Tales of food, sex and friendship

Posts Tagged ‘Raspberries’

French Toast

September 8, 2011

This is a decadent special occasion treat. If you can’t find challah or brioche bread, then normal white bread or Turkish bread works well too. If you are feeling in particularly good cardiac health then some bacon instead of berries is an extra delicious addition.

Serve with fresh coffee, orange juice and/or champagne (if it’s a celebration!!). Serves 4.

6 extra-large eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla essence

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large loaf challah or brioche bread

Unsalted butter

Vegetable oil

Pure maple syrup

Fresh Raspberries, Blueberries or any other type of fruit you like (hint: if fresh fruit isn’t available then baked or poached fruit is also delicious! Try it with baked apples or poached pears).

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange zest, vanilla, and salt. Slice the challah in 3/4-inch thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once.

In a large non-stick fry pan, heat a generous nob of butter and a dash of oil (the oil stops the butter from burning). Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Put cooked French toast on a tray covered in baking paper and place in the oven to keep warm. Cook the remaining bread the same way until it’s all cooked. Serve immediately with pure maple syrup, fresh berries and a dusting of icing sugar.  Yum!

Season 2: Episode 7

April 12, 2011

“Why hasn’t he called?” Willow demanded, for about the 700th time that day. She threw down the tea towel she’d been using to dry the dishes and stomped her foot on the ground. “He said he would call!”

Ana and Mia looked at each other. Whose turn was it to placate her? They’d never seen Willow so upset by a man before – she usually just brushed these things off with a laugh and some baked goods. After her “amazing” 24-hour date last weekend, Willow had been floating on cloud nine. But it had gradually downgraded to cloud eight by Tuesday, four by Thursday and today, Saturday, she had moved into negatives. Cloud minus-three. Carlo had said he would call, but he hadn’t.

“He’s probably been busy with, ahhh… work,” Ana was clutching at straws. It was hard when neither she nor Mia had met the man Willow had fallen for so hard, so fast. He sounded great, they couldn’t deny it, but perhaps a bit too good to be true?

Willow sighed. “You’re right. Of course, you’re right.”

Neither of them wanted to be the one to break it to her that, perhaps, Carlo was not good news.

For the first time in ages, the girls were all home together. They had invited Tom and Johnny over for dinner – or, rather, Ana had invited Tom and Johnny over – so they were preparing an easy meal. Although, Ana was beginning to regret the impromptu dinner party invitation. Neither of her co-hosts seemed to be in particularly good sprits, both of them undertaking preparation tasks with about as much enthusiasm as if readying for a trip to the dentist. Mia was doing her best impression of a mime, having barely said three words since she had got home from work. Willow – who had refused to go to the market for fear of seeing Carlo – was making a salad with the ingredients she had made Ana fetch, while she verbally dissected – again – every interaction she had ever had with Carlo.

“So Mia, are you going to see Nick again soon?” Ana said, trying to both move the topic away from Carlo and elicit some kind of conversation from her silent housemate.

“Dunno,” Mia mumbled before turning her attention back to shelling the prawns.

She can’t get hers to stop calling, and mine won’t call at all,” snapped Willow, uncharacteristically.

“Well, maybe you should swap!” Ana bit back, exasperated.

There was silence for a second before Willow gave a sheepish smile. “I sound like a broken record, don’t I?”

She went to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of chilled wine, opening it and pouring three glasses. She raised her glass. “I promise that I won’t mention the C word again. For tonight, at least.”

At that moment, Tom jogged into the kitchen. “Has he called?” he asked Willow, breathlessly.


“I’ll get dessert ready,” Mia said, after they had all had their fill of prawns and fresh salad.

She wandered into the kitchen, grateful to be away from the table. She’d felt Johnny’s eyes on her the whole night and was trying her best to be cool, calm and collected, but felt she was failing. Miserably.

She opened the fridge, closing her eyes and letting the cool air rush out and calm her crimson cheeks.

“Can I help?”

She turned abruptly.


Mia smiled shyly. “Sure. Wash these?”

She passed him punnets of fresh strawberries and raspberries, recoiling quickly as his hands brushed hers. They worked in silence for a little while, Johnny washing and hulling, and Mia chopping the berries into bite-size pieces, adding fresh ricotta, honey and mint.

Mia eventually broke the silence. “Sorry about the other night. I had a… work thing on. Couldn’t get out of it.”

Johnny shrugged with a nonchalance Mia recognised but then was thoughtful for a minute. When he spoke, his voice was tentative. “We could try again tomorrow?”

Mia couldn’t suppress her grin. “Yeah, that’d be…” She trailed off. Shit! She’d already agreed to go out with Nick tomorrow. He had a surprise planned, had phoned earlier to make sure she could still come. She couldn’t cancel on him at this short notice.

“Oh, actually, I’ve got another… work thing on tomorrow night. Next week, maybe?”

Just at that moment Tom and Willow strolled into the kitchen carrying a stack of plates each.

“Hey Mia, I keep forgetting to ask. How was your hot date last weekend?” Tom said.

Mia glanced at Johnny. He was holding a bowl of berries so tightly his knuckles had turned white.

“It was no big deal,” Mia said as casually as she could. “Not a date, really.”

Willow snorted and put down the plates. “No big deal?” She turned to Tom. “She has been in love with this guy for, like, ever! And they’re going out again tomorrow night.”

It was as if the bowl just disintegrated in his hands, because all of a sudden Johnny had dessert all over himself, the red berries staining his white T-shirt and trickling down his hands, landing with soft plops on the tiled floor. He held up the two broken halves of the bowl, looking at them in shock.

Tom laughed. “Obviously don’t know your own strength!”

“I’m so sorry…” Johnny sounded as though he was almost in tears.

The others assured him it was OK – it was just an IKEA bowl, a remnant from their student days when the Swedish homewares seemed the pinnacle of affordable design.

Johnny looked down at his soiled clothes. “Guess I’d better get home and soak these.”

He picked up his jacket, said brief good byes and, before anyone could protest, hurried towards the front door.

“I’ll walk you out,” called Mia, following him down the hall. “Look, Johnny, I can explain…” She placed her hand on his arm when they were out of sight of the others, but he shook it off.

“Have fun at your work thing tomorrow,” he mumbled as he walked out the door.