Pizza Night with Panettone Bread Pudding
It was a Sunday, I believe. Ben and I brought some sparkling shiraz, a family favourite. We drank while the sun was still out, the pizza oven and our appetites warming up. People often ask for my recommendations when visiting the Mornington Peninsula. Foxey's Hangout is one of my top selections. It's a classy spot, clean and simple, with small plates, a nice view and beautiful wine.
Dad had bought a pineapple. I'm not sure why....but, really, why not? Oh, wait, I remember. It was for his "gourmet" Hawaiian pizza, with smoked ham and caramelised pineapple chunks. Dad's deflection for any inelegance in life is "but I grew up in Highett!". Clearly with this jazzed-up Hawaiian pizza he was trying to make a statement as to how far he's come. We all know the truth...
Mum bought some radicchio because I said it was Ben's favourite and, as he is pretty much the golden child, whatever Ben wants he tends to get. That's cool, I get to reap the benefit of his requests and preferences, which often include good cheese and maybe a cake. And radicchio. Ain't it pretty?
Mum also made a roasted fennel and white bean dip. This stunning recipe (link) was introduced to us by Robin from Transition Farm and we're all quite smitten. It's warm and creamy, richly aniseedy and, due to my eager grating, heavy on the parmesan. Hand me a bowl of this with some bread and wine and I'll happily call it dinner.
Jackson brought his housemates, two lovely gents. Once the woodfired oven was raring, we dressed and cooked some dough (using dad's usual recipe) and together enjoyed pizza and then pudding. Bread and butter pudding, made using panettone.
Jackson and his friends are bar tenders. And as we're a family that appreciates a good cocktail, we put them to work, whipping up an on-theme cocktail to accompany the pudding. I cannot recall the ingredients (and I have an offensively good memory), so I suppose that means it was good.
This recipe is pretty special. Years ago my mum and her friend, Sally, would get their hair done together at a local salon. They would schedule their appointments for when Sally (who used to be our neighbour) was visiting. Mum and Sally would sit and talk while being groomed, enjoying a coffee and serve of panettone pudding from the cafe a few doors down. Quite obsessed with this much adored sweet, one day they finally asked for the recipe so they could make it at home. The cafe owner kindly obliged and Sally scribbled the recipe down on a piece of paper. This delicious detour caused her to miss the ferry home and spend one more night with mum. It was totally worth it. Here is the recipe for you. Share it with friends, friends who would miss their ferry in pursuit of food.