Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to begin another new year. To get things started right I thought I would share another breakfast recipe with you. Because, if breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then it must be at least equally so for the first breakfast of the New Year.

I know some people like to eat foods that will bring them luck in the New Year; black eyed peas, marzipan pigs, and my personal favorite, pickled herring. Yes, that’s right pickled herring. Now, I am not one to turn away foods, but this is one point where I might make an exception. I can clearly remember my grandmother plucking a slimy silver chunk of fish from a bowl at the stroke of midnight, tilting her head back and swallowing. Well, she most likely used a fork and a small plate, but in my childhood memories, she used her fingers and swallowed those suckers whole. I have no idea if she liked pickled herring, but I do know that she liked disgusting her granddaughters with them.
Apparently my grandmothers’ family believed that eating pickled herring at midnight on New Year’s Eve would bring good luck and good fortune in the coming year. And it would be just like her to make sure she ate one every year at midnight whether she wanted to or not. It was the proper thing to do. Since my grandmother passed away no one has even mentioned procuring a jar of pickled herring, and I don’t think anyone misses the smell.
For me ringing in the New Year is about having fun with family and or friends. And as long as I can stay awake until midnight (naps are allowed in my book) then it was a successful night. This year Joe and I had friends come visit us in Maine for the holiday and it was wonderful. Complete with sparkly New Year’s Eve tops for all the girls and coordinating Crayola hair extensions purchased from the local grocery store. Yes Crayola apparently makes hair extensions.
And then in the morning we all awoke at a reasonably late hour, decided to nix the polar bear plunge idea, and cracked open the last two bottles of champagne for mimosas. Using up the holiday Panettone in French toast was a great way to get ready to sit and watch hours upon hours of sports.

French Toast Panettone
Panettone is a sweet Italian egg bread studded with candied fruits and nuts and can be found in pretty much any grocery store around the holidays. The idea for this came when Joe and I had purchased a large panettone and were unable to eat it before it went stale. Any kind of stale bread makes great French toast.

1 panettone
4 eggs
¾ c whole milk (or half and half)
¼ c cugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Bacon grease or butter for cooking.

Slice the panettone into reasonable sized pieces, or if you like the comedic large slices, go ahead and use those. If the bread is fresh allow it to sit out for about an hour before cooking so that the slices are a bit stale.

Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

Preheat a griddle over medium heat and add bacon grease or butter (I usually make bacon in shifts to keep the griddle perpetually coated in grease – remember the pancakes recipe? Yeah.)

Dredge the sliced of panettone in the egg and milk mixture and carefully place onto griddle. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, flipping occasionally. Be sure the bread is cooked through - it should be a little stiff and should not ooze any of the egg when you press it with the back of a spatula.

Repeat dredging slices and cooking until all of the bread has been used up. Place cooked French toast on a platter and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.

1 comment:

  1. No way would Grandma have used her fingers! Always a fork, and no tilting the head back, either. I remember her tradition every New Year's Eve, but have never been motivated to try it. Yuck!


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