For the Parmesan-thyme cream: In a heavy-bottomed saucepot over medium-low heat, add the cream, bay leaf and garlic. Simmer until reduced by two-thirds, about 20 minutes, being careful not boil the liquid or scorch the bottom of the pot. With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and bay leaf. Whisk in the Parmesan. When the Parmesan has melted the sauce is smooth, add the thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes. Serve warm. (Make 1 quart.)
For the savory bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until beginning to soften, 4 minutes. Add the celery, garlic and thyme; cook for another 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. In another mixing bowl place the cubed bread. Pour the milk-egg mixture over the bread and mix. Let sit for 10 minutes, until the bread has soaked up liquid. Fold in onion mixture.
Grease an 8-by-10-inch baking dish with the butter. Add the bread mixture and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the top is toasted and golden brown, another 10 to 15 minutes.
To serve, cut into 4-by-4-inch portions and place on a plate. Add a sausage patty, 1/4 cup of the spinach and two poached eggs. Pour one-quarter of the Parmesan-thyme cream over the top.
Recipe courtesy of Amanda Freitag