Today, I’m in one of those “throw in the towel” moods. I just don’t feel like cooking today — especially not from the 1898 New Galt Cook Book. I’d forgotten how much time it takes to do this every day. But then I remember feeling the same way at this point in 2012 when I was cooking from the Berlin Cook Book. It was tempting to do a recipe like buttered toast tonight but I’ll save that for a time when I really can’t bear to cook. Instead I’m going to make French Toast. This is a recipe contributed by Mrs. A. Taylor.
I’m not a big fan of french toast but this sounds interesting. I decided to make half the recipe. I cracked one large egg into a bowl and whisked. I added a 1/2 cup of milk, a dash of salt, and whisked again. I put a slice of nearly stale white bread in the bowl and left it while I prepared the frying pan. I simply melted some butter in the pan on medium heat. It was at this point I realized the recipe said “dip” the slice. My bread was soggy like typical french toast. I decided to try both methods. I put my soggy bread in the pan and then dipped another in the egg mixture and fried it too. Once they were cooked on one side I turned them. I put the French Toast on a plate and sprinkled with sugar. It was time to taste.
Mrs. A. Taylor is likely Margaret Fisher and one of the organizers of this cook book. She was born in Scotland in 1849 and came to Canada as a child. Maggie married Alfred Taylor sometime before 1877 and they had three children. Alfred owned a dry goods store in Galt and the family seems reasonably comfortable. In 1886 their oldest son died at age 9 of pneumonia. The 1891 census shows the rest of the family plus a male and female servant. The situation remains the same in 1901 except that this time the young man is Maggie’s nephew. Once again tragedy strikes this family when in 1904 the other son dies at age 25 of appendicitis. Their daughter seems to have survived well into adulthood since she was still single and living with them in 1921.
I’m not sure why I was dreading cooking tonight. This was easy and reminded me why I keep going. Mrs. Taylor’s French Toast was pretty good. I realize that both the butter and sugar are part of the reason I like this. They make anything better. Both the dip and the soak method worked well for this recipe. Use the dip method if you like crispy French Toast. The soak and soggy method is great if you like a more tender French Toast. Try this recipe if you like French Toast but don’t know how to make it. For people who make amazing but complicated French Toast keep it up. However, if you find yourself making excuses not to make it, perhaps it is time to go back to basics. Making Mrs. Taylor’s French Toast was a good reminder that sometimes simple is better.
Mrs. A. Taylor
Milk, sugar, two eggs, salt, butter, bread. Beat up your eggs in some milk with a very little salt, dip your slices of bread into it, fry in hot butter, sprinkle sugar over and serve hot.