(and a rant about falconry)

I like to pretend I’m a sophisticated world traveler, so naturally I’m on Conde Nast Traveler’s mailing list. I like to imagine my private suite on the world’s most luxurious plane en route to a treehouse hotel in Sweden. A reliable source of information about rich, WASPy people’s pastimes and peregrinations, Conde Nast Traveler informed me this week that falconry is making a comeback. No, that wasn’t a typo. FALCONRY. You should stop reading right now if you’re part of this falconry resurgence or, better yet, hit me up because I have MANY questions.

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After aggressively IMing Boyfriend “What the hell is falconry? You just have a falcon sit on your arm? I don’t get it”, he explained that yes, indeed, it involves a union of falcon and arm. Wait, whaaaat? That doesn’t absolutely thrill you?

Apparently, falconry is also about having your trusty falcon hunt small animals like mice and rabbits. Big whoop. It gets better. You also “put a little hood on your falcon so it doesn’t get distracted when it’s not hunting.” Little hood? Falcon distraction? There are no words.

So if you’re all, “Cool. I like dressing my pets up in cute little costumes. Sign me up,” there’s more. You have to train it and make sure it likes you.

A) When the hell did hobbies become so hard to come by that falconry seemed like a reasonable option?

B) If you’re all about the hunting, don’t delegate your interests to an easily-distracted minion and

C) Aim higher than mice. I’m never impressed when someone’s like, “Hey, my falcon caught a mouse.” Again, big whoop.

D) If you want to cultivate hobbies where you get things to do stuff for you, get a tiny robot to vacuum your floor or learn to code and make the internet your bitch, like me.

You know what’s so much more rewarding than training an ugly, un-cuddly bird to not bite you and to kill tiny animals? Making the BEST EVER bread pudding. Yep, that’s right, I weaved baking and falconry together. [hearty back pat]

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In the spirit of legitimate pastimes, I’m sharing my latest creation - a warm, cozy cardamom nutella bread pudding. So while falconry is on the “things that suck” end of my spectrum, bread pudding is on the “things that rock my world” end. And I’m not quite sure I can guarantee this will rock you world, buttttt I’m fairly confident it will. With the yummy spice of cardamom and a wonderful layer of nutella, this is the ultimate winter treat.

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On that note, I should say if you know of any other fascinating facts about falconry or other ridiculous pastimes, please do share. Maybe we can have a falconry tirade part duex.

Cardamom Nutella Bread Pudding

Serves 6 - 8 people (depending on your guests’ sense of self-control)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 6 cups of your bread of choice (I prefer challah)
  • 1 cup Nutella

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix the heavy cream, eggs, and sugar together.
  3. Cut the bread into pieces (I like 1 - 2 inch cubes). If you like, you can cut the crusts off, although I find that unnecessary.
  4. Add the bread to the cream mixture and gently stir until all the bread is well-moistened. Let the soaked bread sit for a few minutes to absorb some of the liquidy goodness.
  5. Layer one third of the bread into a buttered or PAM-ed 9-inch springform pan (or an appropriately-sized casserole dish if you have one)
  6. Spoon half of the Nutella over the first bread layer
  7. Layer another third of the bread over that, followed by the remaining Nutella, and finally the remaining bread.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about one hour (or more like 1 hour and 15 for me with my springform pan). Keep an eye on it, since the time will vary depending on the which baking dish you choose to use. I like to use the toothpick rule to check if it’s ready - stick a clean toothpick in the middle, and check if it comes out clean. If so, grab some forks, a dollop of whipped cream, and hang on to your hat. It’s about to get gooey good.
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