The Week of Hosting: The Plan Was To Have French Toast

It started with an email. But then, it usually does anymore, doesn’t it? Have I mentioned I hate the phone? Because I hate the phone. I would much rather email. If not that, then I’d rather text. But if this shit is just going to take too long to type, I’ll move the phone. But I hate the phone, because nine times out of ten, I can’t understand what people are saying. Skype is generally a much better experience, because I can use two ears. Where the hell was I? Email. Yes

We miss you! it said. Come over, it said. “I want French Toast!” I said. And thus, the Henson Brunch was born. The funny thing is, I think this one was on the books before cinnamon rolls or pie were even a blip on my mental screen, but you know, busy people are busy, so it took us quite a few weeks to find a time that was mutually agreeable. And then Cinnamon Rolls and Pie popped up around it, and all of a sudden, Honey and I were facing an epic Week of Hosting.

The cool thing was that because we had already hosted the weekend before, AND during the week, the house was already fairly tidy. I mean, you know, for us. Heh! But it was kind of nice, in a frantic sort of way, to have people over so much that it forced us to keep house for a week.

Anyway, Honey and I got up WAY early again, but before we could walk the dogs, I had some prep work to do. I ran downstairs– and then I ran back upstairs to get some slippers, because tile floor is COLD in the morning. But then I ran back downstairs again, and prepped the baked French toast. I had made this recipe once before– for the Hensons, in fact– and after I had already prepped my pan and started putting the bread down I realized yet again that when a recipe calls for a 10×15 pan (which I found out after is about the size of most cookie sheets with raised edges), “just winging it” with a 9×13 pan probably won’t work. Oddly enough, I had had this exact same revelation the last time I made French toast for the Hensons. Which is part of the reason why I now write down in my baking journal my original recipe, what I actually did (because they are NEVER the same), and what I thought of the results. I wish I had done that the first time…

So, I sort of halved the recipe again, and made up the rest of it in an 8×8 pan. Guess what??? It is REALLY hard to fit 4 pieces of bread– even tiny, gluten-free bread– into an 8×8 pan. Guess what else! Bread is smushy and easily cut by a knife. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t pretty, but it fit…. Mostly.

Honestly, if I hadn’t had to make the recipe twice, I would have been in and out in a flash. This one is pretty easy to set up. And because you’re baking the French toast, it all finishes at the same time, instead of having one person slaving over the oven, two pieces at a time, while everyone else gets their toast piecemeal (or everyone eats cold toast together, which is no fun either.) Seriously, if you’re making French toast for more than one person at a time, baking is the way to go!

So. I let the bread soak in the fridge– Yeah, about that. I like my French toast eggy. Otherwise, what’s the point? It’s the perfect vehicle for eggs and milk and cinnamon and vanilla and bread and maple syrup all at once! How can you not love that? It’s mouth-joy. I’m all about mouth-joy. So. I let the bread soak in the fridge while Honey and I tried our darnest to exhaust the dogs before the Hensons showed up. It didn’t work. Wellllll, it did, but our little flying monkeys are easily excitable.

When the Hensons arrived, Gazelik ran over to his friends, and Meetu lost his head, so he had some time out in the box to calm down. That sort of worked for calming him down, but it worked really well at keeping the aggressive dog from getting nervous around the six-year-old. (OMG! Is he really six already????)

As I recall, both the kids went straight to the video games to play “that one we played last time we were here that was awesome.” Honey went to help them set up NintendoLand, which sounds like a stupid name for a video game, but it’s fairly perfect for party- and/or babysitting settings. While he was doing that Kermit, Ms. Piggy and I set up the brunch, which consisted of French toast, only one piece of which was sqwunched, scrambled eggs, two kinds of sausage, and a metric ton of fresh berries with whipped cream– most of which we managed to put on the plate, rather than directly in our mouths. And juice.

After we were all stuffed to the gills, (Can I just say FINALLY one of the plans worked out the way it was supposed to?) there was a game of Spy Guys, at Eldest’s request– she always requests Spy Guys. 🙂 And then there was youtubing, which included this gem:

I need to figure out how to add this song my iPod.

Finally, it was time to go home, which, once again, was much easier for me and Honey than for the Hensons. And the kidlets didn’t want to go, which I always take as a good sign. Everyone had a good time– even Meetu, once he calmed down– and I look forward to doing it again soon.

Now, I’m sure you’re dying to know how I made the French toast– unless you already know how to bake French toast– I had to look it up. SUPER EASY. In fact, I think it’s actually easier than making it the traditional way, which is sort of the point, when you’re hosting, I suppose.

Original Recipe, found here.

Bear's Baked French Toast (adapted)

Prep These:

    to make this recipe gluten free, just use gluten free bread!
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 8 dollops 1% milk
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (NOT optional)
  • 1 dash cloves (optional)
  • 1 sprinkle cardamom (optional)
  • 1 tiny sprinkle powdered vanilla (optional)
  • 8 slices bread (NOT optional)
  • Vanilla extract to taste - HA! I put waaay too much in. Glug-glug!

Mix this way:

  1. Melt butter in 10 x 15-inch pan in oven.
  2. Mix sugar and dry spices. Sprinkle evenly into pan.
  3. Mix eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Lay bread on pan and pour egg over it. Flip the bread over so the bottom and top can both absorb egg stuff, and let it soak for an hour in the fridge.
  4. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven on center rack for 20 minutes.
  5. Let stand 1 minute. Lift out sugar side up on serving platter.
  6. Enjoy. Seriously, you don't even need syrup-- and I always need syrup.
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