Posts Tagged ‘Pudding’

Return of the Pudding Festival

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Chocolate Pudding Cakeweb

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:

11 a.m.
Puddings arrive at the Hawley Grove in East Hawley. (We ask a $15 entry fee. And please bring the recipe!)
11:15 a.m.
Free tour of nearby Sidehill Farm (a wonderful organic dairy farm, and a donor to the contest).
12:30 p.m.
Lunch. (Donation requested.)
1:30 p.m.
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.

Cinnamon Taza

Taza Chocolate Pudding Cake

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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.

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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!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_MOEL8OZjk&list=UUhrpfuBCFEPoURYVpsi4iHw[/youtube]

Tinky Goes Yankee

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

tinkyankweb

 

I don’t usually put posts on my blog that merely link to other web sites, but today I’m making an exception. The new issue of Yankee magazine is now OUT—and it features an article on me, Tinky Weisblat. I’m the star of the March/April “Best Cook in Town” feature by veteran Yankee writer Edie Clark.

 

Edie called last fall just before the semi-final rounds of my annual Pudding Hollow Pudding Contest. She needed to interview someone THAT WEEK and hoped it could be I, preparing an original pudding recipe. I was a little taken aback since I had to test seven other puddings for the semi-finals, but I love being famous. So of course I said yes and scrambled together a recipe for something called Cozy Apple Pudding.

 

We had a lovely visit despite the chaos. One of Edie’s greatest assets as a reporter is that she seems like an old friend the minute she walks in the door. She worked and chatted with my mother and me as we cooked and even sat through a rehearsal of my signature song for the Pudding Contest, “Find Me a Man I Can Cook For” by my neighbor Alice Parker. Of course, Alice joined us for pudding.

 

I encourage you to run right out and buy an issue of Yankee. In it you’ll find Edie’s interview with me; my apple pudding recipe (made with apples plucked from the tree in my front yard!); and the recipe for one of my favorite entries in the Pudding Contest, Greek Eggplant Pudding by Nancy Argeris.

 

If you must read the article right away, you may look at it online, but I think I look a little thinner in the print version so naturally I want to steer you toward it!

 

Besides, it’s a great magazine with terrific taste in cooks…….

Ninety Years in the Making

Thursday, September 25th, 2008
My Mother
My Mother

Tomorrow– September 26, 2008–my mother Jan turns 90. (Obviously, she was incredibly old when I was born since I’m only 39.)

For years and years she took care of me, exhibiting common sense, humor, and a complete inability to feel guilt. I have never been able to fathom that last characteristic. I feel guilty at the drop of a hat. If my mother makes a mistake, she says, “Oh, well”; apologizes; and promptly forgets about the whole matter. I think her non-guilt is one of the things that has kept her going all these years.
 
These days, of course, it would be fairer to say that we take care of each other. She had polio in the early 1950s, and her balance is far from good. She gets frailer by the month. She frequently forgets to eat (something I can’t imagine myself doing, alas, even at 90!). Consequently, she needs a little help getting around, fixing meals, turning on the television set (why is it that remotes become increasingly difficult to use even as the American population ages?), remembering which pills to take. I give that help cheerfully—most of the time.
 
She still helps me as well, however. When I’m cooking something challenging she pitches in in the kitchen, serving as sous chef and dishwasher. When I’m frazzled she calms me down. Best of all, she provides an example of cheer and grace I’d love to emulate. We don’t always agree, but we always appreciate each other.
 
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The year after I graduated from Mount Holyoke College, I visited the campus and fulfilled one of my undergraduate dreams by attending the weekly faculty happy hour. I met Roger Holmes, a professor emeritus who had known my mother in the 1930s. I asked him whether he remembered her and rattled off her maiden name and graduation year. He sipped his drink, nodded, and murmured appreciatively, “Short and full of life.” Those five words still describe Jan Hallett Weisblat pretty darn well.
 
Here’s a pudding my mother entered in the 2006 Pudding Hollow Pudding Contest. She obtained the recipe from her mother, Clara Engel Hallett, who taught her to cook as Jan taught me to cook. It’s lovely and light—and tastes even better with key-lime juice and rind instead of lemon. I’m thinking of putting a candle on top and using it as a birthday cake tomorrow.
 
 

 
Clara’s Lemon Angel Pudding
 
Ingredients:
 
6 eggs, divided
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 pinches salt
1 envelope gelatin, dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
1/2 large (or 1 small) angel-food cake, broken into bite-sized pieces
1 cup heavy cream, whipped and sweetened
lemon peel for garnish
 
Instructions:
 
Beat together the egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, the lemon juice, and 1 pinch salt. Cook over a double boiler until the mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the dissolved gelatin.
 
Beat together the egg whites, remaining sugar, and remaining salt until stiff. Fold the whites gently into the custard mixture. In a trifle bowl (or another decorative bowl), alternate layers of the custard and pieces of cake, beginning and ending with the custard. Chill the mixture at least from morning to night, preferably for 24 hours.
 
Just before serving, cover the top with whipped cream, and grate some lemon peel on top for color. Serves 10.
 
For more information about the Pudding Hollow Pudding Contest, visit its web page.
 
Here’s a later update to this post, adding a couple of photographs from my mother’s 90th birthday party, which was a joyous occasion. The first photograph depicts my sister-in-law Leigh and my nephew Michael getting ready to decorate her birthday cake, or rather her birthday cakes; each of them decorated one! The second depicts the finished cakes. You can probably guess who decorated each. Leigh’s aesthetic philosophy is “less is more,” and Michael’s is “more is more.”
 
The final picture is one we all treasure, a photograph of my mother (left) with her younger brother Bruce Hallett and baby sister Lura Hallett Smith. We were thrilled to have all three siblings together for the celebration.
 

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