When I Was Asked at Safeway What Kind of Bread to Use for French Toast

When I grocery shop, it’s with a list.

I wrote a cookbook, and I know my recipes. I know when I’m getting close to out of an ingredient, and that ingredient goes on the list. Thyme. Eggs. Red bell pepper.

I’m not one to wander through the aisles looking at possibilities; I know what I want. Usually, I shop for groceries at Albertson’s. Or Safeway, or Trader Joe’s. Occasionally a display of something on sale or special grabs me. That featured seedless watermelon smells and feels so ripe, juicy and delicious you would be a fool to pass it up.  (Did you know watermelon also makes a delicious shake with vanilla ice cream?)

One day a young woman approached me to ask what kind of bread she should use for French Toast. She was probably 20ish years old, and the child with her, perhaps seven or eight. I got the impression she was an overnight or weekend babysitter, perhaps for a young relative. The two were checking out every kind of bread in the Safeway bakery section, because it was the first time the woman had ever made French Toast.

I know what kind of bread I use (the multi-grain I always have in the freezer,) but that had nothing to do with her question “What is the best kind?”

That simple question got me out of my box and thinking about new alternatives…something we can all do all the time, about everything.

We three explored together. I gave the woman a tip to put vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in the egg and milk mixture.

Eventually, she chose a traditional, hearty, white bread in a plastic bag.

What a great place to start, huh? She’ll likely expand from there, and so will the child she was with. Maybe one day they’ll bake homemade French bread together and use it for French Toast.

Either way, for me, it was a good reminder to step outside of “what I’ve always done,” explore what might be a better way, and be open to new possibilities.

Have you had an experience like this recently? Share it with us on the blog!

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Authentically Yours, Laura