Memories and a Recipe for the Fourth of July
On this morning last year, I was sipping mimosas, eating “breakfast crack” and mingling with friends in my neighbor Cathy‘s backyard. I hadn’t really felt good about America since the 2016 election, but I love brunch and I was wearing my protest t-shirt, so I felt okay about celebrating.
I live in a home that’s almost one hundred years old in a well-established neighborhood in East Sacramento. It’s a holiday-loving neighborhood. Real estate documents disclose this fact to anyone looking to buy a home here. Large crowds gather for Halloween, Christmas and the Fourth. Last year’s parade was the 89th annual event and it brought residents out into their yards and visitors from all over the city into the streets.
Our beloved Governor Gavin Newsom made an appearance! I was absolutely devastated that I missed him. I’d wandered off with a group of ladies to meet the former newswoman and acclaimed author who lives right around the corner from me when my husband spotted him walking down the middle of the street.
“There must have been security,” he reported to me, “but it wasn’t obvious. And, yes, he’s just as good looking in person.”
Well, that was 2019. Today, I’m wearing my navy joggers from Target, but I’ve got a new t-shirt: Biden for President it reads. The outfit amuses my daughter, because “You don’t even like him, Mother!” Let’s just say, he’s growing on me.
I wish there was a parade this year; I’d like to visit with Gavin. I hope that next year’s parade is just as grand as last’s years and that I’m feeling proud of my country again.
“Breakfast Crack” is slang for Creme Brûlée French Toast…you’re going to love it!
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 (8 to 9) inch round loaf Challah bread
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Cut 6 (1-inch) thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit. In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bring bread mixture to room temperature. Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.