Raisins in the Pudding

Almost forty years ago, as I landed in the U.S., I came across a short poem and was stunned by the powerful images.

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode? 

Written by Langston Hughes, one of the prominent leaders and moving forces of Harlem Renaissance but a total unknown in communist Russia, where I came from, it hit me with a surge of emotion I wasn’t even able to understand at that time.

Next came the play by Lorraine Hansberry, whose title was taken from Hughes’ poem, A Raisin in the Sun. It was the first in many ways: the first play written by a black woman produced on Broadway, with the first black director Lloyd Richards; for the first time, trials and tribulations of black lives were introduced to white audience, and for the first time large numbers of black spectators flocked to the theater. The New York Times remarked that this play “changed American theater forever.”

“A dream deferred” eventually exploded in the sixties, exploded violently, drenching the country in blood of some of its best sons. Their martyrdom resulted in many drastic changes. Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is gradually being realized. Certainly, there is still a long way to go, yet children all over the country spend every February learning about black history, and I think that’s an achievement in itself.

Frederick Douglas.jpg

I found it quite indicative of those positive changes when a group of my students whose assignment was to prepare a team presentation about one of the prominent people in American history, chose Frederick Douglass. All four of them (from left to right: Amelia, Rosa, Daisy, and Eduardo) came from different countries. They had a long list of illustrious personages, of different races, ethnicities, and genders, to choose from. Yet they selected a nineteenth century African-American, a former slave turned intellectual and a famous social reformer, and created a glorious tribute to his life and achievements.

R&R Bread Pudding 1.jpg

My humble contribution to this glorious tribute is a Rum and Raisins Bread Pudding. My dry raisins grow plump and juicy by soaking in rum.

R&R Bread Pudding 2.jpg

I used up my leftover spelt challah, but any bread could be used. For our purposes, spelt is gluten free, but if you have allergies or suffer from celiac disorder, please consult your physician. I break bread into bite-size pieces, rather than smallish crumbs – it retains better texture – and soak them in vanilla soy milk. I am sure any non-dairy plant-based milk substitute will work just as well. Then I add just a little Smart Balance, brown sugar, cinnamon, and those plump and juicy raisins.

R&R Bread Pudding 3.jpg

It doesn’t look very attractive yet, but wait! Dump this mess into a lightly misted with oil baking pan and bake it for about an hour.

R&R Bread Pudding 4.jpg

It must be springy to the touch and it should be coming off the sides of the pan. I dust it with unsweetened cocoa powder, but it could also be dusted with powdered sugar, if you prefer. Leave it in the oven for a few more minutes, allowing the dusting to bake in.

R&R Bread Pudding 5

As I serve it hot, in a pool of chocolate syrup, I recall one of Frederick Douglass’ famous quotes, as timely today as it was 150 years ago.

frederick-douglass-utterlyidle

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 – 8 bread slices (4 cups of bite-size pieces)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup soy or any other plant-based milk substitute
  • 1/3 cup Smart Balance or any other non-dairy butter substitute
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

PROCEDURE

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly mist round or 8 x 8 square baking pan with oil.
  • Soak raising in tum until plump, about 15 – 20 minutes. Break bread into bite-size pieces, soak in soy milk until soft. Combine all ingredients, mix gently, but thoroughly.
  • Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until springy to the touch and comes off sides easily. Dust with unsweetened cocoa or powdered sugar, leave in oven for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve hot with chocolate syrup or ice cream.

Enjoy! 

My book is available at amazon.com/author/koolkosherkitchen

 

40 Comments Add yours

  1. [ Smiles ] Oh, this is a magnificent recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Renard! It’s so basic and so easy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for pingback.

      Like

  2. spearfruit says:

    Looks great Dolly and interesting story, however I will admit I generally don’t like raisins mixed in my breads or pastries. I prefer to just eat them seperately as I know they are a good source of nutrition. Gary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But then you are missing out on rum! Only kidding. Next time you visit South Beach, I promise to serve raisins separately to you, Gary.

      Like

    1. Dear Patty, I am overwhelmed! Thank you so much for this distinction! I am reblogging it on Lasting Joy Club site. Many blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Patty says:

        Don’t forget to mention the team of Humanity Lives On, too 😉 It’s our pleasure and thank you for reblogging. XxX

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dear Patty, it would serve a much larger purpose if you go on to https://lastingjoyclub.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/token-of-appreciation/ and leave a little comment, mentioning the team of Humanity. You get much more exposure this way! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Patty says:

        Yes, good idea. Hopping over now 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Megala says:

    Wonderful pudding with raisins ! Looks absolutely delicious !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Megala; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh. My. Gosh. 🍃❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is that good or bad, darling?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, dear Gail! I was just kidding! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and thoughts. Have a good weekend. Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You too, dear friend, and thank you for your support!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear friend!

      Like

  5. chattykerry says:

    That looks delicious, Dolly. It’s a bit late but welcome to America!!! I sound entirely Scottish but was born in San Francisco. What a wonderful mix we are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Kerry! I love the idea of a mix, or a salad with many colorful ingredients, each with its own texture and flavor, rather than the old “melting pot” concept.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. chattykerry says:

        I completely agree, Dolly. There is no need for any of us to lose part of our unique heritage to be ‘united’.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There is, however, a need to learn from each other’s uniqueness and appreciate it. At least I think so! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Carol! Good to hear from you. How are you and how are the girls?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s nice to be back! B”H, we are coming along. Raizel started her new school and she is very happy! I feel like I could train parents how to advocate for their children. I am so grateful we got through it. How are you? So nice about your book!! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am busy B’H, and you should train parents, or at least motivate them to go and fight for their children!
        I am very happy to hear that Razel enjoys her new school – that’s great news!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You won’t believe this. Not only do I love “Raisin in the Sun” but I twice got to play Joseph Asagai in high school!? Mind you, I attended an all girl — and very nearly all white — high school in the Bronx, so we were rather short on male leads (LOL). The bread pudding sounds scrumptious. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! You really did – no kidding! Thank you for your lovely comment, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    Even though Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday will be celebrated next Monday, his actual birthday is today. I am repeating this recipe in his memory in in honor of African American History month.

    Like

  8. lghiggins says:

    I had to read Langston Hughes’ poem several times to let the images sink in. When we leave out any group of people–women, Blacks, Jews, etc.–ANY group of people, we take away from what we can all be individually and together!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for understanding, Linda! I tend to think that by rejecting parts of human society, the entire society loses its human identity, as evidenced by the Holocaust.

      Like

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