Nine hours of my day yesterday were spent hauling, sorting, washing, blanching, peeling, squeezing, cutting and stirring tomatoes, then ladling their hot flesh into Mason jars, all while giving and taking instructions in a bastardized mix of three languages within the confines of a steamy kitchen splattered with tomato juice.

I do this every year. And every year it feels like the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but sometimes it’s enough to make you want to scream into a well-feathered cushion.

So here we are, the morning after, and I’m still not running on all cylinders (one major clue being that I washed my face with hair conditioner). I’m hoping this cup of coffee will be the miracle cure, to avoid any other bleary-eyed mix ups and to help me regain some sense of focus. Fingers crossed – very tightly.

Since things are not making much sense this morning, I won’t attempt to write a poetically long piece here. I’d rather just get straight to the point – which is this:


I bring it up here and now as a small ode to the hearty, carb-filled breakfast that got me through yesterday’s 9-hour tomato massacre. This is the humble food I am always grateful for. And I suspect that, no matter what your day has in store, you will be grateful for it too.

Savoury French Toast

CRISPY SALT & PEPPER FRENCH TOAST – serves 2 (adapted from Food 52)

– 2-3 eggs
– a splash of milk (or cream)
– 1/8 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
– 1/2 green onion, finely chopped
– a few sprigs of cilantro, finely chopped
– butter
– 4 slices day-old bread

In a bowl, beat together eggs, salt, pepper, green onion, cilantro and a splash of milk (or cream).

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Melt a knob of butter over the surface until it’s thoroughly covered.

Dip the bread into the egg batter, drain off any excess, and place straight into the hot pan. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden-brown and crispy. Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup or something tangy/spicy like sriracha sauce.

Savoury French Toast