One summer my cousin Jessie and I were shipped off to spend a few weeks at camp Woolsey in the rustic woods of the Ottawa valley. It was our first time spending a week away from home.
The first night was a struggle. With torrential rain pouring down on our 4 person canvas tent we quickly became damp, cold and quite homesick. I doubt we even slept that night as we both feared a form of horrific camp death involving floods and bears would take us in our sleep. As the rain dissipated and the sun began to rise, the only things on our minds were dry clothes and a warm breakfast.
As we made our way to the tamarack building the smell of French toast began to fill the air. With both excitement and anticipation we raced to our table and took our places for what we thought would be the best breakfast ever. After reluctantly singing camp songs about a moose stuck in a straw, we were finally invited to help ourselves to the mountain of French toast at the front of the room.
Feeling like ravished pioneers, we piled French toast on our plates until it was almost too tall to carry. When we returned to our table we dug in and quickly realized that this was possibly the worst meal man has ever made. The bread was slimy and raw eggs dripped off the sides. We both came to the conclusion that there was no way humanly possible this French toast was created for human consumption.
Our councillor, a 16-year-old redhead (camp name: “Brown Owl”), noticed we had not touched our breakfast. We tried to explain that it was inedible. She told us we had to finish our breakfast before we could enjoy the camp activities of the day. Horrified by this Jessie and I began to devise a plan. When Brown Owl turned her back we stuffed the copious amounts of French toast into the pockets of my floral print jean shorts.
Impressed by our ferocious appetites Brown Owl allowed us to join the other kids for swim lessons.
As we left the building I surreptitiously snuck off to the bathroom to dispose of the French toast slime in my pockets. I threw the sticky slop into the only flushable toilet at camp, flushing the evidence down into oblivion. Unfortunately, the toilet also found the French toast unbearable, clogging almost immediately, but I continued to force and flush more pieces down. Better its pipes than mine.
The toilet remained blocked for the entire stay at Camp Woolsey, banishing me, and all my fellow campers to the outhouse for the entire week.
Coconut French Toast
4 thick slices of challah bread
¼ cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. orange juice
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup milk
1 tsp dark rum
1 tsp coconut flavoured rum
3 ripe bananas, sliced
Preheat oven to 350
In a wide shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Place bread slices in the bowl and allow bread to soak up egg mixture for 5 minutes. Turn over and soak bread for an additional 5 minutes.
In a non stick skillet fry the bread over medium heat. Flip bread and continue to cook until both sides are lightly browned. Put French toast on a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven to stay warm. Repeat until all bread is fried and placed in the oven.
Over medium heat, melt butter in a non stick pan. Add sugar and orange juice and whisk until mixture starts to bubble and brown. Carefully pour in coconut milk, milk, and rum; stir until combined. Add sliced bananas and cook for 2 minutes, flipping half way through.
To serve plate French toast and top with caramelized banana mixture. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or toasted coconut.