Friday, October 30, 2009

French toast

"She was so wild that when she made French toast she got her tongue caught in the toaster."
Rodney Dangerfield

French toast will cause your fans to sigh, ooh, la-la'. The milky nutty aroma of browned butter will bring people to consciousness and sleepy eyed smiling to plates heaped with french toast. Serve them up with sides of country ham, thick sliced bacon and fresh ground sausages hot from the griddle. The best french toast starts with good breads. I would suggest an egg bread, baguette, sourdoughs or fresh homemade bread. The flavored breads are those that are slightly sweet and the texture is plentiful and dense to soak up the egg and milk mixture. The absolute best for a golden crispy outside and a custard-like inside.

Some French Toast History

Daniel Rogov tells a brief story about the origins of French toast:
    First made at a roadside tavern not far from the city of Albany in 1724, there are few dishes more truly American than the breakfast favorite known as "French toast". So American is the dish that very few can understand why it is not called "American toast", "Albany Toast" or even "New York State toast".

    The confusion comes about because the owner of the tavern at which the dish was invented had a very poor knowledge of grammar. When Joseph French decided to name the dish after himself he should have written his invention as "French's toast" (that is to say, the toast of French). Because he did not know how to use the possessive apostrophe, however, the dish appeared on his menu simply as "French toast". In short, the dish has nothing whatever to do with French culinary history but in the two hundred and seventy years that have intervened, no one has taken the time to correct the grammatical error.

From further back in time another tells, French toast isn't French. It comes from a Roman cookbook, dating back to 1000 or 2000 B.C., and titled "Apicius on Cooking."

The toppings are plentiful. Everything from the raspberry sauce and exotic mango to the humble blueberry and drizzles of homemade butter-pecan sauce. But this year for Easter morning breakfast my family will wake up to the Real McCoy! Hardwick Sugar Shack Pure Maple Syrup from Worcester County Massachusetts. It's light amber color in a beautiful bottle shaped like a maple leaf. Grade A says the tag made in small sugarhouse near Quabbin Reservoir and sent to us from Peace Frog! Everyone in the family has sampled its wonderful lightly sweet flavor and we can't wait to feast on it Easter morning, with biscuits and gravy and lots of scrambled eggs! So hear ya go from our family to you and yours some favorite French toast recipes I gathered over the years:

French Toast Sticks

If you've ever had French toast at Bob's Big Boy you may be curious as to how it's made. Take slices of Texas toast and and cut them into one inch pieces. Dip into a dozen or so beaten eggs. That's it, no milk or anything else, all eggs. Deep fat fry in a fryer until a deep golden brown. Serve dusted lightly with powdered sugar.

Cinnamon Buns French Toast

Slice a large cinnamon roll into three cross sections and dip into a batter of three whisked eggs then grill in a skillet for 3 to four minutes on each side until golden brown. This recipe comes from the kitchens at Coco's Bakery Restaurant where my husband works.

Fluffy French Toast

I like to substitute sourdough bread for this recipe sometimes because the tangy flavor is a nice contrast with any sweet toppings I might use. My favorite is a honey spread a lot like the one Mr Loo made for me when I was little girl. Beat flour, sugar, salt, milk and eggs with hand beater until smooth. Soak bread in egg mixture until saturated.

Heat butter in skillet until melted. Cook bread until nicely browned about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Note: To make a honey spread for French toast, pancakes or waffles, beat ¼ cup butter and ¼ cup honey in a bowl with a fork. Sprinkle in a little nutmeg.

Oven French Toast

Heat oven to 500ยบ. Butter cookie sheet generously. Beat eggs, milk, sugar and salt with a fork. Heat cookie sheet in the oven for one minute; remove from oven. Dip bread into egg mixture; arrange on hot cookie sheet. Pour any remaining egg mixture over bread. Bake until bottoms are golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn bread; bake until golden brown,about 2 to 4 minutes longer.

Helpful hint:What I like about this recipe is that it can be done ahead the night before. After dipping and arranging the bread in an oblong baking dish ,13 ½ x9x2 is a good size. The sides of the bread will overlap a little. Drizzle any remaining eggs mixture over the bread then cover and refrigerate, both no longer than 24 hours. Bake on the pre heated cookie sheet as directed. Use a pancake spatula to flip. It keeps the saturated bread from tearing.


