|Occupy Poughkeepsie Encampment 11/3/11|
I decided to make a bread pudding because there was a large quantity of donated bread at the encampment and I wanted to make something that would use it up before it spoiled. Since the bread already wasn't vegan and I didn't know how to make a vegan bread pudding (though I'm sure it can be done), I made this dish vegetarian, but it does contain egg and dairy.
I started by taking 2 loaves of bread, one white and one wheat and tearing them into rough pieces into a large baking dish. I scattered a handful of raisins over the bread and fluffed and mixed everything together with my hands.
A few weeks ago, I roasted a large 'Long Island Cheese' variety pumpkin in the oven, scooped out the flesh and mashed it. This I froze in containers for future uses like this dish. In a large mixing bowl, I put 4 cups of pureed pumpkin. I added 8 small eggs. I get my eggs from a farmers market and this particular batch of eggs were small. If you have regular large eggs, I'd say use 6. I added 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp nutmeg, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt and about 1.5 cups of half and half and beat this together until smooth.
I poured the pumpkin/egg mixture over the bread and gently mixed it in until every piece of bread was sopping in pumpkin goodness.
The whole pan went into the oven at 375F. I wasn't sure how long to cook it, so I checked on it every so often. After about an hour, I judged it was done because a knife inserted into the center came out clean. The smell was beyond heavenly.
After removing it from the oven, I covered the top with aluminum foil, wrapped the whole dish in a blanket, and drove it directly to Occupy Poughkeepsie in Hulme Park. When I arrived at the park, I opened the hatch of my car and the aroma immediately attracted a trio of Occupiers to help carry the food down to the camp. It was a cold night and even though the soup was also popular, most people there, including me, ate dessert first - and who can blame us?