October 21, 2013
October 21, 2013
A Warm Breakfast
By Barbara Schock
Clara Sandburg often served fried eggs and side meat to her husband and working sons for breakfast. They needed a stout meal to see them through the morning. When Carl spent several weeks harvesting ice on Lake George, now known as Lake Rice, his mother made sure he had a pork chop sandwich along with a few other bits of food in a paper sack. At midnight the workers would find a place out of the wind to sit and eat their cold meal. After such heavy labor, they were in need of sustenance.
For her younger children she may have prepared Fattiga Riddars (Poor Knights) as the winter mornings became colder. Two-day old bread was dipped in beaten egg and milk. The bread was allowed to soak up the liquid and was then fried in fat. The interior of the bread became soft and creamy, almost like pudding, and the crust became crisp.
It is believed that this idea for using stale bread began in convents in the 14th century. In France, it is called Pain Perdue or lost bread. The British call the dish eggy pudding or Poor Knights. In Spain and South America, it is called Torrijas and is served frequently during Lent. The French have a luxurious version in which almond paste in spread on a slice of bread and applesauce on another slice. The sandwich is dipped in cream and breadcrumbs and fried in butter. Of course, it is called Rich Knight. Swedes also enjoy this version.
Here is a recipe for the Poor Knights version of French Toast:
6 slices day-old bread
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Butter for frying
Place bread in a single layer in a flat baking dish or baking sheet with sides. In a bowl, whisk the egg and milk with the other ingredients until well blended. Pour egg mixture over bread and allow to soak through. Add butter to a medium hot griddle or skillet. Brown bread on both sides. Serve hot with lingonberries and cream or syrup or jelly. Makes 4 to 6 servings.