Empty Kitchen French Toast

October 10, 2009(updated on January 16, 2023)

french toast makings

We’ve been back from our honeymoon for the last couple of days, but I haven’t done much of anything creative in the kitchen as of yet. I’m still eying the pile of wedding gifts, trying to incorporate the new gadgets and pots into my already overfull galley (truly, a blessed problem to have). However, the very first morning we were back, weary of having to shower and dress before venturing out for breakfast, I made my lazy morning specialty.

French toast is one of those meals that doesn’t really require a recipe. It’s about taking a few end bits from the refrigerator and making a meal that elevates those humble, half-stale, slightly sour ingredients into something satisfying (and refreshingly cheap)! In our case, I didn’t even have to resort to the slightly sour, as there was an unopened quart of half and half in the fridge with an expiration date that was still three weeks in the future. There were also three lonely eggs and four slices of multi-grain bread (two of which were the heels).

Soaking bread

I beat those eggs in a shallow dish with several glugs of the half and half, until it was a mellow lemon color. Some cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg joined the egg mixture and a slice of bread went in. I heated my pancake/french toast griddle over medium heat and added a mostly unnecessary slick of butter (that griddle has been so well loved that it’s seasoned to the point where grease is hardly needed. But butter is so delicious).

My dad taught me to make french toast when I was young, and the point he always stressed was that it was important to give the bread a good soaking (but to watch carefully that you don’t oversoak). You want to get enough egg mixture into the fibers of the bread so that it puffs up like a custard while cooking. If your bread is particularly stale (which mine was), use a fork to score the slices in order to aid egg absorption.

french toast on griddle

Once your first slice is sufficiently saturated, carefully transfer it your pan. Follow suit with the rest of the slices of bread, as they’re ready. My griddle can accommodate four slices of bread, but if you don’t have such a roomy cooking vessel, feel free to cook them one or two at a time in frying pan (just don’t let them soak to bits if you’re using a smaller pan). Cook over medium heat, so that the slices have a chance to cook all the way through.

Scott eating french toast

Serve on a messy dining table, with some previously canned pear butter or some Vermont maple syrup.

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8 thoughts on "Empty Kitchen French Toast"

  • That is the most beautiful photo-story of french toast I’ve ever seen. Now I’m hungry.

    Your shelves are done!!

  • I love your wall of paintings and that your table is covered with wee bottles of syrup. It looks very comfy in there. I never think of doing anything with the heels but beat the boy to not getting the sad-sandwich-of-heels. french toast is a brilliant plan!

  • Yum! French Toast. My 5yo daughter absolutely loves the stuff. We eat it the traditional way for weekend breakfast. We eat it as a French Toast casserole for dinner. And we cook the French Toast slices in the waffle iron for weekday breakfast – calling it French Toast waffles. But no matter what – it gets covered in REAL Maple Syrup.

  • This is a long shot but I’m hoping you get this in the next few min…My wife and I made apple butter and are right about to can it but we are wondering if we can use our pressure canner. If we water bath them, I think it will take 4 batches as where the pressure canner can hold LOTS more. We can’t find anything about presure canning apple butter.

    Can you stack jars when using the water bath method?

  • Seeing your laden kitchen table and shelves makes me wonder: have you posted any pictures of your whole stash of canned goods? I imagine your glassy larder is quite inspiring….

  • Oh Lauren, thank you! And yes, the shelves are done and they are better than I could have possibly imagined. The only problem is that I filled them up far more quickly than I intended. Oh well.

    Mia, all those paintings were my grandparents, so I can’t really take credit for their existence. I do enjoy them, though.

    Rhonda Jean, I adore the phrase “divinely domestic.” Thank you for applying it to me.

    Daisy Mae, I’ve always intended to use a waffle iron for french toast, but I’ve never actually done it. Thanks for reminding me of that technique!

    Thanks Rcakewalk!

    Tony, I emailed you directly upon getting your comment, so hopefully your apple butter is now all happily canned.

    Deena, I’ve thought of doing something like that, but my canned goods are socked away all over the apartment, so I don’t have some grand cabinet of goodies to show off. I could composite a picture together, though…