Our nine-year-old grandson, Derek came down for a visit this year. This was Derek’s first solo visit and we were very excited. We were especially excited because this time of year the community sponsors many fun events for the grandchildren to participate in. While Derek was here he saw a very funny movie, played bean bag toss, watched a very funny magic show, decorated cupcakes, learned all about butterflies, and did some very silly science experiments.
One thing I really like the grandchildren to do while visiting is take a hand at learning to cook a favorite food or preparing a meal. Last November, I won a raffle that included a basket full of cookbooks and cooking utensils. One of those books was was Emeril’s “There’s A Chef In My Soup!” So, one day we sat down and page-by-page went through the cookbook in search of foods that Derek would like to prepare.
To my surprise, he was very eager to pick out recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We made a grocery list, shopped and set a date when we would prepare the meals. I was also pleasantly surprised at how quickly he took to this task. All I did was set up the ingredients on the counter and he did the rest. I would periodically step in when needed but for the most part he made three delicious meals.
The first meal he prepared was, “Emeril’s Favorite French Toast”. The recipe was easy to follow listing all the ingredients and tools needed to complete the task. The directions were clear and easy to read with some pictures included for reference.
As Derek worked he said, “You know Grandma, I thought about someday opening up a restaurant”. Could it be that we have a budding chef in the family? Of course, a few days before he mentioned that he would like to be a sanitation worker so he could ride on the back of a garbage truck. Very funny!
Emeril’s Favorite French Toast
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 slices bread
8 teaspoons unsalted butter
Maple syrup or cane sugar
- Preheat the oven to 200°F.
- Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk well.
- Add the milk, orange juice, orange zest, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, and whisk until well combined.
- Working quickly, dip each bread slice into the egg mixture in the bowl, turning it to coat both sides with the mixture. Transfer the coated bread slices to a plate while you finish coating the remaining slices.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat until hot, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Melt 1 teaspoon of the butter in the skillet, then add a slice of coated bread, and cook until the bread is golden brown and crusted on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn with a plastic turner and cook until the second side is golden, about 1 to 1 ½ minutes.
- Transfer the French toast from the skillet to a baking sheet. Cover lightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven to keep warm while you cook the other slices.
- Repeat with the remaining slices, being sure to add 1 teaspoon of the butter to the pan before every slice.
- Sprinkle the French toast with confectioners’ sugar and serve with maple syrup or cane sugar if desired.
I had a great time explaining and demonstrating things like whisking and zesting as Derek moved through the recipe.
The French toast was great. We all sat at the table talking about what we could taste most. Derek and Randy said vanilla. Perhaps this was because Derek had an ‘oops’ moment when measuring the vanilla. I said that I tasted the orange zest most. We added fresh strawberries and generous glass of orange juice to our breakfast. We all agreed that breakfast was wonderful and Derek was a good cook!
Next, Derek tries his hand at lunch.