May 3, 2011

Breakfast Isn't Lost on Me

Yall already know we have our own language quirks down here. 
Everybody's "yall," or "baby," or "boo," or "cher."
How's ya mama 'n 'em, boo?
Pass da mop tru da house.
Save da groceries.
I got me an envie for some boudin.
Suck the heads and pinch the tails.  (Calm down.  It's about crawfish.)

I never noticed until I moved away...but we say weird things.  It used to embarrass me when I lived in the Midwest and someone would catch me slipping into Louisiana speak.  Now I try to accept and embrace it.  Much easier to do now that I'm back home and no one notices.

We have weird names for our food too.  Jambalaya.  Couche-couche.  Grillades.  Dirty Rice.  Mirliton.

We can't even call French toast "French toast" for Pete's sake. 
It's Pain Perdu--French for "lost bread" since this is made with bread that's been lost.  Bread that's good for nothin' else.

So I thought this would be great to feature for Mother's Day breakfast or brunch.

Here, Ma!  Have some stale bread.  Love ya!

Nah.  Nothing like that.  What I mean is that the moms, mothers-in-law, and grandmas I know have a knack for turning scraps into scrumptious.

Here's to all the moms, mothers-in-law, grandmas, Godmothers, aunts, and sisters who turn lost into found.
Some things I've learned for making great pain perdu:
* Use French bread.  I used to make this with plain ole sliced white bread.  Fail.  Ridiculously big fail.

* Use stale French bread.  That's the whole point of "lost" bread.  It won't get soggy and mushy if it starts out stale.  I'll admit that we hardly ever have stale French bread at my house.  We're French bread eatin' fools.  So the night before I make this, I put some slices out on a cookie rack.  Covered with a paper towel to keep the ta-ties away.

* Quick dip in the egg wash, not a long luxurious bath.  This was another one of my major mistakes.  I thought the more liquid, the tastier.  Not so.

The recipe I use comes from Marcelle Bienvenu's Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic, and Can You Make a Roux?

The Husband says it's the best pain perdu he's ever had.

My Button!

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Pain Perdu
adapted from Who's Your Mama, Are you Catholic, and Can you Make a Roux?

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp nutmeg
6-8 slices stale French bread
1/2 tbsp butter for each batch of bread

Whisk all ingredients together except for the bread and butter.

Over medium heat, melt 1/2 tbsp butter in a skillet.

When the butter is foamy, dip as many slices of bread as you can fit in your skillet (but don't crowd) in the egg mixture. Pass the bread in the mixture for only a couple of seconds. Place in skillet and cook, turning once, until golden.

If you have to do this in batches, repeat by melting more butter.

Serve topped with 1 or more:
powdered sugar
cane or maple syrup
homemade preserves

Some lagniappe.  Because moms deserve a little extra.

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Spiced Tea

from Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic, and Can you Make a Roux?
juice of 2 lemons
juice of 2 oranges
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups boiling water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 whole cloves
5 teabags

Dissolve the sugar in 1/2 cup boiling water.  Add the juice of the lemons and oranges, cinnamon, and cloves.  Pour the remaining 3 1/2 cups of boiling water over the teabags; allow to steep 5 minutes.  Remove the teabags and add the tea to the lemon and orange flavored syrup.  Serve immediately.

Linking up with:

Food on Friday: French Food @ Carole's Chatter

Food on Friday: Breakfast Dishes @ Carole's Chatter

Cookbook Sundays @ Mom's Sunday Cafe
Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday #11 @ The Saturday Evening Pot

Made it on Monday #8 @ Lark's Country Heart
Tuesdays at the Table @ All The Small Stuff
Hearth and Soul vol 46
Delectable Tuesday @ Home Sweet Farm
Tip Day Thursday @ Around My Family Table
What's Cooking Thursday @ Feeding Four
Potluck Friday @ EKat's Kitchen
Foodie Friday #7 @ Little Brick Ranch
Seasonal Saturday @ la bella vita
Let's Do Brunch #25 @ My Sweet and Savory


  1. So simple and yet so good!

  2. I never heard it called Lost Bread. That is a nice looking photo that has me wanting a plate for breakfast tomorrow. Mmm mmmm

  3. I love the way you write. I've been learning to speak North Carolinian since I moved down here, letting people carry me to the store and drinking soda instead of pop.

    The French toast looks absolutely perfect.

  4. Yum this looks delicious! Thanks for finding me and linking up! I am following you now (also) and looking forward to great tasting food from your area and your own special style. Please come back and visit anytime.

  5. Such a cute post, Michelle. Mothers everywhere definitely have a knack for turning lost into found. Love the name of the book too, Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic, and Can you Make a Roux? The pain perdu looks perfect!

  6. That french toast looks absolutely lovely =] New follower here!

  7. Don't care what you call it as long as we all agree on DELICIOUS! :-)

  8. You made it! :)

    so glad you linked up to "Made it on Monday"

  9. Eating my breakfast now :-)) well, not as delicious as those French toast though, but I love breakfast!

  10. Haha I'll be honest, I like pain perdu better! Sounds much more romantic.

    The French toast looks delicious!

  11. I love reading your posts!

  12. I'm not a big bread soaker either. Mushy bread is not my idea of delicious. This looks amazing!!

  13. Anonymous5/07/2011

    This looks amazing...I go for a light dip as well ...I HATE mushy bread!! Oh, and I always have to add a dash of cinnamon to the batter but the nutmeg works well too! This would be perfect for my Foodie Friday linky party - pop on over to link up!

  14. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment, everyone!

    I agree with Martha--it really doesn't matter what you call it as long as you get called to the table when it's ready.

    I don't know Joanne...the name "lost bread" has a certain romantic, mysterious quality.

    Mom Chef: would love to hear more about North Carolinian speak!

    Happy Mother's Day!

  15. Happy Mothers' Day. I love your writing style.

    If you have a good memory, would you link this up to Let's DO Brunch on Wednesday. I will tell you, first, that I would forget, so please don't worry about it.


  16. Anonymous5/09/2011

    Im going to have to try out this tea as well!! Thanks for linking up to Foodie Friday. I hope to see you again next week!!

  17. Awww.You make me homesick, but I love it. What about the yummy caramel-y sauce that is typically served with it? Any recipes for that??

  18. Paige-
    I'm not sure what the caramel sauce could be. The only thing I can think of is maybe it is Steen's cane syrup (yellow can). That's thick, has a dark caramel color, and a caramel/molasses flavor.

  19. I think Pain Perdu sounds so lovely - I've always liked that name much better than French toast! Your recipe sounds delicious with the vanilla and nutmeg and your pictures are wonderful. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe (and the lovely one for spiced tea too) with Let's Do Brunch. Hope to see you there again this week. The linky is up now!

  20. Michelle, magnifique! Merci beaucoup.


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