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What do you know, my recipe--almost

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I am a lover of French Toast, that breakfast staple that so many people rely on for various purposes. It stretches food like eggs, and you can use up some slightly stale bread making it. You transform it from ordinary to sublime with good-quality organic maple syrup, which is available all over Tucson, particularly in our health-oriented stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods.

I have been making it for years, and over time I evolved my own recipe; so imagine my surprise when I saw it online--almost. There are some preferences that I stick to: I don't add vanilla to the custard mixture, but I do add some sugar or stevia. The reason is that after you put the sweet maple syrup on the finished French Toast, it will be noticeable if you have not sweetened the custard itself. However, vanilla makes it taste like dessert to me, so I leave it out. I'm not looking for Bread Pudding here.

I think that the whole cachet of French Toast is the clever way it provides an excellent dish from everyday ingredients; my compliments to the French who devised the original idea.

Darn Good French Toast

Ingredients:

1 loaf of good-quality sliced bread
3 large eggs
1/2 cup cream
2 Tablespoons blonde or light-brown sugar
Butter, for grilling and serving
Maple syrup

Whisk together the eggs, sugar and cream. Place the mixture in a large, flat container such as a baking pan. Dip two pieces of bread at a time into the mixture, turning them once to allow the bread to absorb the custard mixture.

Heat your griddle or flat grill pan over medium high heat, and add 1 Tablespoon butter for every two pieces of bread; tilt the pan so that the butter covers the surface.

Grill the bread on one side, then turn once when it is lightly browned. Keep the heat low to medium. When the second side is lightly browned as well, remove the two slices to a plate and serve. Repeat this procedure two pieces at a time to serve all guests.

Serve with additional butter, if desired, and good quality maple syrup. One thing I do enjoy, personally, are fruit syrups such as strawberry and blueberry. They are available in Tucson's supermarkets, and a high-class version is also available without sugar if you want it.

If you have several guests, one thing to do is to place the cooked French Toast on a baking sheet and cover it with a clean, damp kitchen towel to avoid drying it out. If necessary the slices can be held in a warm oven.

Crisp bacon and good strong coffee completes this unpretentious, delicious breakfast or brunch.

I use soy cream such as Shamrock or Silk creamer instead of cream since I avoid dairy products.

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