Sydney has suddenly remembered winter is coming, and we had better start to prepare for it. For the past week, the mornings have had a decidedly wintry vibe. My light weight coats look more inviting in the evenings. Even in our temperate winters, there is something bracing about walking into a gust of cold wind, knowing that you are well wrapped up and no cold air can sneak under your collar or around your fingers.
Summer (and summer picnics), it’s been nice, see you on the other side.
On a brighter note, autumn and winter can be a good time to visit towns and attractions on the northern or southern coastline that are often overrun by weekenders and tourists in summer. We did exactly that this weekend, meandering through 2-3 cities and towns, and ending up at the start of the southern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range overlooking a valley that is still green from summer. Our accommodation – just outside the nearest town – was low-key yet unexpectedly good. The highlight for me was finding a rickety old set of home-made swings in a corner of the garden, and swinging on it until I got the neighbours’ labradors’ attention. I think they wanted a go too.
Earlier in the week, I made a poshed-up version of bread and butter pudding that seemed an apt way to ease us into the rusticating weekend. It also used up the mountain of brioche I had made a few days ago (brioche-specific post(s) coming up). Both Mr Gander and I have had some pretty uninspiring examples of this pudding in the past. Sometimes, the bread just tastes like stale bread, or the custard is too thin, too sweet, or there just isn’t enough excitement to make me forget that I’m eating soggy bread. This recipe was a little different, and I felt more confident it would succeed in winning us over to bread and butter style puddings.
And succeed it did. (as Yoda might say)
Brioche is very thinly sliced (frozen brioche was easy to slice thinly), and placed in a cake or loaf pan in alternating layers with thin slices of brandy-scented apples. A vanilla custard-like mixture is poured over, left to soak up for an hour, and baked.