Pin It Crippen Creek Chronicles: October 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Perfect French Toast

Whenever we go to a bed and breakfast inn, we have high expectations for breakfast. I don't necessarily expect something exotic and it certainly does not need to look like 10 chefs got together to assemble it. We like common dishes prepared uncommonly well. That is the criteria we use here at Crippen Creek when we plan meals for our guests.

We start with the best local ingredients possible and then prepare it with heart and soul. Whenever I am dissatisfied with a particular dish, it sets me on a search for a better technique or recipe. That was the case with French Toast. For months now I have been searching for the Perfect French Toast. My criteria for French Toast consists of thick slices of bread saturated in a sweet batter, a golden and slightly crispy exterior with a moist custard-like interior. The finished product should fall somewhere short of bread pudding.

Most recipes call for some sort of hearty French or Italian bread but I find their
crust to be too tough and the crumb too chewy. After all we are trying to come close to the bread pudding stage.

My internet search became a daunting task. Lacking the time and resources of America's Test Kitchen, I needed to become proficient at perusing a recipe and deciding whether a particular recipe might fit the bill. After dismissing hundreds of recipes, I bookmarked several that seemed to have potential.

There was one in particular that called to me and I finally got around to trying it out last weekend. Voila! The Perfect French Toast! I discovered the recipe on a blog called Breakfast At Tiffany's.

She calls it Coast Toast and near as I can tell, it comes from a restaurant in La Jolla, CA known as The Brocton Villa Restaurant.

I followed the recipe exactly except for the bread. Our friend Jon Peterson is fond of saying, "there's not a lot of traffic on the highway of the 'extra mile'." So we went the extra mile and made brioche, which turned out to be the absolutely perfect bread for French Toast. Here is the recipe for the French Toast and if enough readers post a request for the brioche recipe, I will do a future blog on that.

A Golden Loaf of Homemade Brioche


batter soaked brioche

Brioche French Toast with maple syrup

Brioche French Toast
Brioche French Toast with a custard-like interior

But what about you? What qualities do you like in French Toast and do you have a favorite restaurant that makes a great French Toast?

Monday, October 5, 2009

How To Weigh A Pig

Don't be too hasty to dismiss this post as useless information. We never dreamed that we would need to know this but here we are needing to weigh our pigs and without a scale. It wasn't so bad when we first got them. Pick them up and guesstimate their weight at about 35 pounds.

35 lb. weaner pig

But what do you do when they get to this size?

First, you have to measure their girth.

Then you measure their length.

So here's the formula: girth x girth x length divided by 400 = the weight.
This particular pig had a girth of 46 inches and a length of 50 inches putting it's approximate weight at 265lbs. That's a good market weight and so at this very moment these dear creatures are on their way to hog heaven.

dressed and ready for the butcher for cutting and wrapping

That's all we will be raising and processing this year so if you missed out and are interested in half of a pig next year, let us know and we will put you on the list for next Spring. Till then you will have to settle for coming out to Crippen Creek for pork dinner.