I'm aware this idea might be too simple to share, but it's kind of saving my weekend mornings right now, so I'm going to put it out there on the off chance that one of you has been wondering how to feed your family the same breakfast (that isn’t boxed cereal) at different times of the day.
First, a bit of backstory: Matthew typically wakes up anytime between 4:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. Sometimes he falls back to sleep, and there are the days when he definitely doesn't, but regardless he's usually ready for breakfast no later than 7:30 a.m. The older boys stumble down the stairs between 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m depending on the day, what they have on their calendar (hockey practice, guitar, homework, etc.) and how late they’ve stayed up the night before. With my 4am wake up call you can bet I try to be in bed by eleven, so my big boys are usually the last to go to sleep.
After months and months of making one meal for Matthew and Rob, then something else for me a little later because I prefer a smoothie or smaller bite after I’ve had my morning tea, and then yet another thing for the older kids when they wake up, I’ve simplified the entire process so I make just one thing for all: French toast.
By the end of the week, we almost always have some past-its-prime bread hanging out on the counter. It could be a stale baguette, or the smaller ends of the loaf of bread that no one seems eat. For years, I’ve been turning those into salad croutons, but now I slice them up and lay them on a cutting board beside a bowl of cinnamon-spiked eggy custard. Over on the stove, a cast-iron skillet is set over medium heat and a stick of butter rests nearby for greasing the pan. I begin by making French toast for Matthew, then turn the heat to very low, swipe the pan clean with a piece of paper towel, and leave everything for the boys. When they get up, they put a few slices of bread in the bowl to soak, turn the skillet up to medium, butter the pan, and cook a few pieces of toast for themselves. Sometimes they even make breakfast for each other if they’re both up at the same time, a miraculous feat in itself. Regardless, everyone has the same breakfast at the time that works for them. The last person to cook and eat washes the bowl and cutting board, cleans the skillet, and turns off the stove.
My recipe for French toast is straightforward: in a large bowl whisk together 3 eggs, 1 cup milk or half-and-half or a combination of both, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt. This is usually enough custard for a sliced baguette. If I have to make another batch, I do, but it’s usually enough to feed us all. Serve with assorted toppings and lots of maple syrup!