A good number of years ago an English friend of mine asked me casually if I liked bread and butter pudding. Bread and butter pudding is something a bit like toad-in-the-hole to me - it was something I had heard of on our anglo-centric TV but never actually come across in the 'flesh'. Given I was about 27 at the time, I felt a tad embarrassed to admit I had never even seen it let alone tasted it so I nonchalantly said yes. She delved into her hand bag and took out a Tupperware box, extracted two pieces of one she'd prepared earlier, looking rather pleased with herself. The first thing I noticed was a somewhat fusty smell and a vaguely turquoise colour. It wasn't appealing but I bit in thinking - how bad can it be? It was vile. It was like licking on a damp patch on the wall of a derelict Victorian house. I cannot evoke the taste of mould strongly enough. I instantly noted to myself that if that was bread and butter pudding, I would run a hundred miles the next time anyone asked that fateful question about my likes and dislikes.
So time passed and for fifteen years I managed to avoid the stuff until one day I came in to the TV room to find Thomas watching a cookery programme. He turned to me and said the fateful words: Do you like bread and butter pudding? I described my feelings on the topic to the nth degree much to his surprise. He seemed disappointed and said it had actually looked appealing. He rewound the programme and showed me. I had to admit it did look appealing and it wasn't turquoise. He googled the actual recipe the programme used and made it. I tentatively approached my nose - no damp, no mould, no fust... It looked delicious. It tasted wonderful. I had two portions! I can only assume bread and butter pudding falls into two schools of thought. The first take mouldy bread and instead of handing it out to the local ducks, they throw on three old raisins, a teaspoonful of egg, a dash of (off?) milk and quickly chuck it in the oven. The second take the freshest bread, the extra special spices and raisins, double cream custard and soak it all day before baking it till golden and succulent.
I am definitely a camp two b and b girl.