I was reading wweek.com and came across Casey Jarman's post about scoring free pie when you record an album at Great Magnet Recording. At the very end, in italics, Jarman says "fifty bucks to the first person who makes me bread pudding pie." My household is all about cake, but pie comes in a close second. And I could totally use fifty bucks.

I found three recipes for bread pudding pie in about three minutes at google.com. The first one was very basic, from - get this - the Bread Pudding Update. It seemed way too simple, and questionable, although it may very well be good. It was the only recipe I saw to incorporate breadcrumbs. I have never personally eaten bread pudding, but I know people who have. And it always contains big chunks of bread, not crumbs. Moving on.

The next one, Persimmon White Chocolate Bread Pudding, from difficult-recipe-making maven Martha Stewart's website, marthastewart.com, sounded damn tasty. I was on the phone to New Seasons (1954 SE Division, 445-2888) in seconds, asking the produce department if they had persimmons. Wrong time of year. I could assume the person on the other end of the line knew her persimmons, as I could practically hear her salivating when said she couldn't wait for them to come in. I asked what would be a likely substitution. She thought possibly orange-marmalade, but in the same breath said that nothing quite compares. Next!

I found a simple enough sounding Banana Bread-Bread Pudding recipe at grouprecipes.com. Although I didn't have any banana bread handy, I knew where I could get some (Upper Crust Bread Company, out of Lake Oswego, makes the most heavenly breads, and New Seasons carries their products). Having no idea if anyone had yet delivered Mr. Jarman's prize, I was out the door at lighting speed (this is a race, isn't it?). I loaded the cart with everything I didn't have in my cupboard: one loaf banana bread ($5.79), half-and-half ($1.99), milk ($2.39), whipped cream ($2.99), and a banana ($.44).

It took about fifteen minutes to throw everything together. At the same time, I was toasting the bread in the oven. In the hour the concoction baked, I grabbed a snack and cleaned up the kitchen. I pulled the delectable out of the oven, kissed the dogs, locked up the house and headed back to the office. Honestly, it looked awful. But I think that's what it was supposed to look like.

I presented my contender, Banana Bread-Bread Pudding, still warm from the oven. I feel a little guilty getting paid for having so much fun. Hats off to Elle, who posted the recipe online - Casey was a little overcome with disbelief, delighted it involved bananas, and said it was delicious. For now, I'm his new favorite person.

Note: I couldn't pass this one up! Project No. 8, Project/Picnic Bag, will continue next week.

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