Picture Source

Strat's Place - Daniel Rogov - French toast:


    "A Georgia editor kindly explains that 'a snollygoster is a fellow who wants office, regardless of party, platform or principles, and who, whenever he wins, gets there by the sheer force of monumental talknophical assumnacy'".

    Columbus Dispatch October, 1895


Beware of being hornswoggled by some snollygoster! A noun as in a person, pronounced SNOL-ee-gos-ter. I couldn't help but be intrigued by this odd word that rolls around and trips off the tongue and wondered, What in the hey hoo is a snollygoster? In all my readings and travels I have never seen it in print! A trip across the world wide web came up with a lot of interesting information.

The word itself originates in the northeastern part of the United States. Many web sites related that in Massachucttes the word snollygoster is commonly used by lobstermen as a synonym for severe nor'easters or storms. Perhaps, he speculates because of the snollygoster's "ability to blow away "poultry and children", at least the small ones! "

By today's usage the word has turned into describing a shrewd politician who forsakes his or her principles for personal gain. An empleomaniac or entheomaniac perhaps? Maybe it achieved its political connection in 1952 when President Truman used snollygoster to describe "a man born out of wedlock". Of course many hastened to put him right by directing his attention to the quoting the definition from the Columbia Dispatch cited up above, however, the word appeared in an American dictionary at least a half century before that and defined it merely as a shyster. One web site relates that the snollygoster was a mythical monster of vast size - half reptile, half bird - supposedly found in Maryland, and which was invented to terrify ex-slaves out of voting. One can connect the dots from a monster to politician with the Jim Crow laws and by the end of the debacle with Truman the word had gained a new reputation; 'a man who wants politcal office regardless of party platform or principles.' By 1860 it had changed again into .' A devious, inept, talkative, or unethical lawyer; a shyster.' Today The New Oxford Dictionary of English calls a snollygoster simply a person who is unethical or shrewd.

When combined with the original tale of what a snollygoster it's surely come a long way from the mythical beast, part reptile and part bird that hunts at night swooping down upon and stealing chickens and unruly children when they least expect it. Chickens? How did chickens get involved? The name of the monster was derived from the Pennsylvania Dutch words schnelle geeschter meaning "quick spirit," a a regional variety of German schnell, "fast, quick" and German Geist "spirit," the last one close to the English word "ghost." According to, "Snollygoster" is apparently the last stage of the progression schnelle geeschter > snallygaster > snollygoster.

eek! I'd better go look for any snollygosters under my bed!


The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000:

Weird Words

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rodeo Lingo

It'll drive a cowboy crazy
It'll drive the man insane
And he'll sell off everything he owns
Just to pay to play her game
And a broken home and some broken bones
Is all he'll have to show
For all the years that he spent chasin' this dream they call Rodeo

-Garth Brooks

Rodeo Lingo

These terms were developed by cowboys during the era of the range cattle industry in northern Mexico and the western United States (1867-87). Some of the more common ones are listed below. For a brief history of rodeo look here!

