from Janet Marsh of the Highland Bookshop Mysteries by Molly MacRae
Hi, it’s Janet Marsh, checking in from Inversgail, Scotland. We’re all reasonably well, here. No – I can’t really say “all.” Malcolm Murray was found dead in a patch of thistles after a cycling mishap. And again, no – I can’t really say “mishap.”
We think it’s murder. There – I can say that. We, meaning Constable Norman Hobbs and my business partners and I (known only to ourselves as SCONES – the Shadow Constabulary of Nosy, Eavesdropping Snoops). The Road Policing Unit specialists still have questions about the incident. Inspector Russell of the Major Investigation Team has even more infuriating questions – and by “questions” I mean wrong ideas about our involvement. That is not comforting.
Comfort food is an antidote for all things, though, don’t you think? Here’s a recipe for bread pudding that does the trick. Did I say that it has dark chocolate and ginger? It does. And that really does the trick. This version is a recipe my children and I have been tinkering with for about 30 years. We’re pretty well satisfied with it at this point. Let me know what you think, if you try it.
Bread Pudding with Dark Chocolate and Ginger
Preheat oven to 350º F.
½ c. chocolate chips (semisweet or darker)
¼ c. crystallized ginger, chopped
4-6 slices old bread or leftover rolls or buns sliced horizontally into ½ -inch pieces (enough to make 2 layers in an 8” x 8” x 2” baking dish) white bread is fine, whole wheat is great, rye a little strange. If you don’t have old bread, lightly toast fresh bread.
2 c. milk (dry nonfat, 2%, whole, or half-and-half – however indulgent you feel)
½ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Butter – enough to spread on one side of each piece of bread
Put half the bread, buttered side up, in a greased 8” x 8” x 2” baking dish.
Sprinkle half the chocolate chips over the bread and the rest of the bread, buttered side up, over them.
Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and chopped ginger.
Heat the milk and sugar just until steaming. Stir in vanilla.
Beat the eggs, then gradually stir in the hot milk.
Pour over the mixture over the bread.
Bake, uncovered 25-30 minutes, or until the top is beginning to brown and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Serve warm, cold, or reheated.
Thistles and Thieves, book 3 in the Highland Bookshop Mysteries, is available in hardback, e-book, and audiobook in bookstores and online, and in libraries.
The women of Yon Bonnie Books return in the latest Highland Bookshop Mystery, now embroiled in the death of a local doctor, which sets off a chain of other curious—and deadly—events.
Molly MacRae writes the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, connect with her on Twitter or Instagram.