I decided to make the Olympics a cultural experience at home and created a taste of London by preparing an old English late-summer dessert called Summer Pudding.
For the Brits, the word "pudding" means "dessert," and this easy recipe from across the pond can become a memorable finale to an August dinner. It's full of fresh berries, and the quick prep doesn't require any baking, so the kitchen stays cool. It's a great use for day-old bread, too.
Kids love to take part in the easy prep, so gather the ingredients and make this fresh, beautiful dessert while it's still summer.
ENGLISH SUMMER PUDDING
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
6 cups assorted berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
16 slices of day-old, firm white bread, without preservatives
To prepare berries: In saucepan, combine berries, sugar and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until berries release their juices. Remove from heat. Drain berries over a bowl, reserving juice.
To line bowl: Line inside of 5- to 6-cup bowl with plastic wrap. Trim and discard crusts from bread. Cut slices diagonally into 4 pieces. Dip each triangle into reserved berry juice. Arrange each triangle on bottom and in continuous pattern around inside of bowl to create pinwheel effect.
To add berries: Fill bread-lined bowl almost to top with drained berries. Place single layer of remaining bread on top of berries to cover. Spoon remaining juice evenly over top.
To chill: Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set small plate that just fits inside bowl on plastic wrap. Set heavy, 2-pound can on plate to provide weight. Refrigerate overnight.
To serve: Remove can, plate and plastic wrap. Carefully invert molded pudding onto serving plate. Remove plastic wrap liner. Slice pudding into wedges. Serve with dollop of whipped cream.
Donna Erickson's award-winning series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit donnasday.com and link to the Donna's Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families."