Monday, February 16, 2015
The Genetics of the French Toast Effect
Here in the New of England, we're under some serious snow cover at the moment, with more incoming tomorrow (and if the pattern holds, even more a few days after that). Mind you, we've gotten off a whole lot easier in southern CT than our MA neighbors to the north, including my mom, who has just about lost her Subaru beneath 90 or so inches of the white stuff that's been deposited in the past few weeks. Still, Arizona, Wallaby and I have been working around some serious storms, power outages, and an honest desire to stay off the road and leave the slipping-and-sliding room for people who really need to be out there.
All of which sums to one prime directive: go buy bread, eggs and milk (BEM). This is a universal impulse. In fact, I'm pretty sure there's a gene for it (we'll call it the BEM gene), and that there are certain alleles (versions of a genetic sequence) favoring the additional purchase of driveway salt (BEMsalt), toilet paper (BEM-TP), beer (BEMsuds), and/or chocolate (BEMcacao). The base shopping list, though, is invariant. Bread. Eggs. Milk.
Prior to this past weekend's blizzard, my maternal unit emailed to confirm that she had, in fact, purchased these key commodities, and was thus prepared to ride out the storm. She carries at least one copy of the Whole Foods allele (BEMcrunchygranola), and thus I predict that she also laid in some steel cut oatmeal and organic produce alongside the basics. Meanwhile, Arizona, who is a BEMsalt/BEMsuds heterozygote (i.e., he has one copy of each) ducked out to purchase additional driveway salt, as I (a suds/cacao het) had already purchased sufficient beer and chocolate, and my father, who had sneaked up between storms for a visit, had come planning on making French toast for us and had imported the bread, eggs and milk from his more southern climes.
And, darn it, we had our French toast while the snow fell and the power stayed on, and we had a lovely visit, with Wallaby getting to meet Grandpa.
Arizona's reports of near-riots at Stop and Shop and Wally-world, though, got me thinking that the local stores must be in a pickle these days, trying to keep the BEM in stock, along with the ancillary commodities, when the trucks and trains are no doubt running behind schedule. And what of the locals, who have been compelled to buy fresh BEM every three days for the past month and have their fridges stuffed full, along with stacks of rock salt, donut dozens, and cases of Corona Lite in their garages?
Okay, maybe the latter sounds like the start of a party to me. But still.
In the interest of thoroughness, I hied myself off to the interwebz and typed into ye olde Google-Fu "what to make with bread, eggs and milk." And I got in return a veritable treasure trove of recipes. Versions of French toast! Bread pudding! Toad in the hole! Not to mention something called a Strata, which looks just as geological as it sounds, except involving food rather than rocks. And I started envisioning the Chopped blizzard basket: all three rounds must include BEM plus the four mystery ingredients. Ghost peppers, Gummi Bears, octopus and lard, perhaps, or Spaghettios, cream cheese, asparagus and day-old fried clams.
Annnnd maybe I'm lucky that it's not snowing today, or else Arizona would be looking at something really weird come dinner time. Tomorrow, though, we've got another blast incoming.
Excuse me while I go check the fridge!