Sans le Nom: Cookery, Rhetoric, and Other Forms of Pandering

"Now I call this sort of thing pandering, and I declare that it is dishonorable."Plato

"When a name comes, it immediately says more than the name." —Derrida

June 25, 2008:  A Sop to Cerberus

Yeah, I know.  I'm a bad, bad blogger.  I've been away doing other things, and I've still got other things to do, so I'm going to throw everyone a bone and post a recipe:  A sop to Cerberus, until I have something blog-worthy to write.

I'm participating in the National Writing Project for the next month. Yesterday, it was my responsibility to feed the other participants breakfast.  Since most of them are from out of town and either driving in or staying in a motel, I decided to do it up a bit.  This is something you should only eat once a year—it's kind of a bread pudding, except way more decadent. 

French Toast Casserole

1 loaf of bread (I used a whole-grain yeast bread made with nuts)
8 eggs
2 cups heavy whipping cream (yikes, I probably could have used half and half)
1 cup milk
2 T sugar
1 t vanilla extract (used the real stuff, not imitation)
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
dash of salt
topping (below)

Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish, taking special care to coat the sides, as that's where the crust will stick the most.  Cut the heels off the loaf and then slice it into 10 one-inch thick slices.   Arrange these in a single layer—squeeze them in if you have to. 

In a large mixing bowl, crack the eggs and beat lightly.  Then, add the cream, milk, sugar, extract, and spices.  Mix to a consistent texture and spoon over the bread to coat it evenly.  Cover and refrigerate overnight so the bread has time to soak up mixture. 

In the morning, place a baking sheet on the rack below the one you will bake the casserole on to catch the topping if it boils over.  Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Mix up the topping below.  Spoon it evenly over the bread and bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes.  Keep an eye on things after 30 minutes, as the topping can boil over and burn.  You can check doneness with a thermometer inserted in the very middle of the casserole.  It should register at least 160 degrees.  I prefer 165. 


2 sticks of butter
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 T light corn syrup
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg

Add ingredients to a microwave-safe mixing bowl.  Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, until butter is mostly melted.  Stir.  Spoon over bread mixture. 

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About Me
I teach; cook; write; hike; read; dally; canoe; eat; write; rock 'n roll; eat some more; tumble and fall; dawdle; complain; bento; write; organize; watch movies; ignore e-mail;  renovate; write; curse computers; brew my tea dark and bitter; herd cats; live in Arkansas; Plato, Derrida, and rhetoric (yes, those are verbs); remain overly cautious; persuade; imbibe; GTD; and oh, yeah, I write a little. 

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All images and text copyright © 2004-2008 by Jennifer Deering.  All rights reserved.
E-mail me at sanslenom at msn dot com.

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