Maybe it’s my introspective nature. Maybe it’s the fact I’m good blogger. Or perhaps (most likely) it is some combination of the two. But the fact of the matter is I spend a lot of time thinking about food – about the role it plays in my life, my likes and dislikes, and especially lately, the interplay between my broader life outside the kitchen and the foods I like to make.
Yes, somewhere between the grocery store and my kitchen I recently noticed a particular pattern in my cooking, one that seems to play out reliably over time. You see, there appears to be an inverse relationship between the amount of challenge going on in my general life and the amount I seek out in my kitchen.
Find me when my day job is slow or life seems too easy, and I’ll be all about crazy feats in the kitchen, the more bold, absurd, or daring the better. It’s like I need the mental and gastronomic challenge to remind myself that I’m alive and that there is always more that can be done to learn and grow.
But if you find me when I’m feeling my day to day life, quite honestly, sucks, I’m exactly the opposite. I gravitate toward easy, comforting foods I cannot screw up. (Because nothing is more tear-enducing for me than burning something when you’ve already had a completely awful day.) I even follow recipes. I like safe, familiar flavors that feel a bit like curling up in your childhood bed.
That’s where I’ve been at lately. Between making the decision to abandon the beginnings of a new romantic relationship and losing what I thought was my dream condo through failed negotiations over price, I was feeling pretty down, to put it mildly. I knew it was certainly NOT the worst adversity I or others had ever been faced with, but that still didn’t mean I was capable of dealing with it all and feeling cheery all the while.
And so I turned to a recipe I knew could help me get through it – chocolate bread pudding.
I love bread pudding. Any recipe that makes use of old stale bread and turns it into something delightful and wonderful is generally a pretty forgiving recipe in my opinion. And this one was perfect for my current needs – no exotic ingredients, no tricky steps, just one ticket to absurdly indulgent, chocolatey perfection. Followed to the “T” it was absolutely luscious, but I can imagine it would be even better were the bread given more time to soak up all the rich custard or if I had used some intense fine chocolate instead of standard Hershey’s chocolate chips. But if you want to follow it to a “T,” like I did. I think you’ll find the results are pretty delightful too. I’m not going to repost the recipe here since I cannot say I made a single contribution to the recipe, but I think it is well worth checking out here.
What about you? Do the day to day events effect what you like to make?