As a Psychology major, it is appropriate for me to assert that I find astrology to be ripe with a certain something containing the letters B and S. That does not mean I am not guilty of, at one time or another, finding it fun to read about, though. And there was certainly a time when I thought it was fascinating. Though I now find all horoscopes to be vague and suspiciously similar, I have read before that my sign is notoriously protective, something I actually believe to be true of myself.
The reality of it is that on a few occasions, I have been thanked for this quality. This is because I have helped avoid several car accidents by staggeringly shouting “STOP!” at whoever had the privilege of driving me around that day. However, those few times I was right about an impending accident are overshadowed by the fact that I am always that way. What I am getting at is the fact that I am, wholeheartedly, a ferociously protective back seat driver. In all aspects of life. And it doesn’t stop when I enter kitchen. Which is why, when my darling wanted to make something special for me with one of my favorite ingredients (i.e., pumpkin), I drove him crazy pushing spices at him and peering over his shoulder until he finally wrote down his recipe so I could tweak it to my liking.
I promise, I am not always obnoxious…BUT, if you would like some examples of times when I have not displayed this characteristic, you are out of luck. I am far too busy diverting your attention to my darling’s perfected Pumpkin Spice French Toast recipe! We tried every bread possible and trust me, honey wheat goes perfectly with the creamy pumpkin-egg mixture. I find that, while rustic breads seem so much classier than the sandwich bread you get at the grocery store, it’s best to use something with a tighter texture for this recipe. Bread seems to really like pumpkin, so much so that the French Toast can become spongy if you aren’t careful. Still, the experience of testing breads only reinforced how awesome pumpkin works for this delicious, syrupy breakfast treat.
I think the only downside to this recipe is the fact that I suspected honey wheat sandwich bread to be best all along, long before we tried crusty French bread, sourdough, challah, and whole wheat bread. This, of course, has only reinforced my backseat driver behavior. I suppose we can talk about what a shame it is sometime when my mouth is not stuffed with this delicious French Toast. Which is likely never.
Pumpkin Spice French Toast
Makes 3 servings (and can easily be doubled or tripled or shared)
6 slices honey wheat sandwich bread
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)
1/8 tsp allspice
real* maple syrup, for drizzling
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat butter in a large saucepan (or griddle) on medium-high. In a shallow bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, pumpkin, and spices. Dip each slice of bread into the pumpkin mixture, making sure that both sides are covered. Shake off excess and add to saucepan (you will need to do this in batches—I cook two at a time). Cook until bottom of bread has browned (about 1-2 minutes), then flip over, cook another 1-2 minutes, and remove from pan. Place finished toast on a baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Continue until all slices of bread have been cooked. Serve with salted butter and real maple syrup.
*Reminder: I am Canadian, and this is non-negotiable in my kitchen.