This story comes in two parts. The last half of the story, I have decided, comes first. And the beginning is a linked post here.
There’s a bakery near work that sells these amazing Hawaiian bread style rolls with a yummy for ten cents (5 pesos). Even better is when they’re still warm enough from the oven when you buy the last three that tells you that you hold in your hands something divine. These things sell like hotcakes. I thought these little pieces of heaven were just amazing bread. Then through our on going dialogue about food at work I find out these are Hawaiian style rolls and I said, “Oh like we make French toast out of back home.” This was probably Wednesday of last week.
And in the time since then I’ve acquired a craving for French toast. Was it the fact I have eggs I need to use up or bananas that have maybe two days of life in them? Who knows. But man oh man I wanted French toast. So after work today I went to the supermarket (It’s starting to become habit) and went about acquiring things for French toast. I got a loaf of local honey wheat bread. It’s light and fluffy and to die for.
Then I thought, “Well I used the last of the milk for cereal yesterday, so I need to get milk.” The milk selection of Cebu milk was wiped clean and I was on the fence about milk from France with a production date of January 2015, use by August 1 (Don’t want to know how they swing that). I didn’t want to use flavored milk or soymilk. At this point I was beginning to abandon the idea of breakfast dinner when a term’s worth of Chopped marathoning came to me. Sour cream. I thought why not and gave it a shot. Everything here seems to be manufactured locally or by Nestle. The sour cream was a Nestle product and a little odd to my American mind. I didn’t want to look at the spices as my usual line up calls for vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, and clove. I knew I wouldn’t be able to use up any amount before I leave in August and thusly couldn’t justify the purchase.
So I buy my groceries- an array of mango, pineapple, orange juice, another 6 liter jug of water, and then the things to make dinner. I came back, put the groceries down and sighed. It had been one of those Mondays, which I will be getting to shortly.
Let me just say, anything you cook in enough vegetable oil that it gets a nice crispy coating to it is going to be good on its own, even before you put bananas and crunch peanut butter on it. I was very satisfied with my creation. It was nice follow up to the conversation I had about iconic Oregon foods and in my searching I felt a little nostalgic for cooking. Thankfully I will be able to skip rice cooker pasta and save that for another night. In a round about way I ended up cooking on the stovetop for the first time in two weeks. The first time I did, I was so jet lagged the very easy to understand button system left me clueless.
Like the knife opening cans and the whole on going idea of making due with what you have, the sour cream in my French toast was just another one of these small tests of ingenuity. The more I’m here the more I think, what in the world am I going to do when I go home and the fun of being creative with the little things is gone? To go from living in a dorm for a year with a roommate, to living alone in an apartment internationally, back to a solo dorm in the fall. Now, more than ever, I am starting to believe to never, ever, doubt the potential of what you’re given. Because boy howdy can you do a lot with whatcha got.