Wednesday, 05 March 2014 09:41

In defense of French Toast

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By the will of Landru we survived another snowpocalypse, or at least the icy whisper of what had been promised to us. Well done, St. Louis! The extreme degree of dire weather warnings had been reaching a Challenger disaster level of seriousness though, and I do hope you were properly prepared. We sure were. Did you remember milk and eggs? I am unsure if this is a quaint St. Louis thing or something more global, but major cold weather events seem to have us all running for the stores to hoard staple breakfast items and plan for the new ice age. 

I am a fanatic weather follower and I was drowning in the Kool-Aid. I actually began to assess my snowpocalypse needs last Thursday, days before the mother of all storms was to descend upon the poor Midwest. Priority one was more rock salt. The other stuff seems to make the floors inside and car a lot messier, plus would be tougher on the dogs paws. It literally took me three tries to find a stash at Dierberg's after striking out at both Lowe's and Home Depot. A manager at Dierberg's was stacking up what they had as fast as he could and said that a truck was on its way from Champaign, IL to bring more. I bought four small bags and proudly whisked my bounty back to the garage where I also had a bag of sand standing by for extreme alley duty. My garage is near the lower end of a sloped, asphalt, dead-end alley and even the smallest amount of ice or snow can make it extremely difficult to escape. I was prepared for the worst this time.

I spent most of Saturday glued to radar maps in between going to the grocery store and gas station. I even got a haircut and went to do some laps at the Y in case I couldn't make it back out for a while. I always think to myself after the fact that I should not be allowed to go to the grocery store on my own while in a weather panic mode. $96 dollars and a few small bags later I had our sustenance needs covered. Maybe the snow, ice and wolves would keep me hunkered down in our little house on haunted hill, but the Oscars were going to be on Sunday night. If I froze to death it would be with the remote in my hand wishing I was on the red carpet too. 

We ventured out briefly on Saturday night to gather a different type of emergency supply and made it back to Maplewood just as the frozen misty rain was starting. We teetered our way down the slippery sidewalk in the back yard and made it into house unscathed. It had been weeks since I had fallen down on the ice and I wanted to keep my streak intact. I heard the tiny ice balls pinging off the windows and siding as I was falling asleep, thinking that I would wake up to an Adele Dazeem-free frozen landscape. 

The miracles of Facebook led me to discover that the boyfriend was off of work that day due to the store closing, and almost every other business and event in the land. We were stocked up and ready for a lazy snow day. Then the snow day didn't really happen. From a maximum prediction of up to 1" of ice and possibly 10" of snow, the storm fell victim to the Arch effect and split in two. The 314 was spared a major snopocalypse and the citizens were saved.

MODOT did do the right thing by warning people to stay off of the roads on Sunday. It was in fact very icy and there were plenty of accidents and cars off of the roads. I was very happy not to have to travel anywhere myself because my little Honda isn't so great in sloppy, snowy conditions. We both slept late, watched a bunch of silly shows, and smelled ribs slow roasting in the oven all afternoon. I had a robe on most of the day and night. It was comfy and warm and most pleasant. The Oscars were as predictable as they were dull but I didn't care.

I wound up using most of the salt that I had purchased to carve out a path on the patio and sidewalk to the garage, front steps and porch. I spared half a bag for the kindly widow next door and sprinkled what I had left near her back door and car. The main roads were mostly spotless and even the treacherous alley proved easy to navigate. I slow-rolled my Monday morning and didn't make it to the office until mid afternoon. And I did not fall down even once.

So did you and yours have French toast on this past snowy Sunday funday? Even they don't actually claim this breakfast confection as their own, the French are in part responsible for the founding of our fair city and are a big part of our heritage. It ain't called Freedom Toast but it is awfully tasty. It's a simple comfort food that evokes magical snow day memories from our own childhoods. Even if you did manage to brave the mob scenes at the grocery store for milk, eggs and bread, did you also remember to get butter and syrup? What kind of bread did you use? Did you add vanilla extract or cinnamon to the egg mix? No need to rough it and become a survivalist, dude. It was only a snowstorm.