Today’s Favorite Foodie: Tammy Griffin

Do you live to eat or eat to live?  This was a question posed by a friend years ago.  I blurted out my response: I eat to live.  My husband proclaimed: I live to eat!  

Over the years we have asked many people the same question, though we, admittedly, already knew most of their responses. (We have eaten with most of them and have seen the familiar glow that appears when the word ‘food’ is even mentioned!)

With that in mind I am chronicling MY FAVORITE FOODIES and how a particular food relates them to me. 

TODAY’S FAVORITE FOODIE: TAMMY GRIFFIN

Presentation, flavor, variety...foodie-heaven!

Presentation, flavor, variety…foodie-heaven!

I’m not one to throw a good friend under the bus, but, honestly, how can a successful caterer not like raisins?  INCONCEIVABLE! (But more on that, later.)

Tammy Griffin (the good friend in question) is the high-energy owner of   A Catered Affair, in Montgomery, Alabama.  We first met when my young family moved to Montgomery in 1991. We were both in our early 30’s and had preschoolers.  Tammy worked at a bank doing bank-y things and I was a woman of leisure (!?) therefore, hosted many a party (isn’t that what stay-at-home moms are suppose to do?)  Tammy, being a lover of all things foodie, sprinkled her gold dust on each and every one of my gatherings, making my mediocre offerings memorable.

Tammy & I have been friends for over 22 years

Tammy & I have been friends for over 22 years

Eventually, she left the bank and opened a home-style restaurant.  Catering was her first love, though, so she sold the restaurant and A Catered Affair was born.

Obviously, Tammy is a die-hard foodie.  She loves presenting beautiful tasty food that has been flavored with the wow-factor.  She as a reputation foralways going the extra mile, making each intimate dinner party or 500 person reception “perfect”.  Recently, her and her brother, Walter Rotton, opened the Butcher Block in Pike Road, Alabama, a combination meat, wines & beers, and gift shop, as well as the new home to A Catered Affair.

Tammy serving children at one of the many South African school we visited

Tammy serving children at one of the many South African school we visited

Along with her business/talent, Tammy also has a heart for sharing!  In 2010, knowing that God told her to “go to Africa and feed the children,” Tammy did just that!  

Cool details omitted, she ended up flying to South Africa with Tim and I for the first week of our six week sabbatical and, you guess it, fed the children…a few HUNDRED of them!  She also set up her stewpot in a poor township and fed  anyone who came with an empty bowl.  She’s just that way.

Bread pudding, half-enhanced with raisins!

Bread pudding, half-enhanced with raisins!

Though there are MANY wonderful foods that make me think of Tammy, the one that makes me drool embarrassingly is her BREAD PUDDING with Vanilla Sauce.  However, I must confess that I altered a recipe just a tad…I ADDED RAISINS…well, to one side, anyway.   My husband likes purity in using Tammy’s recipes! INCONCEIVABLE!

(Bread Pudding Recipe at below featured pictures.  To view pictures in slideshow, click on any featured picture.)

 
 
Bread Pudding
8 c. loosely packed bread chunks (any leftover bread will do)
3 c. milk
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 c. RAISINS (MY ALTERATION!!)
2 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. butter, melted_______________
 
Place bread crumbs in a 9×13 dish that has been coated with spay.  
In a large bowl, mix with wire whisk the remaining ingredients except for the melted butter.
Pour mixture over the bread crumbs.
Press the bread crumbs down with the wire whisk making sure they are covered with the milk mixture.
Let sit for about 5 minutes for the bread to soak throughly.  
Pour the melted butter over the bread pudding. Bake for 45 minutes in a preheated 350 degree over.  
The pudding will PUFF UP during baking but will deflate after you take it from the oven.  
Serve warm with vanilla sauce.  Eight (8) servings.
 
Vanilla Sauce
2 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. water______________________
 
With a wire whisk, mix milk, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until slightly bubbly.  Can boil over, so watch closely.
Mix cornstarch and water together until cornstarch is dissolved.  Mix this into the sauce with a wire whisk.
It should be slightly thickened.
If it is too soupy, add more cornstarch dissolved in water.  
Pour over bread pudding.  ENJOY!!

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