Friday, February 24, 2012

Gracious Mount Vernon


This beautiful estate, located along the Potomac River, in Mount Vernon, Virginia, was George Washington's dignified and cherished home. He inherited the property from his half-brother Lawrence, who named it Mount Vernon after Admiral Edward Vernon, whom he served under in the Caribbean. George continually improved the property, by doubling the size of the Mansion house, re-shaping and adding a series of gardens, and buying surrounding property to increase the size from 2,126 acres to approximately 8,000 acres! Over time, the "farm" would include vineyards, orchards, a dairy, a sawmill, a flour mill, a small fleet of fishing boats, and a distillery! With the exception of some nauseating color schemes within the Mansion house, Mount Vernon is quite impressive and definitely worth a visit! 

If you're ever in the Washington, D.C. area, I strongly recommend setting aside an entire day to tour the property. While you're there, don't forget to grab a bite at the charming Mount Vernon Inn, featuring Virginia Peanut and Chestnut Soup, pies similar to Chicken Pot Pie for Realists, and "Homemade Bread Pudding." This is the original recipe, featured in Gourmet magazine. More creamy custard than bread pudding, it is deceptively delicious, reminiscent of french toast. I recommend serving this piping hot, straight out of the oven, so pop it in when you begin your meal to truly enjoy this colonial treat.


Homemade Bread Pudding

Serves 8

Ingredients:

2 cups fine dry bread crumbs (I made from leftover baguette, crusts removed)
4 cups half-and-half
1 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 large eggs, beaten lightly
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, let the bread crumbs soak in the half-and-half for 6 minutes, stir in the sugar, butter, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, eggs, vanilla, and the raisins. Pour into a buttered 13x9" baking dish. Put the dish in a larger baking pan, pour enough hot water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the dish, and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, or until it is golden.

No comments:

Post a Comment