Posts Tagged ‘Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival’

Pudding Festival Results

Monday, October 6th, 2014
Puding Head Leslie Clark is crowned by judge Damon Herring. Courtesy of the Recorder.

Pudding Head Leslie Clark is crowned by judge Damon Herring. Courtesy of the Recorder.

Last week the Sons & Daughters of Hawley, the historical society in my small town, hosted the intermittent but always highly enjoyable Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival.

This event started out as the launching event for my Pudding Hollow Cookbook—and kept going because it was so much darn fun on its own. The person who wins the pudding contest that is the centerpiece of the festival is dubbed the new Pudding Head.

This year’s Pudding Head actually lives in the Hawley’s Pudding Hollow district, the home of Abigail Baker, who won a pudding contest in Hawley in about 1780. (Note: I’m old, but I’m not that old. Her pudding contest was the inspiration for, not the launch of, my book.)

Leslie Clark moved to town in August and lives right next door to me! She is proving to be a terrific neighbor and a darn good cook.

Here is Leslie’s prize-winning recipe. I haven’t tasted it yet, but from the judges’ reactions and from the ingredients, I know I will love it.

Remember readers, you have only five years to work on your recipes for the next festival! (Next year, the Sons & Daughters plan a men’s pie-baking contest.)

This event isn’t just delicious. It’s also a tribute to the power of community … and of course of food!

Leslie's puddweb

Leslie’s Luscious Coconut Cream Custard

from 2014 Pudding Head Leslie Clark of Hawley, Massachusetts

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 eggs
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5.4-ounce) can coconut cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup shredded coconut

Instructions:

Met the sugar in a pan with the cinnamon. Spread this melted syrup in the bottom and sides of a baking bowl, reserving about 1/4 cup for later decoration. Allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using a hand or electric mixer, blend the eggs, liquids, and nutmeg for 5 minutes. Pour this mixture into the sugar-lined baking bowl. Top with shredded coconut uniformly.

Bake in a bain marie (hot-water bath) for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean.

Re-melt the reserved sugar and cinnamon, and drizzle them on top of the cooked custard. Sprinkle a little extra coconut on top. Allow to cool before serving. (This pudding is best served at room temperature.)

Serves 8. (Servings should be small; this pudding is rich!)

posterweb

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.

pudding talkweb

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]

Pudding Perfection

Sunday, November 15th, 2009
The Winner!

The Winner!

 
I know! I’ve been posting TOO MANY SWEET RECIPES lately.
 
But I haven’t yet written about this year’s Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival. So here’s a brief report for pudding fans along with the winning recipe, a (gulp!) sweet pudding.
 
Save it for Thanksgiving when the calories will be just a small part of the day.
 
Our Day of Pudding was exhausting—and exhilarating—and just plain fun.
 
Its spooky scheduling (Halloween!) this year was an accident—the result of musical director Alice Parker’s busy schedule. We were a little worried that having the festival on this busy day would reduce attendance, but we had no choice so we decided to do it anyway.
 
It turns out that Halloween is a GREAT day for puddings! Several contestants (and even members of the general public) came in costume. Everyone seemed to enjoy the new prizes for best costume, spookiest pudding, and best pumpkin pudding.
 
Our wonderful judges—Edie Clark of Yankee magazine, Kathleen Wall of Plimoth Plantation, and Michaelangelo Wescott of the Gypsy Apple Bistro—had to work extra hard this year.
 
In the past we have held a semi-final round a few weeks before the big day to cull our finalists down to a manageable 15. This year the Sons & Daughters of Hawley had a heavy schedule and couldn’t face adding the semi-finals to it.
 
The judges therefore had all 27 entries to work on. I have a feeling their digestive systems are only now recovering from the experience!
 
If we had cut off entries earlier, however, the panel wouldn’t have been able to taste the pudding that won this year.
 
Paula Zindler of Cummington, Massachusetts, told me she only decided to enter the contest the week before Halloween. Her pumpkin gingerbread pudding delighted both the eyes and the taste buds.
 
As always, our entertainment took a lighthearted look at the culinary history of my hometown of Hawley, Massachusetts. “The Witches of Pudding Hollow” stirred up a big pot of potion and a lot of fun for thespians and audience members alike.
 
To read Edie Clark’s description of the judging process, please visit her blog. And if you’d like to see more photos of our big day, please go to the Pudding Festival web site. Meanwhile, here is Paula’s winning pudding recipe.
 
 
The Witches of Pudding Hollow (I'm the short witch in the middle) sing about their brew.

The Witches of Pudding Hollow (I'm the short witch in the middle) sing about their brew.

 
Paula’s Pumpkin Gingerbread Pudding
 
for the Pumpkin Gingerbread:
 
Ingredients:
 
1-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons melted sweet butter
1/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
 
Instructions:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a loaf pan well; then line the bottom with buttered waxed paper. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.
 
Combine the wet ingredients in a large bowl and beat until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stirring until smooth.
 
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pan, covered with plastic wrap.
 
Cut the loaf into quarter-inch slices and line a 10-inch buttered ovenproof dish with the slices. (The dish must have 2-inch sides.) Set aside.
 
for the Vanilla Custard and Assembly:
 
Ingredients:
 
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
 
Instructions:
 
Combine the milk, cream, and sugar in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool by stirring for 5 minutes.
 
Combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat lightly until well blended. Quickly whisk 1/2 cup of the slightly cooled milk into the egg mixture and then slowly pour the egg mixture into the milk pot, whisking continuously over low heat.
 
