My friend Grace from our Let’s Lunch bloggers event was having a housewarming. I like to share in the happiness of friends when they’re celebrating milestones. And as a virtual housewarming gift to Grace, I baked an easy Mango Rum Bread Pudding for dessert.
Housewarmings get me excited. They always bring me back to traditions I looked back to with fondness.Almost all events in the Philippines, big or small are interwoven with our religious faith. When we have housewarmings, we have our homes blessed by a priest and invite family and friends for a big party. The priest goes in each room, sprinkling holy water and saying a prayer. The trek around the house is as short or as long as the house is. After the prayers, the best part begins.
The most exciting part I looked forward to as a kid was the ‘throwing of coins’ by the host. The home owners invite ‘blessings and good luck’ by tossing a bagful of coins on the floor for all the guests to retrieve. As the loud, joyful clatter of coins resounds on the floor, excited squeals and screams of the guests are heard. One has to be quick and dive into the bobbing heads and hands grabbing coins on the floor. I once stopped and stared in fascination at everyone (this is the writer in me observing people) and ended up with a meager pittance of the smallest coins pitifully left in the crevices of the floor tiles.
My son, Tim, when he was little, was the most energetic guest of family housewarmings. Being a small kid then, he wiggled his way into the droves of hands scrambling for coins as he dug deep and held up the edge of his t-shirt to catch a jackpot. I always told Tim not to spend these coins from housewarmings, for they were considered ‘good luck’ coins.
Soon after, guests moved to the dining room where our hosts urged us to partake of festive party dishes on the table. Each time I was invited to a housewarming, I often brought a dessert I baked like this Mango Rum Bread Pudding.
Mangoes used to be a seasonal fruit but are now found year round in the Philippines. Here in the States, they are in the markets in spring through summer. I found good ataulfo variety mangoes which I used for this sweet bread pudding. It was pretty easy to put this pudding together. I used brioche buns, eggs, cream, a dash of rum and the succulent honey-sweet mangoes. The creamy bread pudding with fruity flavors blends well with any dish hosts prepare for a party. Plus the pretty presentation of the long loaf helps make the dessert table colorful.
Housewarmings are fun. They symbolize new beginnings. We like to share in the blessings of the homeowners by bringing a gift, enjoying the big feast and relishing the company of good friends. What a wonderful affirmation that all is right in the world.