Breakfast for Dinner: French Toast!

February 20, 2005

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INT. HOLLYWOOD MANSION–KITCHEN–EVENING

A sprawling kitchen of marble and stone nearly swallows Caryn as she bends intently over the stove. She hardly seems to notice that this kitchen might better fit in a story-book palace. Her forehead is curled into an odd shape of worry over a plate of the same chicken we’ve seen before.

LAUREN, a petite woman with chestnut hair cut crisply at her chin, enters from one of the many rooms. The heels of her Manolo Blahniks click pristinely on the tiled floors.

LAUREN

He’s been waiting for his dinner for ten minutes.

Caryn garnishes the plate with a bright sprig of fresh parsley and whips it off the counter.

CARYN

It’s right here!

INT. DINING ROOM

Caryn’s hand trembles as she places the plate onto a setting at the end of a very long mahogany table. She waits patiently by the chair, swallowed again by the expansive view of Los Angeles at her back.

MR. R, every bit of his brooding and handsome screen persona, strolls in, dressed comfortably in standard Hollywood black. He stops abruptly before reaching the table.

MR. R

What’s that?

CARYN

Um, well, it’s a variation of chicken piccata with nicoise olives and–

MR. R

I don’t eat olives. Make something else.

She stares at the plate, unable to move.

MR. R

What are you waiting for? I’m starving!

She immediately snaps the plate back to the kitchen again.

INT. KITCHEN

Lauren is reviewing some papers at a counter when Caryn tosses the plate into the sink with a loud clang. Lauren looks up with a smirk and begins to gather her things.

LAUREN

There’s some leftover bread in the cabinet. Maybe you should start with something easy…like a sandwich.

She laughs to herself and clicks out the door again. Caryn opens the cabinet to find the remnants of a hearty country loaf of bread. She gently squeezes it and then shrugs her shoulders.

INT. DINING ROOM–LATER

Mr. R lounges at the table, absorbed in a dense book when Caryn enters again with a fresh plate and a small pitcher, still steaming. She places the plate in front of him, even more tentative than before, and waits.

Mr. R leisurely puts his book down and examines his dinner.

CARYN

I know it’s usually for breakfast, but–

He looks at her for the first time.

MR. R

Do you plan to ramble on while I eat?

She backs up immediately to the kitchen.

CARYN

Sorry….sir.

INT. KITCHEN–MOMENTS LATER

Caryn finishes cleaning the marble counters, shaking her head and mumbling to herself. She lovingly removes her cast-iron skillet from the hot water in the sink and dries it with a towel.

CARYN

Guess I’ll take you home again.

She stops and looks toward the door that leads to the dining room.

INT. DINING ROOM

Caryn quietly peaks her head through the door to survey the damage of her first, and probably last, day.

Mr. R’s seat is empty and the plate is wiped clean.

Country French Toast

4 thick slices of a rustic, country loaf of bread

3 eggs

3 Tablespoons milk

3 teaspoons sugar

Cinnamon

Butter for cooking

Confectioners sugar (for decoration)

1. Whisk the eggs, milk, and sugar in a bowl large enough to dip the bread slices. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon.

2. Melt butter in a wide, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

3. Dip one slice of bread in the egg mixture and coat evenly. Place in hot skillet.

4. Sprinkle the egg mixture with cinnamon again and repeat #3 with another slice of bread until skillet is full.

5. Flip each piece when nicely browned on the bottom (about 2 minutes).

6. When all slices are browned and cooked through, transfer to a plate and sift confectioners sugar lightly over the top.

7. Serve with butter and hot maple syrup.

Serves 2.

Tips:

-Use a hearty loaf of bread with a thick crust. Slightly stale bread works nicely as it absorbs the batter.

-A cast iron skillet will ensure a nicely browned toast that doesn’t stick to the pan.

-Flip each slice only once to avoid toughness.

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