For me, french toast is my daddy’s favorite, a special Sunday morning special, perhaps.
Mama cracks eggs into a bowl and whips them with milk and cinnamon for texture. She pulls slices of wholegrain bread out of their plastic bag and dips them into the egg mixture, first one side, then the other. The eggy liquid soaks into the spongy insides of the bread. Hiss straight into the hot pan, these slices bubble and brown around the edges.
If it’s someone’s birthday, these fluffy cakes get topped with fresh fruit and maple syrup. If we go to Denny’s, they even have powdered sugar. French toast is for celebrations.
For her, my Colombian friend, french toast was her daddy’s invention when he needed to get creative to feed the hungry kids. When the money didn’t quite stretch to feed the many mouths in his household, her dad would send a kid to the corner store for a bag of white rolls (15 cents each) and eggs (5 cents each).
He’d whisk the eggs with milk. The bread he’d pull apart into smaller pieces, sometimes rolling them into balls before bathing them in the eggs. Each little roll got tossed into the sizzling skillet, swimming with rich butter. When the fried balls browned, they got covered with more butter and cheese that melded to the bread.
Now, she makes it for her two boys. For her brother, french toast is a bad reminder of tough times, but for her, it’s a delicious adventure to be shared.