I live in a pretty small house in Chapel Hill, north of UNC's campus. About half a mile away, there is another house full of my friends, also not particularly large. Despite these houses limited capacity to comfortably hold a group of 10 or more people, I regularly wake up on a Saturday morning surrounded by 5-8 people in one of these houses, even as it is bursting at the seams. By 11 o'clock on these mornings, we are usually eating this french toast.
Do you ever find yourself nostalgic for a moment even while it is occurring? I do. I call it preemptive nostalgia, and I feel it every time I eat this french toast, because I have been repeatedly told that my life will not always allow for massive sleepovers and late morning french toast breakfasts cooked by my favorite people in the world. People tell me this, and I pretend to ignore them, but the reality is that my biggest fear is the moment in my life when sleepovers and french toast stop being the norm. I think this is called adulthood.
Here's how we do it. Someone runs to the grocery store and buys a loaf of bread and a pound of bacon. Sometimes we also have to buy milk and eggs because we haven't fed ourselves real food in over a week. People are assigned to different roles - bacon fryer, bacon taster (me), mimosa maker, and DJ (a very important, undervalued role).
But Elsa is always in charge of the french toast. She uses more butter (and love) than seems appropriate but it always comes out exactly how you want french toast - half toast, half pudding. But french toast has been representative of lazy Saturdays mornings for me since before college. At the boarding school I attended in high school, there was often french toast at the breakfast buffet on Saturday mornings.
That particular french toast was made with leftover sandwich bread and varied significantly in its quality. Occasionally, though, I would get a slice that had all the properties that make this french toast so delicious - a soft, eggy interior with a crispy, buttery shell.
I really hope that you wake up surrounded by people who love you. If you do, you should make them this french toast.
FRIENDSHIP FRENCH TOAST
yields enough for about 5 people
- one loaf crusty french bread, cut into slice about 3/4 inch thick
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 stick butter, sliced into 1 cm patties
- syrup, berries and other toppings as you wish
Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat. Decide how many pieces of bread you're going to cook at once. You can probably do 2 or 3 at a time without overcrowding the pan. Soak a few slices of bread in the milk/egg mixture. Elsa does this as she goes, otherwise the bread gets too soggy. Melt a couple pieces of butter in your pan and then place your prepared slices.
I didn't want to say it, but you are essentially going to deep fry this bread. Just get on board ok? Thanks good talk.
Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until it is crispy and really almost burnt.
Keep warm in the oven at 250 degrees in a single layer so that it stay crispy.
You may be tempted to tell everyone that they can eat while you finish cooking but DO NOT. Finish cooking and then sit down at the table like a grown-ass woman/man with your beloved.
Drench in syrup. Serve with berries, greek yogurt, powdered sugar and whatever else your heart desires.