Family time at my house is often the time we share around the table. We try to slow down, enjoy each others company, share stories and have deep discussions. That may sound fake and trite but we really do.
Meal times seem to be the only time we can hold court with our children and actually seem to hold their attention. From theology to sports our conversations run the gamut, sometimes running far longer than the meal can last. Cold, empty plates sitting in front of us. I never want that moment to end, the one where my 12 year old is listening with rapt attention to what I am saying. Like a storyteller at the library he hangs on my every word.
They have us where they need us, they ask questions and we answer. Last night the conversation revolved around our opinion of George Bush and post 9/11 events. We want to tell them how we feel, yet at the same time shield them from what they are not yet mature enough to understand. There is a fine line between giving them our opinion and shaping theirs.
We have always had an open conversation about certain topics and that will not change. They know we will expose them to whatever ideas they may have questions about. For example: going to church. We have always held the position that any time they want to go to church, any church , that we would all go. They have asked often and we have taken them, often. We want them to have open minds and open hearts and not prejudge any one idea based on our own philosophies. This is hard, in this day and age where everyone and their brother feels the need to tell you that you are not raising moral children if they are not raised in the church. I can not tell you how many conversations I have walked away from because a friend or acquaintance has said this to me.
Do not lie, do not steal, treat others with respect, do not cause harm to others, respect your body, respect the law, be kind to others…these tenets cross all religious boundaries and are the moral center line in which we raise our children..There is no gray area here for my husband and I. Love one another, be kind and care for others. I think this is a universally held line of thinking.
So one of my favorite days of the week is Sunday morning in the kitchen. We gather the boys together. Matt likes to play board games with them at the table while they watch me make breakfast. We talk, laugh and this is one of my single most happy times. They like to watch me chop, knead, saute and flip. I like to watch their happy competition. Monopoly, Jenga or Blokus…it doesn’t matter.
This week breakfast was cinnamon french toast with spiced raspberry syrup. I also made omelets…but that was an afterthought. Breakfast went on for a few hours as we didn’t have any real plans for the day and like I said, I wanted to prolong the moment….
This meal was almost all locally allocated. Cinnamon (Marion-Kay), bread (the Bakehouse Bloomington), Syrup (Burton’s Maplewood Farms), raspberries (Zinks Berry Farm) and vanilla (Marion-Kay).
Cinnamon French Toast with Raspberry Spiced Syrup
1 large loaf of Challah bread (or Brioche if you can find it), thickly sliced
1 dozen eggs, 8 whole eggs and 4 whites, beaten I use Safest Choice Eggs by Davidson
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C half and half (or skim, but I wanted it to be rich)
In a large bowl add all of the ingredients (minus the bread). Beat until incorporated.
Dredge each slice in the batter and cook on a hot griddle, 2 minutes on each side or until done.
Serve immediately with the raspberry syrup or a syrup of your choice.
|I strained most of the seeds but that is optional|
Spiced Raspberry Syrup
3 small containers of raspberries, washed and dried (you can also use frozen)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TB sugar (to taste)
3 TB Burtons Maplewood Farms Syrup
Add the ingredients to a heavy saucepan. Bring to a light boil on low heat for 15 minutes. I strained the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds but this is optional. Allow to thicken on low heat for another 15 minutes, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon before serving.