These past few days have been incredible. Guys, Paul got his PhD on Friday! It’s all done, we celebrated all weekend, and I couldn’t be happier.
Our lives up to this point have been all about school. After deciding we liked each other enough to stay together, P and I have been taking things one step at a time with the big question “where are we going to move to next?” always close by.
Naturally, this question has popped up again. Once you finish your PhD, school is over forever, and so, we’re wondering where the next place will be. A city? A small town? Are we going to buy a house for the first time ever and buy a car? And if so, then we OBVIOUSLY need to get a dog. Right? Well, duh.
Anyway, who knows? There are two ways to look at this. You can ponder and ponder until your head pops off, or you can just go with the flow, take things one step at a time, like you have been already, and think “Montreal is amazing. Let’s explore the heck out of it before we leave…whenever that is.”
I love so many things about this city. There are shops and markets with food and people from all over the world, I can buy a craft beer at the convenience store and have fresh donuts and bread any day (every day?) I want to.
Not too far away in the West side of the city, we have a very big Jewish community. In this part of town you can find anything Kosher that you need and it’s awesome, but my favorite place to go in this neighbourhood is a tiny bakery that sells racks upon racks of fresh challah bread. I take the 30 minute Metro there and almost always buy a huge jar of pickles, some babka, and two loaves of challah: one for eating immediately (I’m not kidding) and one for the next day’s French toast.
This recipe is for classic, eggy, challah bread french toast that is crusted with slivered almonds. The almonds add a delightful flavour to the toast and a bit of crunch, that is super addicting. Definitely a way to step up the old classic and definitely a wonderful weekend treat!
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup whole milk (or half and half)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 4 (1-inch-thick) slices challah (or brioche)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- Pure maple syrup, for serving
- Preheat oven to 200°F.
- Lightly beat eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large shallow baking dish (a 9x9-inch baking pan works great). Add bread, and press down gently on bread until you feel it start to soak up custard mixture (you may only be able to do 2 pieces at a time). Let soak for 4 minutes. Flip bread and soak on second side, pressing down gently from time to time, until bread is saturated but not soggy, another 4 minutes.
- Spread slivered almonds on a baking sheet, carefully lift slices of bread from custard, letting excess drip back into dish, and put soaked bread slices on top of almonds. Press to adhere, then turn and repeat on other side.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. When foaming subsides, add bread slices in batches of 2, cooking until they’re golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes per side.
- Transfer finished toasts to baking sheet, and place in oven to keep warm.
- Repeat with remaining butter and bread.
Recipe adapted from The New York Times