Friday, June 16, 2017

Pirates Anne & Mary's Wet Nellie (bread pudding)

Today we focus on an old treat “bread pudding”. This makes an impressive dish for a desert, pot luck or special holiday dinner. The old English called it a “Wet Nellie”.

This dish is named for a pair of lesbian pirates you might never have heard of. During this month of pride, take a moment to read a short article on them after the recipe.


  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 ounces spiced rum
  • 1 cut up loaf of brioche bread (about 24 oz.)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup milk
1 cup half & half
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup sugar
7 tablespoons spiced rum


Cut up the loaf of brioche – stale bread works better then fresh. You want it to soak up the custard, (What noted French Chef Escoffier refers to as Cream Renversee).
Spray a 9x 13 baking dish and set aside.

Mix the apple pie spice in 1 cup milk in a microwavable container and microwave on high for 1.45 minutes. Check the temperature of the mixture and microwave in 30 second increments until it reaches 180 degrees F. Cover and steep 15 minutes. 

Assemble on the counter 1 bowl with the eggs & egg yolks:
Another bowl with the sugar and brown sugar well mixed.
A larger bowl with the 3 cups of half & half and vanilla mixed in.

Place the eggs and yolks in a mixer. Mix on the lowest speed for 30 seconds.

Raise the speed to quarter power and slowly add the sugars slowly, not in clumps,and blend until thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Add the half-and-half, the spiced milk and the rum.
Use now, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours. 
Transfer the bread into the baking dish. Sprinkle the fruit over the bread, and pour in the custard carefully. Press the bread to submerge all the pieces and cover with plastic wrap. 

Soak for 1 hour at room temperature or for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator. 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
Place a pan of water in a rack below the bread pudding pan.
Bake until the pudding puffs up and reaches an internal temperature of 165 to 170 degrees, (about an hour).

Remove and cool 30 minutes before slicing or scooping and serving. 

For the sauce:
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Mix together the sugar and cornstarch, and stir into the butter.
Pour in half & half, and cook stirring frequently until the mixture begins to boil. Continue cooking until thick, stirring constantly.

Its easy to burn though so watch closely. Remove from heat, and stir in rum. Serve warm. Pour over the bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.

Elegant and basic this has been a favorite for centuries!

Serving my Master Indy!


To satisfy and restore.

To nourish, support and maintain.

To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,

to nurture, assist, and sustain

..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes 


Dan White


Anne Bonny and Mary Read

Most of what we know about these famous lesbian pirates come from the 1724 book: A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates. The book, supposedly written by Daniel Defoe, was published shortly after the two were brought to trial for piracy on the high seas.

Anne Bonny: "grew up into a strapping, boisterous girl, of a `fierce and courageous temper' which more than once led her into sad scrapes, as when she slew her English servant-maid with a case knife. But apart from such occasional outbursts of temper she was a good and dutiful daughter."

Anne was often seen frequenting the taverns of Charleston, South Carolina, on the arms of various buccaneers. One story about her stated that when a drunk sailor tried to rape her, she beat him with a chair! He was hospitalized for a month.

Her father, angry at her eloping with James Bonny, disinherited her. So she burnt down his plantation! They fled to British- controlled port of New Providence (Nassau). Upon her arrival, she quickly established herself by shooting off the ear of a drunken sailor who blocked her way when she disembarked.

In a short time she discarded her husband. Advised to get some male protection, she joined up with the pirate John "Calico Jack" Rackham, (named for the loud striped patchwork trousers he wore.) It has been said Calico Jack came to New Providence as the lover of a Captain Vane. (Guess pirates do have beards!)

Many of Anne's menfriends were certainly gay: like Pierre Bouspeut (sometimes called "Pierre the Pansy Pirate")—who ran a coffee shop, hairdressing and dress-making shop.

With the aid of some of Pierre's friends they stole an abandoned wreck of a boat, and covered the topsail, deck and themselves with turtle blood. In the bow they placed one of Pierre's dress- maker's dummies, dressed in women's clothing and similarly splashed with blood. Anne stood over this nightmare figure with a blood-soaked axe, and they sailed out to a heavily laden French Merchantman that had ventured into these waters.

When its crew caught sight of this demon ship by the light of the full moon, they were horrified by the impending mayhem! They turned over their cargo without a fight.

Anne was now a full fledged pirate! She, Calico Jack and Pierre sailed out of the harbor to begin their new life. Though officially she was second in command, after Calico, she had thrown him out of the Captain's quarters and resided there alone.

Eventually the local governor obtained a special pardon for Anne. Upon her return to port she met "Mark" Read (Mary Read). Mary had always preferred a masculine persona. She was apprenticed as a footboy, then ran away to join the army as a soldier. She ended up signing on a Dutch Merchantman as Mark Read. This ship was captured by pirates, whom she promptly joined. Mary also found a pardon in New Providence and joining up with Anne.

In due course the pirate crew was re-formed, with Anne and "Mark" constantly together. This intimacy aroused the jealousy of Calico Jack, who burst into the cabin one day and found Mary stretched out on the bed before Anne quite visibly a woman!

Attempts to "explain it away" this are typical of how the pair are treated in most histories. Anne Bonny is often refereed to as a pirate captain's mistress, rather than the leader she actually was. They both were fierce fighters.

One ship was sent out to capture "those infamous women." Anne seduced the ships captain into bringing her aboard, then drugged his wine instead of having sex. She secretly doused the firing pins of the cannons with water. Anne left the next morning returning to her pirates. The Royal Queen's gunmen were unable to open fire and they were easily captured. Only the captain was killed in this otherwise bloodless battle by a jealous Mary.

Eventually Anne and Mary were captured by a Captain Barnet.

Barnet cornered them off the coast of Jamaica and in an exchange of cannon fire, their ship was disabled. While Calico Jack and the other pirates cowered below decks, Read and Bonny remained on the decks, fighting.

They verbally berated the men below and Mary fired a shot into the hold, killing one of the cowards. Still it took an hour for Barnet's entire crew to subdue the two women.

Later, in one of the most famous pirate quotes of all time, Bonny told Calico Jack in prison: "I'm sorry to see you here, but if you had fought like a man, you need not have hanged like a dog."

They were swiftly tried and found guilty. Most of them were hanged on November 18, 1720. Bonny and Read were sentenced to hang, but both of them declared they were pregnant. (which automatically commuted their death sentence).

Mary Read died in prison shortly thereafter, but Anne Bonny survived and quietly disappeared from history.

Although they’re the most famous real-life female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read are far from being the only women pirates. 

The most notorious is Ching Shih (1775-1844), a one-time Chinese prostitute who became a pirate. At the height of her power, she commanded 1,800 ships and 80,000 pirates! Her rule of the seas off of China was nearly absolute. 

Also before them was Grace O’Malley (1530?-1603) a semi-legendary Irish chieftain and pirate.

Diffidently these women were LGBT leaders if not heroes. Their place in history should be remembered.

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