Saturday, February 03, 2018

Winter Fuel For A Writer

One thick slice of homemade bread.
A fresh egg from one of our hens.
A splash of milk, a dash of vanilla, and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon.
Melted butter in the pan, a good soaking in the dish, then five minutes on either side and VOILA:
French toast for breakfast.

A note about the dish: Not only is it the ideal width and depth for making French toast, it's VINTAGE. It's from a display set up by Monarch Flour in my mother's family's grocery store -- in the 1950's!
My mother has always used it for baking apple crisp but when I went searching for the perfect dish for my French toast, this was it. There's something special about using the dishes with a history like that, isn't there? In being able to say, "This was my mother's..." or "This was my grandmother's..."

I've eaten this for breakfast since the day after Christmas. I don't know what got into me -- I've been loyal to toast or oatmeal all these years -- but suddenly, egged bread (or is it breaded egg?) is what I want. In over a month, I've only missed one morning and that was because I was sick.

Here's the thing about my French toast: I alternate my topping between maple syrup and jam.
Jam? Who on earth smears jam on French toast?
Well, why not? It's toast, after all.
Actually, I didn't know you could put syrup on it until we began travelling as a family and I ordered French toast one morning and it came with syrup. I asked for jam; I was an adult before I tried eating it with syrup.
I learned to eat French toast with jam from my mother.

When she was 18 years old, she left the church she'd grown up in and started attending a new church. After choir practice on Thursday nights, some of the choir members would go across the street to the Chinese restaurant. One of the dishes on the menu was French toast, which she ordered (and cannot tell why on earth she'd order French toast in a Chinese restaurant). It was served with a side of jam.
Why not? It's toast, after all.

So now the fuel for this writer's winter work is a daily dose of French toast, Chinese style.


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