Life is…

When I taught middle school, above my desk was a sign that read “Life is ten percent of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”. Truer words could not be spoken. Far too often people feel victimized about what has been done to them.

My friends C and T got stuck once in Omaha due to weather. They were supposed to be getting on to a connecting flight to Florida to go on a cruise. T (the wife) freaked out. Calling and having what C described as a melt down and tantrum because the world was against her. Well, Mother Nature might have been but not the world. C on the other hand told T this was an opportunity to explore a place they had never been to. C had once been offered a job in Omaha and turned it down, always wondering if he should have taken it or not. After spending the day there, he was quite happy in his decision to not move there. But without the opportunity he never would have known. They caught a plane the next day, and then another plane that flew them to the first island and were able to get on the boat there. Sadly, T made most of the trip miserable for C complaining to anyone who would listen how she got trapped in Omaha and how it ruined their trip. When in reality she was the one ruining the trip.

In my cupcake post I brought up my friend who recently went to Disneyland because her youngest son wanted to go for his birthday (he has already gone 3 times now). Money has been tight for them and they still made the decision to go because the kids deserved it. Most people deserve a vacation; I personally haven’t been on one in 7 years. That being said, because of this trip they did not pay their car insurance or home owners insurance for that month. The husband got into a car accident, his fault, and they are now in the middle of a lawsuit with extra bills. Does my friend see how this is her fault? No. She is the victim in all of this, just ask her. It’s the insurance company’s fault that they aren’t cooperating more even though they didn’t actually pay their bill; they eventually did…AFTER the accident happened. So not only did they go on a trip they can’t afford, thousands of dollars in bills will now be added to that. Not to mention lawyer fees. Now some may argue I am not being a very supportive friend. But being a friend isn’t always about blowing smoke up someone’s butt and telling them how great they are. I think those that read this blog are more than aware that I tell it like it is. This carries through in my life. Sometimes it makes people uncomfortable because when I call them out on it, they can’t play the victim. In case you are wondering, she is not mad at me. She knows that I mean nothing by it (it’s just my matter of fact personality), other than to say that it sucks, but you have no one to blame but yourself.

As for me I am trying to see the good in not getting to eat for the last 10 days. For one, I got to make my neighbors happy by giving them food I was afraid would expire and didn’t want to go to waste. Who doesn’t love free food? I got to slim down a bit as a handful of mini vanilla wafers and an English muffin a day with a side of PowerAde doesn’t really add up to that many calories. Leaving me lots of opportunity to gain it back. :) And what better way to do that than with my favorite dessert of all time, Bread Pudding. This here is a nod to the Vancouver Canucks who after last night’s win will be going to the Stanley Cup finals. Now, as you know I am a Flames fan, but in the playoffs once your teams are out, it’s your Canadian Pride you must follow and root for whatever Canadian team is left in hopes to bring the cup back to Canada. So this is a yummy Maple-Walnut Bread Pudding that will hopefully bring the Canucks luck in bringing home the cup!

Maple-Walnut Bread Pudding

1 brioche loaf, torn into pieces
½ cup maple syrup (grade B)
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
5 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.

Tear bread into pieces and place into baking dish. Sprinkle bread with the walnuts. Make another layer of bread and sprinkle with walnuts. Repeat as many times as you have ingredients and room.

Mix the egg s, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a large bowl. Then stir in the heavy cream and milk. Whisk until fully incorporated.

Pour the custard over the bread. Press down the bread pieces until the bread is soaked with the custard. You will most likely have extra custard depending on how stale your bread is. Don’t feel like you have to use all the custard.

Place pan into another pan that will hold a water bath. Bake the bread pudding for 45-55 minutes until golden on top, and custard isn’t running in the middle. Cool 10 minutes and serve warm with extra maple syrup poured on top.


  1. 7 years? You need a vacation for sure!

    I bet your neighbors will be wishing this bread pudding were included in the free food :-)

  2. It’s always frustrating watching friends complain about things when they could just make the decision to accept and move on. It’s important to realize that your outlook is greatly going to affect your quality of life. And I’m guessing eating maple bread pudding wouldn’t hurt that quality, either.

  3. This is why I go nowhere and do nothing. No money for the extra. I would love to pass on my insurance for a month to go to the beach, but as soon as I do…one of the kids will break something. Responsibility sucks! The bread pudding looks amazing!

  4. mmmm maple stuff. and good for you not sugar coating your friend’s problems. we are not living in a fairy tale people!!!

  5. Great post. Yes it is hard to step out of the misery and be willing to admit the only thing that went wrong was your mindset.

    I have been struggling with this. Got blackmailed into going to Disney with my whole family for a week. Traveling with a 4 year old is not my cup of tea and I truely did not want to go. But did I have fun? Yes, at moments. Did I do all I wanted? No, but in the big picture it does not really matter. I got a week of mostly free vacation. Cannot really complain. Now if I can get a few days of me time to recover, lol.

