Saturday, August 2, 2008
Breakfast of Champions
When I was a child there were mornings when I woke up and just wanted to be in Nanny's company. Even before I was old enough to understand why, I knew that Nanny was special. There were days that I'd pretend to be sick so I could stay home from school and hang out with Nanny. That meant special food all day long. One of the special things Nanny made for breakfast was french toast. I bet you're thinking that french toast is not that special. Well, her's was different and that's what made it special to me, my brother and my sister. The main difference in Nanny's French Toast was that you didn't put syrup on it. Nanny never had syrup in the house. There were many "American" things that we liked but Nanny would never touch. Syrup was one of them. Her topping for french toast was the same as her topping on her zucchini flowers. Granulated Sugar. These days since we are always watching our fat intake, a sugar topping just isn't practical. Today though, we are honoring Nanny so this is what she did and this is what I did.
Nanny usually used some white italian bread (loaf style sliced bread with some seeds...never wonder bread) but if she had some leftover bread like I did today, she would use that too. Mix in an egg with some milk, cinnamon, a little sugar and vanilla. I had a leftover round Italian bread from Whole foods and I cut two thick slices. I used two eggs since the bread was thicker. When the bread absorbed most of the egg mixture I fried it in a nonstick pan. Normally, I'd use Pam nonstick cooking spray or if I'm feeling like being indulgent I'd use a little butter. But Nanny never touched either of these things. Butter was a forbidden ingredient in her kitchen. It was very rare that she would use it. She claimed she was allergic but we all know she wasn't. She just didn't like it. Nanny used oil a lot. For most dishes she used Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I guess this is why her skin was always so soft. She never worried about her weight...she used a ton of oil but never had any issues with clogged arteries or high cholesterol. I guess this what they call the Mediterranean diet. So back to the french toast. I fried the french toast in a little bit of canola oil until it was a nice golden color. Sprinkle that with some granulated sugar and you're all set! I figured with all that thick bread I should balance it off with a sunny side up egg. Afterall, Nanny did like the combination of sweet and savory!