What will you do with your eggs, milk, bread?
Why is it, exactly, that whenever there's a big storm coming, such as today's Snowmaggedon, people line up to buy what appears to be several weeks worth of groceries? And why does it always include the trio of eggs, milk and bread? Tales from the supermarkets yesterday and today told of lines down the block, carts filled to overflowing, bananas vanishing from the aisles. I don't mean to jinx things here, but will you really not be able to get to a store until March?
Of course, this weekend is a little different, what with that little football game happening on Sunday and all. So I can understand if you're stocking up on chicken wings or the makings of guacamole, chili or nachos, plus maybe some staples.
Perhaps I'm not your typical home cook, but I have enough food to last me for six months, without stepping in a grocery store. I'm a prime candidate for an everything-must-go party like contributor David Hagedorn wrote about recently. It's also true that I always like to have my EMB (eggs, milk and bread) around, but would all be lost for a day or two without them? The worst thing that would happen is that I'd drink my coffee black (easier than ever to do now that I'm roasting my own beans and obsessing over my brewing method) and have oatmeal instead of a fried or poached egg.
In the spirit of helping the fellow snowbound figure out what to cook this weekend, the most obvious answer, especially when it comes to EMB, is, naturally, French toast, with bread pudding running a close second. To that end, here are a few of our recipes for each, just in case you're home surfing the Net by now and need a distraction from staring at those Weather Channel radar screens:
Dessert French Toast With Banana: This, of course, is aimed at you fellow cooking-for-one souls, but it's easy to multiply at will. As a bonus, it also uses up bananas, which you probably also grabbed at the store. It's a dessert recipe, but on a snowbound weekend, an oh-so-sweet brunch seems just the thing, doesn't it? It calls for brioche or the like, but any soft (preferably thick-sliced) bread would work.
Baked French Toast With Strawberry Sauce: On the other end of the serving-size spectrum is this kid-friendly take. The sauce could be made with other frozen fruit you might have around. (Blueberries would be particularly nice, I think; just be sure to take that "to taste" instruction seriously when it comes to the sugar.)
Cherry Chocolate French Toast: If you're up for more of a project this weekend (really, what else do you have to do?), and you have the ingredients, this is the recipe for you. It starts with a baguette recipe that you could make this evening and eat half of (or double it!), then morphs into a delectable French toast. It calls for dried cherries, which may not be in your pantry right now, but you could put other dried fruit in there to decent effect.
Chocolate Bread Pudding or Chocolate Bread Pudding: Yes, we have two recipes for the same dessert. You can't have too many, really -- especially since in this case, the first, by the inimitable David Guas, is best when made with croissants, which you may not have picked up in your frantic dash to the store, while the other, based on a recipe by Paris's Christian Constant, asks for brioche or challah. Although, as in many bread pudding recipes, one soft bread can be used instead of another, with some differences in richness, of course.
Savory Bread Pudding With Mushrooms: Tired of all these sweet-sounding options? This one takes half-and-half instead of milk, and of course depends on some funghi, but if you've properly stocked up, maybe those things made it into your basket.
That's plenty of things to do with your EMB. I'm sure you have other ideas for these ingredients and other cooking projects appropriate to this weekend's Snowmygod. So don't hold back: Share, and share alike.
-- Joe Yonan
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