I’m in the habit of asking men I meet about their kitchen habits. I’m interested in knowing if they like to cook, and I’ve discovered that, very broadly speaking, there are three types of male cooks: The very involved (such as myself), the completely uninvolved (such as my father), and those who cook breakfast. If a guy does some cooking around the house, most often it’s for the first meal of the day: pancakes, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, mostly on the weekends.
Of course, in my house, things are not at all like that. Santa Maria jumps at cooking breakfast—she’s the engine that drives the weekday get-out-school mornings, and on the weekends, she’s the first to suggest bacon or homemade buttermilk biscuits. I handle pancake duties, but that’s a legacy of our courtship. I won her over with fruit-laden pancakes, from scratch (it’s not much more difficult than opening a box of mix, by the way).
French toast is one of my favorite breakfast dishes, but I rarely eat it. Santa Maria has never warmed to the way I make it, and it has always been easier for me to break out the pancakes. I’m nothing, if not lazy. Our girls have only had it once or twice.
On Saturday, though, we were at the Green Market, buying clams for dinner. I wanted a loaf of fresh bread, so I stopped by the Bread Alone stand. They were out of baguettes, and I opted for a gigantic loaf of fresh sourdough, the one they called the Levianthan. And rightly so—it was a whale of a loaf.
I knew there was no way we would eat all of the bread that night, and I was thinking one thing when I picked it up: “French toast.” Santa Maria was on to me, and later she said she knew exactly what I was thinking.
On Sunday morning, she was up first with the girls, and she let me sleep in. I was under the covers until the remarkably late hour of 7:45, and by the time I made it to the kitchen, she had already given the Nina an egg and Pinta a cup of yogurt. I was free to make French toast for myself.
Perhaps because I didn’t expect anyone other than myself to eat it, I was very relaxed. I made slice after slice after slice; I can’t really just cook for myself. And I was glad I made so much: it was a huge hit. Pinta didn’t want any at first (she was acting her age), but when I gave her a bite, she was an instant convert. Pinta said it was better than everything else anywhere, and Santa Maria thought it batch was the best ever. The moral of the story: get good bread.
- 4-5 eggs
- about a cup of milk
- 8 slices or so of bread of your choice
- Maple syrup
Beat the eggs and add in the milk.
Slice the bread and dunk pieces into the mixture.
Brown the slices on a well-buttered frying pan.
Serve with warm maple syrup, cinnamon, powdered sugar, and/or whatever you would like.