French Toast: Variations on a Theme

French Toast (1)French toast is a family favorite, whether we are having it for breakfast or supper. And I love that there are so many variations of the recipe.  Like most of the things I cook,  I don’t have a recipe I follow every single time or even have written down. This one is coming from my head,  but I will try to put actual amounts in — and FYI a glug of milk is a measurement.  A glug is the sound the milk makes when you pour it, and it kind of hiccups; if you keep pouring, it goes glug, glug, glug.  (Maybe some day I will measure it for real.)  I am explaining this, because when I make French toast, a glug of milk, from a gallon size jug is part of the recipe.   So I will share a basic French toast recipe, my variation to it, and my friend Isabeau’s Stuffed French Toast recipe.

Somerville Manor

Isabeau is a friend I met through the medieval re-enactment society I belong to, and she was a marvelous cook, oftentimes cooking an entire feast for fifty or sixty or seventy people.  She and her husband, William, built a live-action medieval village, and held events there. (Which has since moved locations several times, this is their current Facebook page.) Sometimes I would go help them with a girls’ camp, scout camp, or special event.  And from those visits, I learned some of her recipes.  Unfortunately, about twelve years ago,  Isabeau had an accident, and lost her memory, and forgets things that are not a daily/weekly part of her life.  For years, every time I saw her she would say, “My husband tells me we are good friends.”  And then I say yes we are and repeat some of our shared adventures, which include going with her to help with medieval merchanting, driving from Idaho to Arizona for a “War” pulling a trailer  (a new adventure for both of us), setting up camp and pavilion, no small feat for two women), and weathering an unexpected Arizona rainstorm which caused flooding in our pavilion.  But we survived to tell the tale, and my life is better for having had the adventure with her.  And happily, we are Facebook Friends now, so because she sees my posts on a regular basis, when I see her in person, she now knows who I am.  This makes my heart happy. So this post is dedicated to Isabeau; an extraordinary friend and an excellent cook.

Basic French Toast

(About four pieces – adjust recipe to feed more people.)

Bread (sliced)

2 large eggs beaten

1 glug of milk

pinch of salt

Beat eggs with fork, add a glug of milk and a pinch of salt, beat with fork until frothy.  Pour into a flat-bottomed container (or simply mix in one to begin with).

Heat griddle over medium low heat. (The right temperature is when a couple of drops of water dance on the griddle.)

Dip slice of bread into egg mixture, letting it soak into the bread, using a fork (and fingers if necessary) flip it over to coat the other side.  Immediately place on prepared griddle (I usually melt some butter, or spray it with pan-spray).  Cook until golden brown (30 – 60 seconds), flip and cook other side.   Serve with butter and syrup; or strawberries and whipped cream.

My Variation of the Basic Recipe

Bread (sliced)

4 eggs

2 glugs of milk

pinch of salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. vanilla

Beat eggs, salt, and spices together, mix really well, and then add the glug of milk and the vanilla. (The nutmeg tends to float to the top, so you may need to add more after the first two or three slices)

Heat griddle over medium low heat. (The right temperature is when a couple of drops of water dance on the griddle.)

Dip slice of bread into egg mixture, letting it soak into the bread, using a fork (and fingers if necessary) flip it over to coat the other side.  Immediately place on prepared griddle (I usually melt some butter, or spray it with pan-spray).  Cook until golden brown (30 – 60 seconds), flip and cook other side.   Serve with butter and syrup; or strawberries and whipped cream.

Isabeau’s Stuffed French Toast

(From memory, I’ve never written it down before.)

Loaf of Bread (Sliced)

1 8 oz jar plum jelly

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese (softened)

6 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

1/4 c. milk

powdered sugar

Filling:

Whip cream cheese and plum jelly together until smooth.  Spread mixture between two slices of bread (like making PB&J sandwiches) making sure to get all the way out to the edges.  Mix eggs, salt, salt, and milk together. (Pour into flat-bottomed container for dipping.)

Dip stuffed bread into egg mixture, turning to coat both sides.  Cook on a hot griddle 30 – 60 seconds per side, until a golden brown.  Place on serving plate and top with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

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