Merry Christmas!


We are all hoping your day will be an enjoyable one! We will spend the day feasting and drawing and appreciating all our blessings including you, our readers!

Merry Christmas to one and all!

John, Gracie, Bessie, Pearl, Emily, and Amelia

P.S. Can you guess who got a new ink pen as an early Christmas present? It’s a leaky, drippy, and irregular pen too! 

Bessie’s Best Ever Raisin Bread Pudding

Bessie could hardly wait to share this recipe with you. She loves this recipe because it is made in a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan! Bessie loves muffin pans because they are a good way to make sure everyone gets the same amount, and who doesn’t like deserts that are jumbo-sized?!?

The wild songbirds that visit our backyard love this recipe because we cut off the raisin bread crusts and broke them into bitesized pieces for them to eat. This is a nice “make together” recipe for both children and chickens too.

If you don’t have raisin bread, you can use regular bread. Just add your own raisins, about as many as would be in the small snack-sized boxes, and increase the amount of cinnamon from 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon. Raisin bread is not as soft and spongy as regular bread, and I think that makes it perfect for this recipe. 

Bessie’s Best Ever Raisin Bread Pudding

2 and 1/2 cups, cubed raisin bread (about 6 to 8 slices)

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg plus one egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

First, preheat your oven to 325°F. Prepare your muffin pan by coating each of the six cups with butter or cooking spray.

Trim the crusts from 6 to 8 slices of raisin bread for the songbirds. Then either cut the raisin bread into cubes with a knife or just use your fingers to pinch off pieces that are about 1/2” big. (This could be a perfect “helper” job for smaller hands.)

Place 2 and 1/2 cups of raisin bread cubes into a large bowl.

Second, in a medium bowl, add 1 cup half-and-half, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg plus one egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Whisk together until thoroughly blended.

Third, pour the egg mixture from the medium bowl into the large bowl with the raisin bread cubes.

Mix together gently with a spatula so that all of the bread cubes get covered.

Let the raisin bread cubes soak up the egg mixture for 5 full minutes.

Fourth, spoon the mixture equally into the 6 muffin pan cups. It will not be enough to fill all of them to the top, but that is okay.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes. The raisin bread puddings will rise higher than the muffin cups! Amazing! They will be soft and light like little soufflés!

Let cool slightly before serving.

Remove each carefully into a bowl and serve with ice cream, whipped cream, fresh fruit, or whatever would make them special for you. Below is a recipe for an optional sauce you can make while they are cooling in the muffin pan. (You can double the ingredients to make more, especially if you are serving with vanilla ice cream!)

Brown Sugar Sauce

3 tablespoons half-and-half

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

In a small saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons of half-and-half and 1/4 cup brown sugar and bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes while whisking. Drizzle over bread puddings.

This is not a difficult or expensive recipe. The two most expensive ingredients were the raisin bread ($1.57 store brand) and the half-and-half  ($1.55 store brand). Bessie guarantees it will be as good as the eggs you choose to use! 

Pearl’s Snowy Friends Ornaments (Christmas-Time Or Winter-Time!)

This weekend, we will finish up our decorations for Christmas. We are a little late this year, so we may need to leave everything up a little extra long after the Christmas season is over!

We designed more printable pages to share with everyone who would like to decorate along with us. Those are much more “Christmasy” than the ones we shared last week. One is in full color, and the other is in black and white outline, so you can color them any way you’d like. You can use these for garlands, ornaments, gift tags or anything else you might imagine.

And don’t think that these are just for kids! (We know some of you adults like to color and decorate too!) So, it’s time to get out those coloring pencils and crayons and markers and get ready to decorate!

In case you’re wondering about The Big Blue Hippopotamus that appears in “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens,” there is a song titled “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” sung by Gayla Peevey in 1953. Check it out on YouTube if you’d like! At first, Pearl thought Christmas was about The Big Blue Hippopotamus because people in our neighborhood had them as decorations in their front yard. That’s why it appears in the story and illustrations…and in this ornament collection as well!

Click this link for Pearl’s Snowy Friends Black & White Ornaments!

Click this link for Pearl’s Snowy Friends Color Ornaments!

These will both download through Dropbox, but you do not need to have a Dropbox account to access them!

We are using cardstock paper for ours. Both of these will print out as full letter-sized pages with generously sized drawings for those who may not be quite the best at staying inside the lines. (Don’t worry, some of my chickens have a hard time staying inside the lines too!)

Today is the last Sunday of Advent, and we hope it will be a good day for you and yours. Happy Decorating!

SPECIAL NOTE: Bessie has been worrying about being able to share a new Christmas baking recipe with everyone because nobody is laying any eggs right now, but her best friend Gracie has come through for her. She laid two eggs this week and is working on another one this morning. Be on the lookout for a new recipe soon! I’m not sure what Bessie will come up with, but I’m sure it will be good!