My favorite culinary event, the Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival, will return this coming Sunday, September 28, in my beloved Hawley, Massachusetts, after a five-year hiatus–an even longer hiatus if you consider the fact that the most recent festival (in 2009) took place in Charlemont, not in Hawley.
Centering around a contest, the day is a whole lot of fun.
Good food, good scenery, good music, and good company. A perfect combination.
I hope readers who can will attend this festival—and perhaps enter a pudding! Here is the schedule for the day:
Puddings arrive at the Hawley Grove in East Hawley. (We ask a $15 entry fee. And please bring the recipe!)
Free tour of nearby Sidehill Farm (a wonderful organic dairy farm, and a donor to the contest).
Lunch. (Donation requested.)
Pudding parade, entertainment, and announcement of the contest winner(s). Puddings will be available for tasting after the judging—although you eat at your own risk!
Here’s a pudding to get you salivating. I was going to make it on TV last week, but we ran out of time so you see it in the video but don’t watch the preparation. It’s simple, and a variation on it is a frequent entry in the contest.
To make it more local, I used Taza Chocolate. Taza is a company in Somerville, Massachusetts, that buys organic cacao beans and stone grinds them. They sent me some chocolate to play with (they also generously donated a chocolate sampler as a prize in the pudding contest) so I used their cinnamon chocolate discs to make the pudding.
The recipe as it stands here is only gently chocolaty. If you are a major chocoholic, feel free to add more chocolate.
And if you’d like more information about the Pudding Festival, visit its website.
1 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ounce Taza chocolate (from a disc; you choose the flavor!)
2 tablespoons sweet butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons grated Taza chocolate
1 cup boiling water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Into a bowl sift 3/4 cup of the sugar with the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the milk and vanilla.
Melt the ounce of chocolate and the butter together in a double boiler. Add them to the other mixture. Pour this batter into a greased small 1-1/2- to 2-quart casserole dish.
Blend the brown sugar, the remaining white sugar, and the grated chocolate, and sprinkle them on top of the batter. Pour the water over all. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Serves 6 to 8.
I can’t leave you without a cute story. As you’ll see in the video below, I occasionally call myself the Queen of Pudding. (This distinguishes me from the winner of the Pudding Contest, who is known as the Pudding Head.)
At the end of Mass Appeal everyone was invited to eat pudding. One of the other guests took a bite, looked at me, and exclamed, “You really ARE the Queen of Pudding!”
I had to fluff up my feathers just a little. Well, maybe a lot.
Here is my video preview of the Pudding Festival. The corn pudding recipe will come soon!