  • Arizona Nightingale: A burro or donkey.
  • Arizona Strawberries: Dried beans, usually pink in color.
  • Average: The aggregate or total score for each contestant at a rodeo with more than one go-round.
  • Bangtail: A horse.
  • Barking Squirrel: A prairie dog.
  • Batch of Crumbs: Bugs one might find in blankets.
  • Barrier: In rodeo a rope stretched across the front end of the box from which the roper's or steer wrestler's horse emerges. The barrier drops when the calf or steer achieves a predetermined head start.
  • Bean Master: A cook
  • Biting the Dust: Being thrown from a horse or a bull.
  • Beef Tea: Shallow water fouled by cattle.
  • Biscuit: A saddle horn.
  • Boiled Shirt/Fried Shirt: A white or stiff shirt.
  • Build a Loop: Prepare a lasso for a throw.
  • Buckaroo:A cowboy who does ranch work for a living. In contrast, a professional rodeo cowboy's occupation is rodeo competition.
  • Bull-Dogger:The slang term for a steer wrestler.
  • Burn the Breeze: Ride fast.
  • California Banknote: A cowhide used as currency.
  • Catawampously: Fiercely.
  • Cavvy-man: The one who looked after the horses.
  • Champion:The winner of the most money at any rodeo event.
  • Charlie Taylor: A makeshift butter made from molasses and fat.
  • Chuck Line Rider: A man out of work who rode from ranch to ranch for grub.
  • Community Loop: An extra large lasso noose.
  • Coonie: A dried cowhide used to hold equipment, fuel, etc., on a chuck wagon.
  • Cowboy Up: Get ready to ride. The term cowboy up possibly refers to the men behind the chutes who would bellow out cowboy-up! to the next cowboy getting ready to ride. It is the spirit of contribution, hard work and strong determination.
  • Cowjuice: Milk.
  • Crow Hops: Mild bucking motions.
  • Doofunnies: Knives and trinkets carried in pockets.
  • Dust: To move about quickly.
  • Fence Lifter/Goose Drownder/Gully Washer: Heavy rain.
  • Fixin' for High Riding: Preparing to depart quickly.
  • Flagman: The rodeo official who signals the end of time elapsed in timed events.
  • Flag Your Kite: Hurried departure.
  • Flannel Mouth: An overly talkative man or a boaster.
  • Forty Rod Lightning: Whiskey.
  • 'Fraidy Hole: Cave or cellar.
  • Fumadiddle: Fancy dress.
  • Great Seizer: The sheriff.
  • Go-round: A round of rodeo competition.A rodeo in which each contestant competes once has one go-round.
  • Hay Waddy: Extra hand on a ranch used to cut hay.
  • Hazer; A cowboy who rides along beside a steer on the opposite side of the steer wrestler. His job is to keep the steer running in a straight line and close to the contestant's horse.
  • Hang-up: When a bull rider falls off the bull opposite his riding hand which becomes stuck or "hung-up" in his bull rope.
  • Hemp Fever: A hanging.
  • High Roller:A horse that leaps high into the air when bucking.
  • Hog: An expression bull-riders use to describe a large, unagile bull that is not considered a good draw.
  • Hooey: Slang term for nonsense, as in That's the biggest bunch of hooey I've ever heard! Also a half-hitch knot used to tie a calf's legs together in calf roping.
  • Hornswoggling: The movements of a cow, by which it threw off or evaded the rope.
  • Hurricane Deck: The back of a bucking horse.
  • Idaho Brain Storm: A dust devil.
  • Leavin' Cheyenne: Going away.
  • Life Preserver: A revolver.
  • Lincoln Shingles: Hard bread.
  • Lining His Flu: Refers to a man who is eating.
  • Loblolly: A muddy puddle.
  • Longhorned: Experienced.
  • Love Apples: Canned tomatoes.
  • Mother Hubbard Loop: A very large loop or lasso.
  • Oklahoma Rain: A dust or sand storm.
  • Overland Trout: Bacon.
  • Parade Chaps: A pair of chaps strictly for show. Might be worn for the grand entry parade at a rodeo.
  • Pepperbox: Coffee mill.
  • Pick-up Man: A mounted cowboy who helps bareback and saddle bronc riders off when the ride is completed and leads the horse out of the arena.
  • Pimple: An Eastern (or English) style saddle.
  • Pirooting: Fooling around.
  • Pulling Leather: When a bronc rider holds on to any part of the saddle, he is said to be "pulling leather." This disqualifies a saddle bronc rider if it is done before the eight-second ride is completed.
  • Quirly: A cigarette that is rolled by hand.
  • Rocky Mountain Canary: A burro.
  • Rowel: A small wheel with radiating points that form the extremity of a cowboy's spur.
    In rodeo, rowels are required to be free-wheeling and blunt.
  • Seeing Daylight: When the rider leaves the seat on a bucking horse.
  • Silk: Barbed wire.
  • Slick Heeled: A person not wearing spurs.
  • Trail Boss Lead cowboy of cattle drives.
  • Tenderfoot: What you are if you didn't know the meaning of Rodeo Lingo.
  • Turn Out: When a rider decides not to ride an animal he has drawn, or it is decided that he will be re-assigned to a different animal, the bull or horse is released from the chutes to make it easier to get the animal back into the pen.

    Love them tough-talkin' cowboys? Why, who doesn't! Oddly enough, though, ole' western cowboy slang was a bit different from what you'll pick up from Hollywood productions (go figger). Here's a list of some of my favorite authentic old southern slang.


    La Fiesta de los Vaqueros

    Misc: Cool Western Slang

  • Picture Source