Friday, August 6, 2010


As I've posted in this blog before on numerous occasions, I love berries but especially blackberries. [Just do a blog search of my blog on "blackberries" in the column at left: yes, it's too hot and I'm too lazy to link them for you today!] Blackberries are the blueberries of the South and if you live in the Northeast or northern locations where blueberries prefer the acid soil and grow readily, you will know what I mean. Warm and juicy from the sun, not too sweet and a bit tart, all purply and plump, they are the perfect medium for so many things: fruit salad, peach-blackberry cobbler, jam, yogurt and even tossed onto French toast. Oh yes, and muffins: we've already made several batches of those, too.

An early trade card for Butter-Nut Bread, with gnomes!
Here is my easy recipe for French toast: it is the only breakfast I can get everyone to agree upon without a fuss. Of course, when you make it with your own farm-fresh eggs, maple syrup from a former neighbor in New Hampshire, and blackberries picked right from your own bushes, you can't go wrong. I have to say, however, that Butternut® White Bread, the equivalent of Wonder®, makes a fine vehicle for the egg batter. It is even better when you've left the bread out overnight or just barely soak it in the egg mixture. Otherwise, you will have French glop!

French Toast (serves four)

•  4 large eggs
•  3 cups milk (or combine cream, milk, Half-n-Half or whatever is on hand**)
•  1 teaspoon vanilla
•  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
•  2-4 slices of white bread per person
•  butter for your skillet and for slathering
•  real maple syrup (accept no substitutes: otherwise you are drinking high fructose corn syrup! OK, so you could also use sorghum molasses, too, a favorite here on biscuits)

**just don't use skim milk

Mix all ingredients with an egg beater, except for bread. In the meantime, heat a generous tablespoon of butter in your skillet on medium high. Let sizzle. Have plates ready. Briefly, especially if bread is fresh, dip one piece at a time in the prepared egg batter (I can fry 3-4 pieces at once in my skillet) and take right out of the batter and place on skillet. Cook, briefly, on each side of bread until firm, browned and no liquid is showing.

Stack and serve with butter, maple syrup and a handful of your favorite berries or fruit. Also goes well with thick bacon or sausage patties.

We'll probably have this in our house on our first day back to school on Wednesday. Yes, the school year is here again, even though August is probably the hottest, most summer-like month in Kentucky. This was the fastest summer ever, even though the boys had three months off (but we get a lovely temperate May and all of June on the other end so we can't complain). Despite the heat here, we do enjoy this season on the farm and we plan to languish in our last days of summer vacation together.

On that note, I'm nursing a summer cold so I'm off for a nap and a good read--not necessarily in that order. For me, and with everyone in a routine again, the fall months will bring more structured time for writing and I'm looking forward to that. I may, if the fates allow, even have a real, live salaried writing-related job opportunity in the wings, too. I'll keep you posted. Either way, I'll keep blogging when I can. And I may as well nap while I still can, too!