Wow – we’ve reached the middle of September already. Hard to believe. Of all the seasons, I really think I love fall the best. The days are still warm, but the nights are cool. There is a hint of smoke in the air from nearby fireplaces. And a crispness that no other season can impart.
Today is also National Play-Doh Day, Working Parents Day, Mayflower Day, and Step Family Day. None of those are edible. Personally I don’t like the term Step when it comes to family. Hubby is the step father to my children, but we’ve never referred to him that way. My youngest sister is actually my step sister, but we’ve never looked at each other that way. Family is family. But that’s just my opinion.
As for Play-Doh, this child-friendly modeling clay didn’t start out that way. Play-Doh was actually the brainchild a Cincinnati-based soap manufacturer, Kutol Products to clean wallpaper. When coal furnaces were replaced with gas heat, the need for wallpaper cleaning putty dropped and the company struggled to keep afloat. That’s when the cleaning putty was re-invented as a child’s modeling clay.
Working Parents Day is pretty self-explanatory. It is a day set aside to recognize the struggles and triumphs of working parents. When I was growing up, nearly all mothers were stay-at-home moms. Back then a single income was enough to purchase a home, own a car and raise a family for middle-income families. By the time my children came along with rising costs of living, duel incomes became the norm among working class families. Another contributing factor was that with the Woman’s Lib Movement, women no longer viewed say-at-home motherhood as important or satisfying. Too bad. So now we get to play the same stressful balancing act as our male counterparts. But that’s a subject for another time, isn’t it?
This brings us to Mayflower Day. The connection between September 16th and the Mayflower is simple. On September 16, 1620 the cargo ship, the Mayflower, set sail from Plymouth, England. Normally the Mayflower’s cargo was wine and dry goods headed to the New World. On this voyage, the cargo was passengers seeking a new life on the other side of the Atlantic. Today an estimated 35 million people around the world are descended from the original passengers aboard the Mayflower. Most famous among them are Humphrey Bogart, Norman Rockwell, and Julia Child.
Speaking of Julia Child – today is also National Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Day. And that got me to thinking why not celebrate the day with Cinnamon-Raisin French Toast? While Julia Child might not have invented French Toast, she did bring French cooking to America. Enjoy!
Cinnamon-Raisin French Toast
10 slices Cinnamon-Raisin Bread
2/3 cup Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Dash of Nutmeg
Butter for serving
Powdered Sugar for dusting (optional)
Fresh Fruit if desired
Cut bread to create 20 triangles. Stale bread is best. It will stand up to the batter without becoming soggy and toasts nicely.
In a blender, whip eggs, cream and spices until smooth. Pour batter into a shallow dish large enough to allow bread slices to be dipped
Heat a large griddle to about 325 degrees. Oil griddle with margarine, just enough to lightly coat griddle.
Dip bread slices two at a time into the mixture to coat both sides. Place dipped slices onto the griddle and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Flip bread to “toast” other side. While the toast is still on the griddle, lightly butter each slice allowing butter to melt and seep into the bread.
Plate on individual warmed plates. If desired, dust with powdered sugar. A sprinkling of fresh fruits such as blueberries, strawberries or blackberries are a nice, bright touch.