French toast was one of the biggest treats of my childhood in Portland, OR. My mom would make it from thick-sliced sandwich bread and cook it in an electric frying pan that looked liked it dated from the dawn of electricity.
There were two tricks to my mother’s French toast: putting half-and-half in the batter, and using thick-sliced white sandwich bread. When my parents moved to Seattle in 1998, I hoped the French toast of my youth would come along, but it turned out thick-sliced sandwich bread was impossible to find here. Soon I started making challah French toast, and it was good (I make it every Sunday), but there’s really no substitute for the breakfast foods you grew up on.
The other day Iris and I were at the bus stop and a bread delivery truck pulled up. The guy rolled up the door of the truck and my eye somehow alighted on a product called Franz Texas Toast. This was it! It turns out they sell it at the QFC three blocks from our house.
I brought a loaf over to my mom’s house, and she promised to make us some French toast soon, even though she’s on Atkins. That’s what parenting is all about, I think. She also gave me her recipe, which is (this is not a criticism) a little more memoir than recipe, and I’ll print as soon as I try it myself.