Day 120 – National French Toast Day

One of the small delights of being an adult is being able to make the conscious decision of breakfast for dinner.  Sometimes, it’s just easier.  I feel we deprive ourselves of some of the great tastes of breakfast by confining them to morning hours (or brunch on weekends).  Sometimes we don’t have the time or energy to prepare good meals in the morning.  We settle for a granola bar and a cup of Joe and out the door we go.  Meanwhile our eggs, bacon, sausage and other breakfast delicacies get left in the fridge.  Why not mix up your dinner menu from time to time with some breakfast foods, especially when you are battling that age old question of what should I make for dinner?  It just makes delicious sense.

I could have made French Toast today for breakfast but I really didn’t want it in the morning (and Lola was already in her writing room with her “do not disturb” sign on the knob).  It would have been a pretty uneventful celebration.  I happily waited for dinner.  To get ready, I made my daily trip to Clement’s.  The only thing I really needed was bread which we were fresh out of and so I picked up a loaf of their homemade white bread.  I was thinking about using a challah which seems to be pretty popular for French Toast making or even some festive panettone bread which we once saw a recipe for on the Food Network.  Come to think of it, some Portuguese sweet bread would have been another fine choice and would have added some local flavor to dinner.  However, I stuck with the white bread because I felt that would give me the taste I was looking for.  Their loaf was nice and fresh and I cut it thick so it would toast up nice and crispy.  I know stale bread is sometimes better for French Toast, but beggars can’t be choosers.

There’s no real secret to French Toast that I can share here.  I made my batter with eggs and milk and then added in some cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla for extra flavor.  We like extra flavor.  I will say that having a griddle pan is essential to making French Toast (or pancakes).  The flat surface makes it easy to flip, plus it assures the bread has contact with the pan at all points – ideal for browning the outside.  In our dream kitchen that we win when I am a contestant on The Price is Right, I will have a stove with a flattop grill so I can make pancakes and French Toast like this as well as an array of sandwiches too (I’ll work it like the sandwich guys at D’angelos do).  Until then, this griddle pan does the job fine.  You just have to keep it greased and watch your temperature.  I had used the pan on Thanksgiving to make our grilled burritos, so it’s getting some big use this month.  I like it when old pans get added into the high rotation loop.

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I was worried that Lola would not be into French Toast for dinner, but she was genuinely excited for them.  They came out nice too – crispy outside and soft, fluffy inside.  Naturally I served them with butter and syrup too because that’s a must.  My family grew up on Vermont Maid brand syrup but I have drifted away from the maiden lately.  I have leaned towards the two matrons of all things syrup: Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth.  In reality, they are all pretty much the same, but it’s nice to see Aunt Jemima smiling up at you or to have the figure of Mrs. Butterworth eating alongside you.  It’s an odd comfort.  Whatever marketing person came up with name Butterworth is a genius.  It just sounds tasty.  How much do you want?  Oh, I’ll just have a butters worth.  That should be our new standard of currency.  Did you know Mrs. Butterworth’s first name is Joy?  That’s my trivia for the day.  Do you know her middle name?  That’s right, Diabetes.

In any case, Lola and I enjoyed some French Toast for dinner alongside the delightful company of Joy Butterworth.  Keeping your French Toast warm is always an issue.  The first piece is always nice and literally hot off the griddle, but by the time you get to your second or third piece, they’re on the colder side.  Nothing some warmed syrup can’t fix though. I also think all meals should be served with a bottle of syrup too, but that’s a different story (and I think it’s called Elf).

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We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner tonight which looked a lot like breakfast.  It was filling and tasty.  Cleanup was easy too and it had cooked in no time at all.  Really, we should do breakfast for dinner more often.  I’m a breakfast fan and don’t just need to celebrate it on the holidays.  I’ll take it any time I can (that’s what Mrs. Butterworth says).

Next Up: National Square Dance Day (gulp)    

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