When the milk mixture just begins to put off steam, remove it from the heat and pour it into the baking dish. Allow the custard to soak into the bread for 10 minutes.
 
Place the baking dish into a pan of hot water in a 350 oven for 50 minutes or until the custard is set. Enjoy at any temperature.
 
Serves 8 to 10. 
 
Crowning the Winner
Crowning the Winner

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Cyndie’s Cheesy Corn Pudding

Monday, October 19th, 2009
 
Cheesy Corn Puddingweb2 
 
With LESS THAN TWO WEEKS to go before the Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival, I thought I’d post another pudding recipe. I hope it inspires readers to enter the festival’s gala pudding contest.
 
This year’s festival falls on October 31 so I’m offering a recipe from the Queen of Halloween in my hometown of Hawley, Massachusetts, town clerk Cyndie Stetson.
 
Each autumn the spooky display outside Cyndie’s home on West Hawley Road dazzles those of us who drive by. It offers a number of vignettes—a pumpkin crossing, a mad scientist’s lab, a witch’s lair, and a pirate ship—plus assorted spider webs, severed limbs, tombstones, and ghosts.
 
Cyndie1web
 
Indoors, Cyndie celebrates with Halloween jewelry, lights, dolls, and crawling creatures, plus (my personal favorite) an orange cocktail shaker and matching martini glasses.
 
Cyndie assures me she is entering this year’s contest. Two years ago her Autumn Comfort Pudding won the top award, and she has placed as a finalist several times.
 
The hearty pudding recipe below made it to the finals a few years back. It’s perfect comfort food for our current chilly, drippy weather.
 
I plan to adapt it soon. I’d like to substitute standard ingredients for the muffin mix. I’d also like to experiment with a Southwestern version and add a little chipotle and/or cumin. Meanwhile, below lies the easy version from the Queen of Halloween herself.
 
Before I give you the recipe, I want to let readers know about my new book giveaway. In keeping with the season, I am holding a drawing for a copy of The Perfect Pumpkin by Gail Damerow. The book offers a little history, a little advice on cultivation, and a number of tasty-looking recipes.
 
perfpum
 
Anyone who takes out an email subscription to this blog will be eligible for the drawing, which will take place at approximately midnight EDT next Monday, October 26. This includes current subscribers, of course (I hope you’ll spread the word to your friends)! If you’re not a subscriber and would like to sign up, please click on the link below.
 
 
Good luck! And now, here’s Cyndie’s recipe…….
 
Cyndie2web
 
Ingredients:
 
1 8-1/2-ounce box corn muffin mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sour cream
1 14-3/4 ounce can cream-style corn, with liquid
1 15-1/4 ounce can whole-kernel corn, with liquid
1 medium onion, diced and sautéed in olive oil
1 medium green or red bell pepper, diced and sautéed in olive oil
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (use a little more for ultimate cheesy-ness)
1 dash each salt and pepper
 
Instructions:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, blend all the ingredients well. Place them in a well greased 11-by-7 inch baking pan or round 2-quart casserole dish.
 
Bake the pudding until it is lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This will take about an hour, but start checking after about 45 minutes. Serves 6 as a main dish or 8 to 10 as a side dish.
 
Cyndie (right) was surprised at her pudding-contest victory in 2007.

Cyndie (right) was surprised at her pudding-contest victory in 2007.

It’s Almost Pudding Time!

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
Pudding Festival poster web copy 
As many readers know, one of my favorite fall activities is the Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival. This yearly homage to small-town life and food blends many of my passions–food, music, humor, and hammy acting.
 
The poster above (designed by Leon Peters of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts–thanks, Lee!) should give you some idea of the colorful yet homey nature of this event.
 
This year’s festival will take place on Saturday, October 31 (yes, Halloween!), at the Federated Church on Route 2 in Charlemont, Massachusetts.
 
Entries to the contest portion of the day are due by 11 am that morning so PLEASE START THINKING ABOUT MAKING A PUDDING. And tell your friends about this event.
 
(Those who have entered in past years may wonder why we’re not having a pre-contest to narrow down finalists. The Sons & Daughters of Hawley have gotten so darn busy lately that we couldn’t find a date on which our volunteers could schedule it. Think how much more exciting this will be!)
 
If you enter, you will have fun, contribute to a great cause (the $12 entry fee goes to our historical-society building project), and probably get at least a very small prize (we have quite a few!).
 
Entries need not be elaborate. As you can see from our contest information pages, our definition of the word “pudding” is highly flexible.
 
Non-cooks may shop, eat a yummy lunch, and watch the free fabulous entertainment.
 
We’ll get everyone home in time for trick-or-treating!
 
If you have questions about the day or if you’d like to volunteer to help, please use the contact form on this blog to get in touch with me, Tinky.
 
The contest web site includes a list of prizes and pictures of last year’s festivities.
 
Here’s the winning recipe from 2006 to get you in a pudding mood. The winner, Leigh Bullard of Virginia, blended two of my favorite flavors, chocolate and mint. (Obviously, the combination appealed to the judges as well.)
 
Chocolate Mint Pudding for web
 
Michael’s Almost Famous Chocolate Mint Pudding
 
Ingredients:
 
1 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate, preferably a good brand
2 tablespoons sweet butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup boiling water
whipped cream and crushed peppermint (if desired) as needed for garnish
 
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, vanilla, and peppermint extract.
 
Melt the chocolate and 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 cocoa, and sprinkle them on top of the batter. Pour the water over all. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream (or ice cream) and peppermint if desired. Serves 6 to 8.
 
The 2006 Pudding Head samples her entry.

The 2006 Pudding Head samples her entry.