Texas French Toast


I love breakfast. A favourite recipe – Orange French Toast – came to me through the experience of addiction in our family. Several years ago, my husband and I stayed at The Wildwood Inn in Denton, Texas while one of our family attended a treatment centre nearby. Since then, Orange French Toast is a dish I enjoy serving at a family weekend or Christmas brunch. The scent of it is paired with a deep memory of hope. I’ve renamed it Texas French Toast.

The Wildwood Inn uses an old recipe that originated in a local newspaper some years ago. I wonder about the families that have lived in or visited McKay House in the past 159 years and how many of those families knew the experience of addiction.

It’s six years since addiction appeared in our family and, looking back, I’m surprised to discover that cooking has played such an important role in my own recovery of hope. But what could say health better than eggs and bread and milk with the zesty addition of orange? What could say hope better than my family sitting down to share a meal?

I wish you and yours health and hope – at breakfast and always.

Orange French Toast from 7/10/91 Dallas Morning News

Recipe By: McKay House (built in 1851) B & B in Jefferson, Texas
4 servings

4 eggs
2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 8 ounce baguette, cut into 1-inch slices
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
½ cup pecan pieces
confectioners’ sugar, orange slices and mint for garnish

With a wire whisk, beat together eggs, orange juice, milk, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla. Place bread in a single layer to fit tightly in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour milk mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning once.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Pour melted butter into a different 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread butter evenly. Arrange soaked bread slices in a single layer in the casserole. Sprinkle with pecan pieces. Bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. When removed from oven, sprinkle with a hint of confectioners’ sugar for presentation. Garnish with orange slices and fresh mint. Serve with maple syrup and/or fresh fruit. A slice of orange cut half way and twisted into an ‘s’ shape is pretty. Add a few blueberries of strawberries of raspberries if desired.