TODAY is a day for declarations, promises, new music (thanks, Lexxy!), resolutions, plans, and inaugurations. And what better way to inaugurate my kitchen than to make my daddy’s french toast? (If you’re after accuracy, I really ought to mention that my dad was in town this weekend and that he oversaw the making of his specialty french toast.)
I made a last minute emergency butter-and-eggs run last night so I could be golden on the ingredients front this morning. I flipped on the Jukebox Mix on my iPod (The Three Degrees, Dusty Springfield, Elvis, etc), pulled out a good skillet, and set to work.
This is pretty much a foolproof recipe. The beauty of this french toast is in the moistness and the range of fixings that can complement it. It isn’t a work of art; this is a work of love. My daddy always claims his secret ingredient is TLC: Tender Loving Care.
This is also one of those aggravating recipes that comes without any specific measurements. We eyeball everything for this. My dad’s rule of thumb is that there should be at least 1 egg per person you’re feeding, but the milk is anyone’s guess.
I like this particular french toast to be moist, so I tend to pour my milk (organic 1% for today) until I’m happy and then have fun trying not to splash myself when I’m beating it all together. We’re also not scientists in terms of the sugar we add in. It depends on the bread, the day of the week, the position of the sun in the sky, the alignment of the constellations the night before, and the angle of wrist to bowl. And as to the bread, I like using your average grocery store pre-sliced bread, as it tends to soak up the liquid mix incredibly well and give me the moist, tender breakfast I’m craving.
- a few eggs
- some sugar
- a good splash of milk
- vanilla extract (just a drop. or two.)
- a pinch of cinnamon (or nutmeg, if you prefer)
- bread (I like whole wheat, but any pre-sliced grocery store bread will work)
- a pat of butter (for the skillet/griddle)
After cracking the eggs into a large mixing bowl, pour in your desired amount of milk and sugar, and 1-2 drops of vanilla extract. Beat it all together. Put in your bread and let soak a moment or two, turning over in the mixture with a fork. While soaking bread, heat oven to a medium-high heat; melt a pat of butter in the skillet. Place your bread in skillet (if you can do multiple slices at once, all the better). Cook one side for a few minutes; when brown on bottom, flip and cook the other side. Repeat till you’re done, and then serve hot.
With the richness of the milk, your french toast shouldn’t need syrup. I recommend garnishing the plate with slices of fresh fruit (apples, bananas, etc) and sprinkling with confectioner’s sugar. Alternately, some jams go really well with this recipe. This morning, I spread some fig preserve on the french toast (I used the Di Bruno Brothers‘ preserve, which was neither too sweet nor too grainy, and proved to be a perfect complement to the whole wheat bread). Apple butter, too, works; even apple sauce, if you’ve got it handy.
And so, thus fed and armed, I’m off to go make those declarations, resolutions, and promises to which this day has inspired me. Promises are much better made on full, happy bellies.