Friday, August 21, 2009

Kitchen Klutz: 'Vive la France and the Klutz'

By Michèle De Meglio

I may not be French but my first name has a French accent — for reasons my mother still can’t explain other than, “We wanted you to be unique.” Or maybe my folks thought it’d be fun to have my name mispronounced and misspelled my entire life. But that’s neither here nor there.

Inspired by my faux-French name, which I admit does look awfully cool in print, I donned a black beret, hot pink scarf, blue and white striped shirt, black frame glasses and a pompous look. Yep, it’s stereotypical French but hey, I make it cute!

So what could I cook in my Parisian getup? Oh, French toast of course!

I decided to jazz up the breakfast classic with some snazzy ingredients and call it orange French toast.

To start, I cracked two eggs into a large mixing bowl. I attempted to do this delicately, you know, the way those Food Network stars lightly tap an egg and easily break it apart with their fingers, which somehow seem to remain clean and free of yolk bits.

My “delicate” cracks resulted in egg goo all over my hands and under my fingernails. I’m so glad I hadn’t splurged on a manicure!
I added cinnamon, vanilla extract and a good heaping of orange zest to the bowl and stirred. This would be my orange infused batter.

Now, I thought it’d be easy to dip slices of white bread in the batter and then grill ‘em up in a frying pan. Not quite for this Klutz.

For my first slice, I dipped very gingerly — apparently failing to coat much of the bread. After cooking it in a pan greased with non-stick cooking spray, the bread came out looking like toast. Regular toast, not the French kind.

I tossed it on a plate and moved on to my next slice ready to learn from my mistakes.This slice was submerged in the batter and cooked in the same non-stick spray. It was definitely browner than the first slice but something seemed a bit off.

Figuring that maybe I’m supposed to cook French toast in good old-fashioned butter, I dumped some into the pan.

Uh, actually I slathered the pan in a mound of butter. I should really measure things. This can’t be good.

Verdict: I can’t cook French toast. Seriously, I can’t cook French toast.

The first two slices looked and tasted like bread lightly cooked in a toaster and the third piece was nice and brown but was drenched in so much butter that it was inedible.

The French toast needed some major work but I must admit that the orange marmalade I used in place of syrup was extremely tasty and the best thing on the plate! Oh, wait, I didn’t cook that. Darn.

Kitchen Klutz follows 20-something Michèle De Meglio as she burns casseroles and her fingers, all in hope of trading frozen dinners for home cooking.


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