Apr. 28, 2009 12:57 pm
Updated: May 4, 2009 8:13 am
It’s early Saturday morning. The birds are cranked up to 11. I’m wide awake and struggling with my conscience: it looks like we’re in for a rare sunny day but it will be half over by the time the rest of the house rolls out of bed. Why do I care? Because there’s heavy lifting to do in the garden and it requires manpower. Literally. So while I can appreciate the hard-earned luxury of sleeping in on the weekend, this is not the weekend to do it. If I want to get everyone out of bed AND bend them to my will, I’ll have to stoop to unfair tactics. Irresistible force. Bribery. French toast.
1 loaf cinnamon swirl bread, sliced
1 cup milk (or half cream, half milk)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon salt
Heat griddle over medium heat. (My big, heavy, double burner Calphalon griddle heats up evenly and lets me make six or eight slices at a time. That way I get hot French toast, too. Always a plus.)
In a wide bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Dip bread slices into mixture and place on baking pan. (I like to let them sit in the baking pan for at least 5 minutes before cooking so they can soak up just enough of the custard to make the bread fluffier when it hits the heat.)
Melt a tablespoon of butter on the griddle. Place coated bread slices on the griddle, leaving room so they don’t touch.
Enjoy the sizzle. Savor the aroma. Sing up the stairs that French toast is on its way. Listen to feet hitting the floor.
Check the toast after a couple of minutes. You don’t want it to cook too fast or the bread will be soggy inside. Adjust the heat if necessary. Flip the toast when the bottom is nicely golden. Cook for another few minutes. Serve to sleepy, happy, bed-headed family.
Dish up this breakfast of French toast dusted with powdered sugar and served with maple syrup and a simple dish of sliced strawberries and mangos, with maybe some turkey bacon for savory, and you can get the guys to move a pile of rocks from one end of the garden to the other. It worked for me.
So how do you muster the troops? What’s your tried and true bribery food? What did it help you accomplish? I’d love to hear your stories!
Cinnamon bread soaking up the custard.
French toast fried in butter. Oh my heart.
Strawberries and mango salad.
Powdered sugar-dusted bribery.
Garden work party breakfast.