In this week’s Junkyard Tales story "The Train", the animals awake one morning to the entire junkyard shaking. They’re alarmed. Is it an earthquake? A hurricane? A dragon?
Sally the chipmunk is the only one who actually sees the source of the shaking and noise: a big, long, metal truck-like creature that rides along the iron tracks outside the Junkyard fence. What could it be?
Of course, the animals eventually learn that the big creature is a train.
With a train-obsessed little boy at home, I’ve learned more about trains in the past few years than most people will know in their whole lives. I’ve learned about the different kinds of trains, the mechanics of trains, and even some of the history.
I’ll admit, I find the mechanical information a little boring, but I love the history. Especially, that of the glamorous era of train travel, when you slept in Pullman cars and awoke to a special breakfast in the dining car.
One such historic breakfast option was classic French toast, similar to the recipe below. While it isn’t the stuffed-with-cream-cheese variety one sees on breakfast menus today, for that time period it was pretty fancy. And in any time period it’s delicious!
Classic “Train Car” French Toast with Berries
About 8 slices of crusty bread
½ cup milk
a splash of vanilla
berries and maple syrup (for serving)
Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature.
In a shallow pan, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add as many slices of bread as you can fit in one layer, and let them soak up the egg/milk mixture for at least 2-3 minutes.
Heat a griddle over medium — if you don’t have non-stick or cast iron, use a little butter to keep the toast from sticking — and add the toast a few slices at a time. While your first batch of toast is cooking, start the next batch soaking in the egg mixture, adding more eggs or milk if necessary to coat the additional slices.
When the toast on the griddle is browned on both sides, remove it to a baking sheet and slide it in the oven to keep warm. Continue on until all of the French toast is cooked.
Serve with warm maple syrup and a handful of mixed berries, and imagine you’re riding the rails.
If you liked this recipe, here are others you might enjoy:
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.