May 11, 2008

Forward Progress?

One of my favorite things to do is to make breakfast on Sunday mornings. I used to like to go out for breakfast, and truthfully, I still do enjoy it... but I am a good enough cook that I've gotten kinda picky about the food I get in restaurants, and greasy hash browns and rubbery eggs just don't cut it anymore.

Fortunately for me, the kids don't care for my cooking, or breakfast could be an all-day affair, and turn me into a short-order cook. A gallon of milk, Cocoa Puffs and a shovel (and safety goggles) will suffice for them.

So today, I made one of my favorites - french toast - which is both easy and tasty. I have a special recipe for the batter... and I use both cinnamon and ground cloves, as well as sugar, half and half and eggs. The big advantage there is that the cloves make for a very fragrant presentation, without overpowering the taste.

There is one other ingredient that is a must have, and that is real maple syrup. I went to make french toast a couple weeks ago, and discovered that I was out of maple syrup, so before I could make it, I had to run to the store. [As an aside, don't you think that totally defeats the purpose of breakfast? The idea that you'd have to get dressed and go to the store to get something before you could come home, get undressed and put your jammies back on, just to enjoy the meal? By the time you get dressed and go out, the breakfast clock is running down, and it is already getting to be lunch time.]

"Pancake Syrup" - the brush I will paint the entire market from Log Cabin to Mrs. Butterworth's - is an abomination... but more importantly, it was one of the first baby steps of the food industry into the realm of corn sweeteners. Without going into the horrors of High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which one could easily look up in any search engine, the idea of substituting pancake syrup - basically liquid sugar - for a flavor that is so unique that it defies substitution just boggles the mind.

Sure, real maple syrup is expensive. But it shouldn't be treated like a staple, it should be treated like a spice or a garnish. A little dab will do ya... and a small bottle of maple syrup goes a long way. If you're concerned about the serving size your kids would use, put it on there for them... you don't let them decide how much garlic to put in your tomato sauce, do you?

I am not a food nazi... but just think how much more enjoyable having those dishes the way they were intended.

Like margarine before it, corn sweeteners will end up being a nutritional failure. So why settle for sub-standard anyway?

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