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French Toast: Effete Dilettante or Provenance gone Mad

French Toast: Effete Dilettante or Provenance gone Mad
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  • French Toast: Effete Dilettante or Provenance gone Mad

    Post #1 - June 30th, 2007, 7:20 am
    Post #1 - June 30th, 2007, 7:20 am Post #1 - June 30th, 2007, 7:20 am
    LTH,

    The wife, who is not enthused at the prospect of breakfast for dinner, is visiting a favorite niece in Michigan, the perfect opportunity for an evening of Shakes the Clown and French Toast.

    I whip up French Toast, plop on the couch and settle in for Bobcat's masterpiece of modern cinema. Halfway into the movie I started to think about the French Toast I had just consumed, Goldthwait always makes me introspective, and Hammond's "Are we just an overly sensitive coterie of effete and self-important snooty-pants dilettantes?" popped into my head.

    I like to think I have a certain Midwestern sensibility that affords me the distance to resist trends, marketing, fads, products that, as they say in Texas, are all hat and no cattle, but as I reviewed the ingredients in my simple catch-as-can French Toast I started to wonder.

    Eggs -organic
    Milk -Oberweis
    Bread -Masi
    Butter -Delitia Parmigiano Reggiano Butter
    Salt -Maldon
    Sugar -Tubinado

    Now I'm not saying any of these ingredients in and of themselves are that upscale, with the possible exception of the butter, it simply struck me a little odd that ingredients with cache comprised the totality which, of course, were cooked in an All-Clad pan.

    May be time for another round of Culinary Electroshock Treatment

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - June 30th, 2007, 7:38 am
    Post #2 - June 30th, 2007, 7:38 am Post #2 - June 30th, 2007, 7:38 am
    I don't see how you could even choke down that crap when your eggs were plainly deficient in Omega-III, your milk was right wing, your bread was not from organic flour, your butter wasn't local, your salt was not produced according to fair trade principles, and your sugar was subject to excessive tariffs designed to protect a small coterie of sugar growers at the expense of the workers in sugar-producing countries.

    I guess some people just don't care what they shovel in their mouth.
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  • Post #3 - June 30th, 2007, 7:40 am
    Post #3 - June 30th, 2007, 7:40 am Post #3 - June 30th, 2007, 7:40 am
    Hilarious. Both of you! --Joy
  • Post #4 - July 2nd, 2007, 9:22 pm
    Post #4 - July 2nd, 2007, 9:22 pm Post #4 - July 2nd, 2007, 9:22 pm
    Mike G wrote:your butter wasn't local


    Make that homemade.

    Fillay
    "Grenache is Catholic, Mourvèdre is Huguenot"
    - Fabrice Langlois, Château de Beaucastel
  • Post #5 - July 5th, 2007, 2:33 pm
    Post #5 - July 5th, 2007, 2:33 pm Post #5 - July 5th, 2007, 2:33 pm
    Not only is the thread thought-provoking and entertaining on its own, but it employs one of my favorite regionalisms (All hat..), and supplies me with a new (to me) and wonderful aphorism: Granache is Catholic, Mourvedre is Hugenot. Vive LTH!

    Back to the thread: The sad thing, it seems to me, is not that one risks elitism and effetism by caring about expensive, exotic, organic, locally produced, traditionally made ingredients, but that said ingredients which once were all there was, have become exotic, rare, and expensive, and therefore the mark of a dandified aesthete.
    The problem seems to me much less that "foodies" value such things than that everyone else has been so desensitized that they don't.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #6 - July 5th, 2007, 2:53 pm
    Post #6 - July 5th, 2007, 2:53 pm Post #6 - July 5th, 2007, 2:53 pm
    I've always been of the opinions that 80% of cooking is just having really good ingredients and the right tool for the right job.*

    Every summer, I make the same potato salad from a Susan Herrmann Loomis recipe. I bring this salad to whatever family BBQ we're invited to. I buy multicolored fingerling potatoes, french-style shallots, and baby green beans from farmer's markets. I use the best olive oil and vinegar that I can get my hands on and terrific sea salt.

    I always get raves for this salad and tons of questions about it. "What did you do? How did you make this?" I always reply the same way: "It's not about what I did, but about what I bought. With simple stuff, if you start with good ingredients and do as little as possible to them, you're probably going to arrive at a pretty good conclusion."**

    So to take you seriously, Gary , no I don't think you're an overly-sensitive effete and self-important snooty-pants dilettante. You could have made your french toast with wonder bread, dean's 2%, lucerene butter, and morton's iodized salt, but you would have been eating an entirely different dish.

    I never feel ashamed for wanting to use what I feel are great ingredients.

    Best,
    Michael


    *The other 20%, what sets apart the best from the rest in any profession, is the technique.

    **Of course, there are techniques that put your execution of this salad in that top 20% range such as not overcooking the potatoes, shocking and drying the cooked beans at the right time, and the proper creation and application of a simple vinaigrette.
  • Post #7 - July 5th, 2007, 6:32 pm
    Post #7 - July 5th, 2007, 6:32 pm Post #7 - July 5th, 2007, 6:32 pm
    eatchicago wrote:So to take you seriously, Gary , no I don't think you're an overly-sensitive effete and self-important snooty-pants dilettante.


    The question isn't if he is one or not, simply if this particular dish made him one ;)
    Leek

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  • Post #8 - June 12th, 2008, 11:02 am
    Post #8 - June 12th, 2008, 11:02 am Post #8 - June 12th, 2008, 11:02 am
    eatchicago wrote:Every summer, I make the same potato salad from a Susan Herrmann Loomis recipe. I bring this salad to whatever family BBQ we're invited to. I buy multicolored fingerling potatoes, french-style shallots, and baby green beans from farmer's markets. I use the best olive oil and vinegar that I can get my hands on and terrific sea salt.


    Michael, can I just thank you (again) for this recipe? I made this last night from Nichols' french fingerlings & german butterballs and it was outstanding. I just polished off the leftovers for my lunch. I tweaked it to my own taste and available ingredients - skipped the haricots, added chopped cornichons and parsley. I can't wait till I can make it again. oh, I also splashed a bit of white wine and salt on the taters as soon as I took them out of the steamer - this was a tip from Ina Garten's show. They soak up a lot of flavor when they're still hot.
  • Post #9 - June 12th, 2008, 11:23 am
    Post #9 - June 12th, 2008, 11:23 am Post #9 - June 12th, 2008, 11:23 am
    sarcon wrote:Michael, can I just thank you (again) for this recipe?


    Thanks for the reminder! It won't be long before the baby green beans are in the markets and I can make this salad again.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #10 - June 13th, 2008, 7:16 am
    Post #10 - June 13th, 2008, 7:16 am Post #10 - June 13th, 2008, 7:16 am
    I'm still reeling from the fact that someone else enjoys Shakes the Clown, I have a friend who is slightly obsessed with it.


    Your list of ingredients doesn't make you an upscale snob, it should just make you happy that you are able to live a life where your basics/staples can be of such high quality.
  • Post #11 - June 13th, 2008, 7:44 am
    Post #11 - June 13th, 2008, 7:44 am Post #11 - June 13th, 2008, 7:44 am
    The blurb in the newspaper ad described Shakes as "The Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies."
    I'm not Angry, I'm hungry.
  • Post #12 - June 13th, 2008, 5:36 pm
    Post #12 - June 13th, 2008, 5:36 pm Post #12 - June 13th, 2008, 5:36 pm
    Shakes is a cult classic, especially among actors and comedians and such. Me, I prefer Death to Smoochy.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.

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