the plates just continue on like that, into infinity

the plates just continue on like that, into infinity


y husband hates making French toast.

This wasn’t always the case. There was a time, as recently as a year or so ago, when making French toast was an event to which we all looked forward. A local bakery near the preschool the Three attended sold a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread that Scott would transform into French toast heaven. Sometime late in the week before a French toast event, I would begin buying up berries at the store.

Occasionally, we would even have homemade whipped cream.

But the children got older. And hungrier. French toast weekends became less about process (ooh, powdered sugar! ooh, cinnamon! bananas, please!) and more about product—specifically, how much could be produced in the shortest amount of time. Upon receiving a plate of sourdough French toast garnished with raspberries, Roy will clean the fruit off the top first as if he’s heard there will be ribbons handed out at the end of breakfast for speed. He moves onto his two meager slices of syrup-infused bread only when he’s completed the stupid, nutritional compulsories.

“That was delicious, Dad!” he shouts at the chef from 18 inches away, his plate in hand as clean as if we’d let our dog have at it. “Can I have another piece?”

Then, once more, just to clarify: “A whole piece?”

And then: “Is Peaches done with hers?”

You can understand how making French toast has become the strangest of hybrids: high-pressure drudge work, probably not entirely dissimilar from what Lucy and Ethel did on their confectionary assembly line only without the chocolate.

The nadir of the experience is that we never quite manage to have enough for Scott to have his own French toast to eat. I’m not sure if it’s that I actually believe that the half-loaf of sourdough we have living on the counter is sufficient to feed us all come the weekend or if I’m just too cheap to buy another full loaf of the good bread to make absolutely sure that we’re covered. All I can tell you is that by the time the rest of us are finishing our French toast, Scott is making one piece for himself out of the butt end of last week’s whole wheat sandwich bread. Sometimes he would burn it. It was on these mornings more than any other that the rest of us—our bellies full, our spirits high—would remark at Daddy’s inexplicably terrible mood until, say, lunch.

So we’ve been off French toast for a while. It’s been dead to us. But time truly does heal all wounds and the magic combination of six months off, a partial loaf of sourdough going stale and the quiet threat that is Mother’s Day translated into French toast for four.

(We forgot to call Marcel in for breakfast. Stop looking at me like that. My hand to God, we just forgot!)