Callie’s Cabin: Festive Fourth of July patriotic breakfast
French toast is what I’m dishing up for a pre-special Fourth of July breakfast. As many of you may make fireworks in the kitchen with fancy recipes, I’m keeping it real and simple.
This traditional dish with a 21st century superfoods twist will provide you with energy, fill you up and not out. Then, you can fire up the grill and savor those tempting hot dogs, burgers, pasta salad and rich desserts.
French toast is a classic recipe that it savored around the globe and goes back to the 1600s in the United Kingdom. It’s no stranger in France as history shows it is known as “lost bread” or “golden bread.” The way it’s made is similar (although dipped in different liquids from wine to orange juice) and enjoyed as an afternoon or midnight treat.
In the 20th century, my mom whipped up French toast with white bread and whole milk, and store-bought syrup paired with a side of bacon. On Sunday mornings her words: “Breakfast is ready. Come and get it before it gets cold. Last call.” My siblings and I climbed out of bed and raced to the backyard picnic table for a morning feast in the summertime.
Almost two decades ago, I moved to Tahoe the week after Fourth of July, and it was hot, hot, hot. Despite the fact the kitchen stovetop wasn’t a place for relief, I cooked up comfort food — French toast — one morning using my mom’s classic recipe. But this year, I used the good stuff — organic eggs, low-fat milk, fresh fruit, nuts, and sweet honey from Carson City’s bees.
So, with a toast to nature, I’m spicing up this “eggy bread” and giving it a sweet kick.
Honey French Toast with Fruit and Nuts
1 brown egg, beaten
½ cup half and half
¼ cup 2 percent low-fat organic milk
½ teaspoon each cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
1 teaspoons honey (local)
2 slices whole grain bread (with nuts and seeds)
2 tablespoons European style butter
½ cup each fresh, sliced raspberries and blueberries
¼ cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
All natural honey (local)
Confectioner’s sugar (for dusting)
In a bowl, mix egg, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and honey. Melt butter on medium heat in large frying pan. Dip bread in egg-milk mixture. Cook till golden brown. Serve on plates and top French toast with berries and nuts. Drizzle with honey, dust with sugar.
*I used fresh peaches and walnuts drizzled with maple syrup but for the Fourth of July red and blue berries are ideal. Serves two. Double or triple the recipe for more.
So, this year, while fun and excitement happens around the lake, I’ll be somewhere very special enjoying festivities, like our locals (here or elsewhere) and tourists. Instead of cooking, though, I’ll order French toast and pair it with a carafe of coffee. My recipe is a good one for folks in the Sierra, it’ll take you back to nature and allow you to enjoy its goodness.
Motto: Breakfast is an important meal and starting it off right with good food can set the tone for your day and night.
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.