Blueberry Coconut Bread Pudding

After this chaotic weekend, I am simultaneously happy and extremely disappointed that I played the nice office admin and gave the rest of this delicious dish to my coworkers. It will all become clear shortly… Friday afternoon I got the call from Ben he would be coming home for the long weekend, including his birthday, and not only would he be coming home – but that as he called he was already on his way home.

If you heard a girl shrieking with excitement around 12:32pm last Friday, that was me. Yeah, I was that thrilled. It had only been 2 months since we’d been able to spend a full weekend together. NBD.

But whilst the girls and I were out at happy-houring-it-up and I was sitting on tenterhooks (a la Scarlet O’Hara) waiting on Ben and sipping a gin and tonic, I got a text message that said “i think im broke down”.

If you heard a girl scream in panic about 4:17 that same afternoon, that was me.

It was a about a perfect time as any for me since there were five plates of happy hour fare in front of me, and I could eat my weight in feelings and panic. And about that time I wish I had the rest of this pan at home so I could eat my weight in bread pudding feelings.

Classy, I am.

As I called Ben frantically, and was only able to get through to him via text message the lovely woman from AllState and I played phone tag relay between her, myself and Ben to get him towed to the nearest town on a holiday weekend coordinating between Washington State and Maryland. Not an easy task with a stressed fiance, a poor helpless insurance call center operator and me – the eating-my-feelings-paniced-hot-mess. You can’t write funnier stuff than this.

Thankfully Beka and Jackie were there to shove another tonic in my hands, order me a plate of bacon wrapped prawns and formulate a plan to get me to Ben, by way of stopping for a dozen cupcakes so I could continue to eat my feelings as they drove me up the mountain to get him and start my weekend. This is what real friends do.

Eating of the Feelings has Commenced.

Rescued The Ben!

An hour later we were there, rescuing the Ben – cracking him a beer to drown the worries of a broken pick up and blown (possible) head gasket. Worked like a charm. There is nothing better than these two girls to make everything right in the world – Glee sing-a-longs, cupcakes and rescuing my fiance – for the win.

Now – for the recipe. As I went into work on Thursday I decided it was best to remove the remaining pan of this bread pudding from my house and share it with my coworkers. Just in case Ben wasn’t able to make it home this weekend (which clearly he did) I didn’t want it languishing in my fridge ready for me to pounce on it like a rapid hyena in case I needed to unhinge my jaw and shovel it into my mouth to stomp out the sads if he was forced to work a 9th weekend in a row and I couldn’t see him.

Are you seeing a trend? I eat feelings for breakfast. I am that girl. Don’t act like you haven’t done the same.

The blueberries speckling this bread pudding just scream spring and the coconut adds in a sweet balance to the tart berries. And a tropical note too – which never hurts anybody. And even now as I write about this, I’m almost sad I played the good office admin and took it to them. It sounds really good about now…

Bread pudding and I go way back. My childhood was filled with my mother’s slightly obsession and all out weakness for the dessert which I could only describe as “old people food”. It was a texture thing. But at 13, who really likes what their parents like? From their childhood food favorites to their choice of pleated pants – not much.

Now – 13 years later – I am 26 and luurrrvvee myself some bread pudding. The obvious carb-oholic nature of the dessert just gets me every time.

Yield: 8

Blueberry Coconut Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

1 loaf French Bread, cubed

1 quart Milk, at least 1%

2 cups Sugar

5 eggs, whisked

2 Tbsp Vanilla

1 1/2 tsp Coconut Extract (optional)

1/2 cup Shredded Coconut

2 cups Blueberries

1 cup Strawberries, hulled and quartered

Non-stick cooking spray


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

In very large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut extract.

Place cubed bread into a 13x9 inch pan, making sure to pack as much of it into the pan as possible so that it fits tightly. Sprinkle berries in between cubes of bread, moving the pieces out of the way to make sure it is distributed evenly. Sprinkle top with shredded coconut.

Pour milk/egg mixture over the top of the bread and berries.

Place into pre-heated oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until the middle is no longer soppy and the milk flows freely. If the top begins to brown too much, loosely tent with aluminum foil. Continue to bake until middle is not jiggly.

Remove from oven and set on rack to cool. Serve warm or place in fridge and serve cold.