The Loveliest of Summer Days…Rain and All

Why Thursday was the loveliest of summer days….even without the sun…..

1. Not a single alarm clock was set in this house.

2. The “baby”…um, I mean the 5-year old…slept in until 8am.  I wanted to weep tears of joy.

3. The middle child arose at 10:00 am. The eldest at 11:00 am.

4. I found a use for the 2-day old baguette that had been bugging me as it sat on the counter, barely eaten.

5. We ate a sinfully delicious breakfast of french toast with fresh berries on top at 1pm. In our jammies.

6. I had the privilege to once again bask in the creative genius that is Pixar Animation Studios. And, when Andy drove off leaving Woody and his toys behind, I quietly cried but no one knew except my dear friend, Mara, who was sitting right next to me quietly crying as well. Our youngest ones on our laps. Our older ones in the row in front of us. The whole “growing up and leaving home” theme of Toy Story 3 hitting a little bit close to home for us.

7. I didn’t have to cook dinner. I did, however, find myself hollering to get one of my chickens out from under the table, to another one to quit putting lemons in her brother’s mouth and the whole thing culminated with the “baby” tossing a lime slice at his brother while standing across the table from him. Was the dinner in a restaurant worth it? Sure it was. No dishes. Good friends. We’ll work on the manners later.

8. It rained so…I didn’t have to water. Who am I to ask for sun every day? After all, I do live in Portland.

9. I put the “baby” to bed by reading him Chapter 1 of the very first Harry Potter book.

10. My sweetie arrived home safely after traveling around the country all week and made me laugh with stories about small cookies.

French Toast for Lazy Summer Days

When I was growing up this was one of the dishes in my regular repretoire. I loved it and made it often. I have always found that when I order french toast in a restaurant or follow someone else’s recipe it usually ends up being too rich for me. My 10-year old and I have the same “rich food radar” and are very particular about how “saucey” or “syrupy” or “sugary” a dish ends up being. So, here’s my rendition of the beloved french toast recipe which was given a big thumbs up by the 10-year old as well as the rest of my brood. I usually just eye-ball the ingredients so I’ve attempted here to put quantities on them but please feel free to adjust the spices to your liking.

A day (or two) old baguette, sliced on the bias, about 12 slices
4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

2 tbsp canola oil, at least

fresh berries
powdered sugar
pure maple syrup

In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk and vanilla until well blended. Then, whisk in the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

Put a heavy-bottomed skillet on the stove to warm up. I use my cast iron skillet for this. While it’s warming, put 3-4 slices of bread in your mix so they can start to soak up the egg mixture. Turn them over after a minute or so.

With your heat on medium, add your canola oil to your skillet and once it is heated put your first pieces of soaked bread onto your skillet. They should sizzle a bit. Cook until they develop a nice golden brown color on one side and then, flip to the other side. Adjust your heat if necessary. I find that it takes about 2 minutes per side.

While your first batch is cooking, whisk your egg mixture once again and then, add your next 3-4 slices. Continue with the cooking and soaking until all of your slices are done. You may need to add more canola oil to your skillet as you go along. The hot oil helps give the toast a nice “searing” so to speak.

With your toppings and your plates laid out, call the troops to come on into the kitchen and enjoy your creation. Happy Summer!

Yield: 12 slices, more or less

All original text and photographs copyright: Carrie Minns 2009-2010


  1. Maegan Beishline says:

    Sounds like a perfect day! I'm afraid to see Toy Story 3…I'll be a puddle! And that is exactly how I make french toast…which we had for dinner last night…with the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg!

  2. Courtney Cook Hopp says:

    Awesome day! We're hoping for a few of those.

  3. Maeghan-Thanks for stopping by. So glad to know there are others out there dining on french toast at times other than just breakfast. As for Toy Story 3, genius work, of course, but definitely bring kleenex.

    Court-Hoping to have an awesome day with you soon!!

  4. Sure enjoyed your presentation and will have to try your french toast. Pops

  5. Thanks, Dad!