  6. Maple Bread pudding… You are truly evil. You know that right? But I do love your anecdotes. A little more personal responsibility in the world at large and it would turn a lot more smoothly than it currently does.

  7. I really can’t fathom that people make such poor decisions sometimes.
    Perhaps your friend needed this experience to teach her a very important lesson. I hope she learns it -sounds like she may be having a little trouble. :)

  8. This does look like an amazing way to gain weight back!!

    I have a friend who, for years, would complain about how horrible her life was and how everything/everyone (except for her) was the cause of her terrible life. Granted, the girl was living with an aunt and uncle for free while attending law school that her parents paid for… Anyway, I completely agree with you and have learned that when I am unhappy with my life it is my responsibility to try to fix something or quit complaining.

  9. It seems that these days more and more people are unwilling to take responsbility for the mistakes that they make or the situations they create. It’s always someone else’s fault, never their own. I find that a lot of the time these are the same people who like to take credit for things they did not do. Amusing how that works out.

    As for the bread pudding: Wow! I finally made my first bread pudding over christmas and fell in love with the textures and the flavours, but adding maple syrup? That sounds a little too good for words :).
    P.S. you’re picture has me drooling :).

  10. I love your bread puddings so much!!!

    my best friend sounds a lot like your friend. she & her husband quit their jobs b/c they were unhappy and decided they could do self-employment things (she doing in-house childcare, he as a freelance video-grapher) then they fuss when money isn’t steady enough to pay their bills. then he gets a big paycheck for a project, and they blow it on stupid things like defogging bathroom mirrors or all-in-one remotes or new iphones. then a few months later they are afraid that they will have to sell their cars or file bankruptcy…ridiculous! just deal with a job so you can have insurance and support your family and live within your means–it’s not that hard!!

  11. MMM I love anything mapley and now I really want some of this bread pudding!

  12. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…… I want that!

  13. Sounds like it’s time for a vacation for you! It really bothers me when people aren’t responible with their money, like your friend. I don’t want to hear them complain about how broke they are when they eat lunch and dinner out every day!

  14. Lighten up! Lately your posts have been so negative about others! Some people spend too much money, or complain, but hey, to each his own! Complaining about complainers is just as much complaining (and equally as annoying)!

  15. I vote for more vacation time! :) And a piece of this bread pudding :)

  16. And I agree with you…time to stop complaining and start doing! :) I have friends like that too but I must admit I need to be on the guard that I also don’t fall into that rut…thanks for the post!

  17. Peabody says:

    @Laura- sorry I struck a cord with you…you must fit in one of those categories.

  18. I soooo agree with you, Peabody! I teach at a couple of community colleges, and I see so many students who are perpetual victims–nothing is ever their fault, and everything “mistreats” them.

  19. I LOVE walnuts! This looks delish!

  20. I think I need to make this over the weekend in honor of the Stanley Cup….I did get the lecture about bringing the Cup back to Canada; there was much debate about if my Grandpa would want the Cup back in Canada or with San Jose as his home team…

  21. Though I completely agree with you, Mrs. Peabody, I’ve adopted a different stance to encounter some of these individuals. Whether or not you believe the world is against you, nobody is going to make your life better but you. Even if you narrow it down to a specific source, you can complain about them, but it’s not likely that they will be the source of remedy.

    As far as the food, it looks delicious as always. I bought a big brioche to try to introduce it to my housemates, but they don’t appreciate it, and it’s growing stale. So, it looks like it’s going to transform into a bread pudding! Thank you!!

  22. I think more people need friends like you.. hell, I think I need more friends like you! hahaha Do I like it when my husband or one friend tells me like it is? Not always, but I often need that reality check to look outside my tunnel vision.

    At least not being able to eat for 10 days gets you a little closer to fitting into the size-too-small shorts? Glad you’re feeling better, though!

  23. The truth hurts & a great friend points it out. BTW, Peabody, I made your croissant bread pudding (twice) & I need to tell you how fabulous that recipe is!

  24. A true making lemonade from lemons post. I find that when I’m freaking out the most it’s because I have low blood sugar.

  25. Oh my. That bread pudding looks freakishly good.

  26. Okay! I made it! and it is pretty awesome.

  27. Reporting back…

    The bread budding was made, and it looks like the brioche has been almost entirely consumed.


  28. I love that the only thing you sugar coat are the things you bake!

    I’ve been visiting your blog for a long time now, but I used to just skip through the words part and look at the pretty pictures and salivate. Lately I’ve actually been reading what you write and I like what you have to say!

  29. I need to make this. Like today. Looks amazing and sounds delicious! Thanks for yet another wonderful dish to bake up :)

  30. I’m a Canadian gal, but a true Bruins fan at heart. Born and raised, and because there are at least 6 more Canadian players playing for Boston I feel justified in rooting for them :). Though I have to say, I live in Denmark currently, and DAMN I miss maple syrup ugh! haha, great post

  31. That bread pudding looks perfectly moist and good!

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