Issue: December, 2006
Author: Jeffrey A. Schalow
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Executive Director's Report
An unintended yet very pleasant consequence of the admonition in my first column to contact a long lost friend was that I heard from many old friends and law school classmates. Thank you all so very much!
The “name the column” contest continues. Many of the early entries harkened back to the infamous "Schalow and Dull Report” that scandalized the Wyoming Law School back in the late seventies. For a while, I fancied “Schalow Thoughts” or just the “Schalow Report,” but when I mentioned it to my brother, he balked at using “that same old pun we’d heard all our lives.” I pointed out it was a new and original pun for anyone first encountering our family name. But, trouble is, though it may be an original thought in each individual’s mind, everyone thinks of it. Truth told, the pun gets old fast and I intend to be writing this column for a very long time. Keep your suggestions coming and I’ll announce the winner in February’s issue.
The message in this column is a simple one - I wish you joy and bright blessings this Holiday Season.
All Rites of Winter ever devised, all traditions and beliefs, set this as the time of year for reflection, celebration and preparation. It is the time of the Winter Solstice - that point in the cycle of seasons when darkness gives way to light. A time to reflect on our past, to count blessings and give help to others. A time to celebrate and share tales and traditions of family and friends. It is time to prepare for the awakening of life come spring. It is time to forgive ourselves and to light up others’ lives with the season’s magic.
My gift to all of you is a favorite breakfast recipe. One you can use to feed the house full of guests left over from the previous night’s revelry or (especially if served as breakfast in bed) to simply make any day special for someone you love. This is (deceptively) easy to prepare; if you can make toast you can handle this. However, it makes an elegant and festive presentation, it’s yummy, and everyone’s reaction is the same – “wow, that’s the best French Toast I’ve ever had!” Yup, all you’re getting from me is a recipe for good old French Toast. “Uhh, yea, well ummmm … thanks Jeff, but everybody knows how to make French Toast”- true enough, but not like this, so enjoy it and the compliments you’ll get for your gourmet French Toast.
Festive French Toast (2 to 3 servings):
4 large eggs
1 cup of half-and-half
2 teaspoons of honey
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
4-6 thick slices of fresh bread
½ stick of butter (or more)
Fruit Salad Topping: Cut up fresh oranges, berries and bananas and toss with some Grand Marnier
The rich ingredients are key to the taste. Do not substitute skim milk for half-and-half nor “whipped topping” for real heavy whipped cream nor margarine for butter, nor caramel colored high fructose corn syrup for real maple syrup, etc. This ain’t a diet breakfast item.
Use dense fresh bakery bread and slice it about 1 to 1.5 inches thick. A whole wheat or honey wheat bread is good but just about anything, that is not a light airy white bread, works fine. Try cinnamon raisin bread for an interesting variation.
Beat eggs and half-and-half . Mix in honey, almond extract, and orange peel. Pour into large shallow dish or pan. Soak bread slices in egg mixture for some five minutes (turning at least once).
Melt three tablespoons of butter in large skillet over medium low heat.
Place bread in skillet and cook until golden brown, adding more butter if necessary (allow about three to four minutes per side).
Pour syrup on the bread, top with fresh fruit salad and whipped cream, then garnish with a bit of grated orange peel.