Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bygone days and new ways

    This morning I made french toast for my hubby and myself.  Just simple french toast.  But while I was cooking, my mind wandered to another time.  Years ago I made a different kind of french toast....a fancier one, shall we say, and I had a habit of hosting Champagne brunches for extended family.  Oh how I love champagne.....I'm sorry, what were we talking about?  lol....

    Like I said, that was well over 20 years ago, and things are so different now.  My step-father, who was one in a million as far as the human race goes, is no longer with us.  I still miss him.  The setting was California and I moved away approximately 17 years ago.  As the family has grown and some have put down roots in other states, for whatever reasons, some have lost touch.   There are times when I long for one of those gatherings in my home, surrounded by *my* family.  Holidays in particular can be difficult when families are spread across the nation.

    Time marches on, and I've remarried and downsized to a smaller home, closer to my new husband's children and grandchildren.  I used to collect china from antique stores, and I'm known for my hosting skills, but I find that my mindset is changing.  For one thing, this house only has so much storage space.  At first I rejected the idea of getting rid of anymore of my special things, because I'd already held several yard sales in recent years and wanted these *things* in case.  As my closets filled to capacity, I began to really question my reasoning in keeping certain items.

     My great-grandmother's (crystal) punch bowl set was missing some glasses.  It had been given to me YEARS ago and I'd not used it once yet.  Could I picture myself using it at some point in this new house, this new life?  The answer is that I DO plan to entertain; hopefully more than I have in the last 15+ years.  The people I will be hosting will be a different crowd, though, then the ones I've invited to my home in the past.  Grandchildren are now in the picture and to me that means less formality, more fun! 

     I can visualize hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner here, tables set up in 3 rooms to accomodate the entire group of thirteen or so.  I can envision lots of bbq's on our nice deck out back and potlucks are always fun, but what I can not imagine is how china would fit into any of those scenarios.

    Someone from the group FreeCycle is now the proud owner of all my crystal.  The pieces may no longer grace my cabinets or my tables, but the memories run deep.

    This morning, while fixing that simple french toast, I recalled the *other* french toast recipe, and how I'd gotten rave reviews whenever I'd served it.  I described the dish to my husband and told him how I'd passed the recipe to my niece when she married.  I wonder if it's become a tradition or family favorite in HER home?  In any case, food can certainly conjur up some wonderful memories of bygone days. 

     I will be posting "Grand Manier French Toast" under a new page, entitled Breakfast.


  1. That must've been so hard giving away your crystal...hopefully it's in good hands and will make new memories for someone else. Now, I need to check out your French toast recipe because I love French toast!! And if it involves champagne, I love it that much more! :)

  2. Hi Mandi, we've already discussed this on FB, but I wanted to comment for other readers. Grand Marnier is an orange liqueur. I used to serve this dish, along with a ton of other breakfast items at Champagne brunches in my home.