple slices and gluten free nonfat unsweetened desserts all the time. Thank you Sean for the post and years of friendship.


    • scolgin
      Dec 18, 2012 @ 00:59:15

      Thank YOU for the inspiration and, likewise, the many great years of friendship! I was going to include a photo of you but can you believe, after all that, I don’t have a single photo of ANYONE from the Museum Project??


  2. Jessamine in PDX
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 04:34:27

    Oh god yes — this looks amazing! Anything with coconut syrup is sure to be a winner but add rum and macadamia nuts and I’m a goner.


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