In Basket: Baking Bread Pudding (and more)

| April/May 2009

Dear Herb Companion,

Thanks so much for the recipe Bay-Infused Bread Pudding with Decadent, Easy Rum Sauce from your March 2009 article “Bay: An Herb That Can Rest Upon its Laurels.” I made them today and they tasted delicious! But I have a question. The rum sauce was very thin. Is it supposed to be thin?
Betty Musick, Salina, Kansas

Traditionally, rum sauces are thin, but you can thicken it. After you scald the milk with bay, let it cool for half an hour. When you add the butter, whisk in a tablespoon of cornstarch or an egg yolk to thicken. —Susan Belsinger 

I am going to subscribe to The Herb Companion, but I was curious to know if the issues contain a calendar of herbal gardening events? I would love to attend workshops and informational talks on the growing and use of herbs. Thank you.
Lynda Mills, Houston

Welcome to our community. To enter calendar events or see what’s coming up, visit . The Herb Society of America hosts great educational events throughout the country. Visit to find a local chapter or to sign up for its great annual conference, which will be held June 4-6 in Michigan. The International Herb Association is another excellent organization devoted to herbs: . —Eds.

I enjoyed the January 2009 article “Chocolate: Eat, Wear, Rub In.” I’ve made the Mocha Facial Mask twice. I found that powdered instant coffee granules work well in the recipe and I love the way the mask makes my face feel. However, I found that the entire recipe made four to five applications, instead of one. You might want to let other readers know this.
Rachel Albert-Matesz, Phoenix

Thanks! Rachel is a food/health writer who contributes to The Herb Companion.—Eds. 

I made the focaccia bread today from the January 2009 article “An Herbal Feast for the Holiday Season.” I would like to point out that there is no pan size included. I guessed at the size for a recipe that called for 7 cups all-purpose flour. I used a 9.5×13.5×2” glass pan. I don’t know how thick focaccia is supposed to be. Mine is a little above the pan top—more than 21⁄2 inches.
Lila Jones, via 

A reader requested a basil jam recipe. I have one for Cinnamon Basil Jelly.

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