Greetings from Tier FOUR – who even knew that such a thing existed? Sigh. After a sleepless night worrying about what to do now that Christmas in London is cancelled and seeing my parents is illegal, I consoled myself briefly with some French Toast.
I had two slices of Vincent’s Herb Bread which I’d tested for the Vincent Price Co*Star Cookbook earlier in the week, and I made the toast exactly to VP’s recipe. I loved the way it did indeed go puffy in the oven, just as Vincent said it would.
I sprinkled this delightful delicacy with icing sugar, drizzled over some maple syrup and then for good measure added some of the divine apple butter my friend Jane made from garden windfalls. Greedy eh?!
As I scoffed the lot, standing up in the kitchen in my pyjamas, I thought about the thing that has got me through the whole mess of the last 3/4 of 2020. That thing is the London Writer’s Salon. I am 100% addicted to their Writer’s Hour between 8 and 9 am GMT and I am writing this during that time right now, alongside 150 other writers in a silent zoom room. There are two other sessions for folks in different time zones, and people join in from all over the world. I have got to know some of the wonderful writers who hang out there, and it’s a magical and supportive space. If you write, whether it is poetry, academic writing, podcasts, memoir, science fiction, romantic novels, morning pages – whatever it is, you should really give this a go. Something special will happen, I promise.
Each morning we are encouraged to put our intentions for the hour in the chatbox. This morning when I mentioned that I would be working on the Vincent Price’s French Toast recipe a writer called Neil Cocker wrote that “The Vincent Price’s French Toast Recipe” was going to be the name of his new experimental jazz band.
Haha, that little comment absolutely made my day—a little ray of sunshine on a day that might otherwise be full of doom and gloom.
Here are Vincent’s two recipes. For the herb bread, I am experimenting a bit. I love the fact his recipe makes two big loaves. I gave one of these to Corinna and half of the other loaf to my next-door neighbour. Still loads left for me!
I’m not sure if Vincent used fresh herbs or dried in his recipe as it’s not specified. This time around I used the full amount of fresh sage in place of summer savory which I have never seen for sale here in the UK, and about a third of a teaspoon of dried rosemary and a third of a teaspoon of dried thyme. The bread had a HINT of herbiness, but it wasn’t overpowering. It was PERFECT for French Toast, but I’m going to try it again using all dried herbs but the full amount to see how herby it will go.
Here, just for the lovely Jane, is a photo I took of some French Toast Santa Fe I made during the Vincentennial year in 2011. Remember these cups and saucers lovely Lady Jane? That plate has long since been smashed to smithereens, alas!
Here are the recipes folks, let me know if you try either of these, all feedback welcome for the Vincent Price book! Still looking for test cooks so skip over and see what recipes are up for grabs.
First, here’s Vincent’s EGGY BREAD recipe!
Now the Herb Bread. For folks who use metric measurements, 2 packages of yeast = 14g (make sure it is the kind of dried yeast you need to add to water rather than the kind you stir into the flour). I found that I had to add quite a lot of extra flour to make this a workable dough, so I’m going to test it again for the book early in 2021.
Happy baking and happy French Toasting.