I’m thinking a lot about Dads today.

As one of my best friends goes through hell  and we sit with our hearts in our throats, hoping to heaven that hers will be fine, the first thing I was compelled to do today was call mine.

Like hers, mine is a very good egg.  He’s dashing and tall, with a lick of Bill Clinton to his profile. He loves his coffee and pinot noir. Also pastries- particularly when consumed after a long cycle or swim. He doesn’t really drink beer; he prefers a glass of champagne as an aperetif.

In his child he imparted a dark hued sense of humour, love for the early Beatles and an appreciation of spreadsheets.

He taught me to swim, do algebra, ride a bike, row a single scull and park a car. He let me walk on his feet when I was little.  He stood on the side of god knows how many Saturday morning netball games (and let’s be honest, the 11 E’s weren’t doing much of interest).

The first bunch of flowers I was ever sent were from him, to school in celebration of my 13th birthday.

It was a hard act for others to follow.

When someone comments that in many ways The Hungry One is much like my Dad, we both take it as a great compliment.

One other thing my dad taught me was how to make french toast. That – and scrambled eggs are two of his signature dishes.

He’s on the other side of an ocean the moment. My breakfast is his dinner. But this morning as I made this sticky, steadying and sweet breakfast to fill a gnawing hole of worry in my stomach, I thought of him . And said a silent toast to great Dads across the world.



Soda bread french toast with amaretto prunes


Serves 2

This could also work with brioche, or just a normal loaf. But I had a loaf of soda bread in the freezer and love the way its nutty flavours play with the richness of the prunes. You could use ice cream or cream instead of yogurt, but I like the way it cuts through the richness. And the little bit of salt? Well, to me at breakfast, just like life, there’s always going to be a bit of salt to the sweet.

Equipment
1 sauce pan. 1 frying pan. 1 mixing bowl.

Shopping/foraging 


4 slices soda bread
15 prunes
3 tablespoons of amaretto
1 egg, beaten
half a cup of milk
Tablespoon of butter for frying
2 tablespoons of natural yogurt
A pinch of sea salt

Here’s how we roll

1. Mix together the milk and the egg in a bowl. Pour over the slices of soda bread and leave to soak for 10 minutes.

2. Put the amaretto and the prunes in a small sauce pan and bring to the boil to boil off the booze. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the prunes are plump and the amaretto has reduced to a sticky caramel sauce.

3. Melt the butter in a fry pan. When it is sizzling, add the slices of eggy soda bread. Cook for 3 minutes, until the bottom is crisp. Turn over and cook the other side for two minutes.

4. Serve the warm french toast with a dollop of natural yogurt, the prunes, sauce and a small sprinkling of sea salt for kick.