Monday, September 28, 2009

Fast Birthday

Q: What do you get when you cross a 36th birthday with Yom Kippur?
A: A hungry birthday girl.

But seriously folks, I'm glad it's over. Thirty six hardly seems like a birthday worth getting emotional over. It's just loitering around in the thirties neighborhood- spry and energetic 30 is way back there and empowered and assured 40 is still a ways off. So instead, I focused on Yom Kippur, and the transgressions, sins, follies, inequities, and slips that weighed my year down. And I decided that this year I will try to listen more. Listening means less talking, less gossiping, less naysaying, less yelling, less imposing, less noise.
The thing about Yom Kippur is that it is supposed to be a day of reflection and inwardness, soul searching and new resolutions, but at about 4:00 p.m. my interior starts to grumble and my head inevitably turns to what I want to eat. On Yom Kippur my true pallette affirms itself- I long for pizza, cheese, and sweet pastry. And that's what YK is for me, it is a day that strips everything down to it's bare elements.
Knowing myself as I do, after 36 years of inhabiting these skin and bones- I put together a maple french toast right before the fast began, and left it in the fridge for those 25 hrs. to soak up the egg/milk/vanilla mixture. Straight out of the oven it was homey and sweet and warm. And it reminded me that life, like my astrological sign, is about balance. The harshness and hunger of the Yom Kippur fast was important, but so was the comforting and warm nourishment of the french toast that followed it.

Maple French Toast
In a small saucepan combine 1/3 c. butter (I used light butter spread and it was fine), 2/3 c. packed brown sugar, and 1/3 c. maple syrup. Stir over medium flame until a smooth syrupy mixture occurs. Spread syrup mixture over a casserole pan. Slice up a challah into 1" slices, trim off the crusts and place the challah over the syrup covering the pan in a single layer of challah slices. In a med. bowl beat 4 eggs, 1 c. milk (I used 2%), and a teaspoon of vanilla extract and if you have it a tsp. maple extract. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. Bake uncovered at 375F until the challah is golden brown and puffy.
Serving suggestions: Butter and jam is delicious on this breakfast dish, as well as additional maple syrup. Sliced bananas are also a fantastic addition.
Addendum: if you are after a more ooey-gooey cozy breakfast experience- increase butter to 1/2 c., brown sugar to 3/4c. and maple syrup to 1/2 c. (especially if you are using Grade B syrup- and in that case save a piece for me)

1 comment:

Apples and Butter said...

What a wonderful way to spend your birthday. Yom Kippur or not we should all spend more time on our birthdays reflecting on the past year. I will happily take part in the tradition if you'll bring over your french toast at the end of the day!