03 January 2011

Two Magic Words

When I was growing up, breakfast at our house was not very good, and it was so not very good that this has always stuck in my mind at how bad (OK, yes it was bad) our breakfasts were.  Even as a kid, I was aware that we had crummy breakfasts.  Mainly we had sugared-up box cold cereal, and I hate cold cereal.  Alway have.  There is not one brand, not one variety that I like.

Also, I was a ridiculously picky eater as a kid, and this was back in the day when picky eaters were NOT catered to.

I'm not saying I was scarred for life because of bad breakfasts, or that my parents were rotten, not at all.  My parents just did what lots and lots of other parents do: gulp down some coffee, pour some cereal for the kids, and scurry out the door.  (And by the way, I have to credit my dad especially with instilling a love of the amazing world of cuisine out there.  We had Japanese tempura, homemade ravioli, Korean short ribs, and all manner of "exotic" fare when I was growing up in small-town Oklahoma in the 1970's.)

But, also, I can remember day after day of staring at, stirring, choking down, bowls of unappetizing, soggy, unnaturally colored cereal.

And then, occassionally, my mom would wake me with two magic words: "French toast," and I would shoot out of bed, be at the table in a jiffy, and dance my way through the morning.

It would be like going from black and white to technicolor, that's the impact French toast had on me.  It was definitely a rock star breakfast, and it still has that magic for me.

French Toast (per serving)
2 slices of bread - homemade is best, but any kind will do
1 or 2 eggs, beaten with a little milk in a pie plate - number of eggs depending on number of servings
sprinkle of cinnamon

If you have a griddle, this is a perfect way to use it.  If not, a skillet will do just fine.

1.  Beat the eggs with a little milk, and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.  Sometimes, I get fancy and add a little orange peel chopped up very finely to the egg mixture.

2. Soak the bread in the egg.  If it's squishy boughten bread, this will only take a few seconds.  If it's homemade or harder, stale bread, this will take a little longer.  You want the egg to permeate the bread, but not to the point of disintegrating it.

3. Rub some butter over your griddle after you have heated it up.  Place the soaked bread on the griddle and cook it until it's done, just like you'd do for a grilled cheese sandwich.

4. Since it's cooked on butter, I eschew adding more to the French toast at the table, but we always do have maple syrup to pour over.

Today's breakfast was accompained by some ham slices grilled along with the toast, and of course, oranges.  The entire operation took 10 minutes, and it is, without a doubt, Encyclopedia's favorite breakfast.  He takes after his mom that way.

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