Bliss Covered in Syrup

English: French toast served at Mac's Restaura...

French toast . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In honour of my son Tyler who is going back to school today after his Reading Week at college (something we more honestly called Slack Week when I was at university), I am going to provide you with a recipe of sorts – one that I am going to make for him this morning for the third time this week.

He loves French toast. Loves it. Can’t get enough of it. And he is always appreciative when I take the little time it takes to make this breakfast of champions (though sometimes we make it for lunch, and on occasion, supper.)

Tyler is my picky eater. Every family has one, but since he has been away at school his taste buds have expanded to include salad, grilled cheese sandwiches (his must have real cheddar cheese, bacon if he has it, and raspberry jam) and stuffed pasta (he used to eat pasta with just butter and salt—now he will eat three cheese ravioli), and sweet potato fries.

He was never a picky eater by choice—some things appealed to him and other things did not. Food had a yuck factor for him, and some of it still does, but I find it interesting that once he has been exposed to a variety of other foods outside our home, he is more likely to try them. He has five roommates in the house he lives in at college (which is only two blocks from Fanshawe in London) and so he is exposed to a lot of different tastes. They all  have one thing in common though: Pizza (which I consider a major food group and so do they).

I remember when I was in university (about the time that pizza was brought to the new world), I would eat pizza almost every night in residence—a bunch of us would go together and order one after studying or getting back from the school pub.

I realize I have digressed from today’s recipe—but French toast is not all that complicated.

French Toast à la Tyler

White bread – as many slices as you need to feed the people you are feeding ~ Tyler always has 3

I egg for every three slices of bread

English: Cinnamon

English: Cinnamon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Splash of milk

A little vanilla

Cinnamon sprinkled in

Syrup and butter – enough to drown the toast

Using a whisk, whisk the eggs and milk and vanilla and cinnamon together. Dunk the bread and put it in a hot frying pan. We just got a new big non stick frying pan and can cook three pieces at once. We flip them when one side gets nice and toasty. I eat the burnt ones.

I know this is not an official recipe – it is just a bit of a map that takes us on a journey to syrupdom.  It is meant to be more nostalgic than directive—but it is the last day I will see Tyler for several weeks (Easter is coming up)—so it is my goodbye to him today. (Don’t feel too sorry for me, I email him every day and I am one of his ten on his phone plan that he can call without charge—so we talk a lot).

Do you have any nostalgic recipes that give you or your family bliss?

Butterscotch is not the new Chocolate!

Blood and Chocolate (novel)

“Anything is good if it is made of chocolate.” – Jo Brand

In the interest of covering one of my favourite subjects in the world, I have done a cursory search on  food trends for 2012. Admittedly, food trends are not my favourite subject, but food in all its lovely forms is.  One trend I found interestingly disturbing is that blood is a featured food trend for this just barely started New Year. Yes, blood—I think all those teenage angst vampire movies are getting the best of us. Perhaps we are supposed to only eat “blood” foods at twilight (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Canadian author and cook extraordinaire, Bonnie Stern provided the readers of the National Post with the culinary trends for 2012 and blood was on her list. I read her list several times to make sure that my blurry eyed reading of her column late at night meant that I was not seeing things correctly. So I looked up food trends for 2012 on the Internet, and there it was, as red as the nose on Rudolph’s face—blood is a bone fide 2012 food trend. According to my reading on the site “Nutrition Unplugged”, “blood is appearing on menus more and more” as blood pancakes, waffles, and of all things: blood ice cream. I read no further—my curiosity was curbed. Bonnie was not making this up—I wish she had been.

In her article, Bonnie (I am on a first name basis with her, though she does not know it) wisely said that culinary trends are gradual, and some “foods become part of our culture, some disappear, while others keep trying to make it” and she put the choice of what we want to keep in our laps. She said “You decide what will stay and go this year” and gave us a list she had gleaned from somewhere. She did not say where she got the trendy list—but here it is—for your culinary pleasure (or displeasure): bitters, blood, butterscotch, doughnuts, French food, grilled cheese sandwiches, heart, herbal desserts, historical recipes, hotel dining, innards, induction cooking, Korean, mackerel, marrow, McCafes, meatless Mondays on Wednesday, Nordic cuisine, rye, sea buckthorn, sous vide (method of cooking in sealed plastic) at home, salsify, sweetbreads, vegetables and wood sorrel.

Now Bonnie is trying to put forth the argument that butterscotch is the new chocolate, grilled cheese the new hamburger, and vegetables, the new bacon. I have no argument with butterscotch, grilled cheese or vegetables—but let me make this very clear—I will agree to them only in addition to chocolate, hamburgers, and bacon, not instead of. Why do things have to be left behind? And speaking of left behind, “Nutrition Unplugged” provided a list of what’s in and what’s out in the food industry, according consumer researchers, The Hartman Group. I totally agree with the site’s rejection of “nutritionism” which they say refers to “celebrating or demonizing particular ingredients at the expense of the food itself” allowing the popularity of processed foods such as potato chips with added fibre to flourish, while “whole, real foods in the produce section remain uneaten.” What I am not sure about is The Hartman Group’s “in” and “out” lists—but I will leave it for you to decide.

“Out” for 2012 is margarine, processed soy protein, low sodium, fat free, artificial sweeteners, white chicken meat, superfruits from afar, egg whites, processed factory cheese, activities trumping meal time, excessive supplements, elimination diets, treadmills, ultra lite beer, baked potato chips and wheat grass shots. So what are we supposed to replace these with? “In” for this youngster of a year is real butter, grass fed meat, sea salt, healthy fats, stevia, dark chicken meat, local, seasonal superfruits, whole eggs (cage free), The Family Dinner, fresh produce, portion control, dance/rumba, craft beer, kettle potato chips and dark leafy greens.

In the spirit of things, I bought a bouquet of dark, leafy green kale, which is supposed to be a superfood if you pay any attention to Dr. Oz at all. The question is: will it wilt in my fridge or will I find some way to work it into my somewhat haphazard but well-intentioned diet? But if there is anything I know for sure, it is that I will not be working blood into any of my finely tuned recipes anytime soon—although, if you think about it—what is gravy?

Published in: on January 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm  Comments (4)  
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