There were only a few things my dad cooked when I was growing up… Popcorn in the Stir Crazy most Saturday nights, grits and Bisquick drop biscuits most Sunday mornings. If I’m remembering correctly, he made vegetable soup once when Mommer was out of town. One of my favorite stories about my dad cooking is one Mommer told me about how he cooked spaghetti for her when they were dating. He thought he’d make things interesting and added cinnamon to the spaghetti sauce. It was not successful. However, he got the cinnamon thing very right in his French Toast.
French Toast was always a delicious Saturday morning surprise, griddled up dark brown and served with warm syrup (none of that confectioner’s sugar for us!). I think the recipe is one that my dad perfected while working as a boat captain. Whatever his inspiration, it’s always been a family favorite. This morning I finally got it “right”, so I’m posting it here. Bon appetit!
Bread of your choosing (honey wheat is nice, but day-old French bread is lovely, too!)
Eggs (one less egg than slices of bread)
A little milk or half and half
Real butter (no margarine allowed!)
Scramble the eggs in a shallow dish. Add a generous amount of cinnamon — really, don’t be shy! — and a little milk/cream (I guess 1 tablespoon or so per 4 eggs? Just enough to cut the “egginess” a bit. You don’t want it to be thin) and a little vanilla (1 teaspoon per 4 eggs? I don’t like to measure, as you’ve noticed). Mix well.
Warm skillet to medium heat, melt enough butter in it to cover the bottom. I use about half a tablespoon at a time.
Dip bread in egg mixture, wait a couple seconds then flip over with a fork. Sprinkle cinnamon on the wet side. (Yes, more!) Lift the slice out, and let the egg drip off as much as possible. Place the slice cinnamon side down into the skillet. Sprinkle more cinnamon onto the top wet side! Flip after a couple minutes. Your French Toast will be a dark brown color because of the cinnamon mixing with the browned butter.
It’s important to add more butter after every couple of slices! If the butter smokes when added to the pan, it’s too hot.
Serve with warm syrup (really, cold syrup is a complete injustice!).