Toad-in-a-Hole

Isn’t it amazing how food can evoke a memory? An emotion? One bite can bring you right back to the place that you first tasted the delectable delight. So, it is for me and the infamous ‘toad-in-a-hole’.   I had my first taste in Australia. The trip of a lifetime with each moment solidly etched in my brain. My dear friend Catherine made them for us one morning at her home in Adelaide.

toad-in-a-hole

We grew up with what we referred to as ‘dunkin’ eggs’. We loved my mom’s basted eggs and loved dunking our toast in the runny yolks even more. At the risk of showing my slightly weird side, I like to eat the surrounding egg white first and then dive into the yolk. When I was little, I would take my fork and push down gently until the yolk squirted out. It was a test in pressure and fun to watch it burst. (Sometimes I still do that!)

I recently introduced my children to the ‘toad-in-a-hole’ and they LOVE it. My daughter asked for ‘toad-in-a-hole’ four nights in a row, for dinner! When asked what her favorite food is…you guessed it!  Toad-in-a-hole.  It is so simple and easy, and healthy too.

 

Here are my very basic steps for Toad-in-a-Hole:

Choose your bread.  You can use any variety you prefer. We have enjoyed with our standard whole wheat but have also delighted in the flavor of sourdough. Generously melt butter in cast iron pan and turn heat to medium-low.  Cut a hole in a slice of your choice of bread with a biscuit cutter or upside down glass.  Lay the bread in the pan.  I put the circle part in the pan too.  Let it toast a bit in the butter and then crack an egg in the hole you created in the slice of bread.  Salt and pepper to your liking.  Give it a good minute or so and then carefully flip so that the other side of the egg has a turn.  You can cook to your liking for the yolk, runny or all the way through or anywhere in between.  I also flip the circle here too so it gets nicely toasted on the other side.  Remove from pan and serve.

Side Note:  I have switched entirely to cast iron but you can use whatever pan you normally use to make eggs.  I swear food TASTES better and I can’t believe I didn’t make the switch sooner.  Old school is the way to go.  😉

If you are looking for a new take on your egg and haven’t had the pleasure of this simple dish, I invite you to try it.

While names abound, I prefer to call it ‘toad-in-a-hole’ as it was first served to me by my kind and gracious Aussie friend.

Thanks Catherine – for bringing me back Down Under with a simple breakfast dish.  Cheers!

 

 

 

Toad Love

I know I should not be thinking about toads right now.  The temperature outside is hovering somewhere near zero degrees.  The trees are barren and the earth is covered in snow with dead plants peeking out.  It is not exactly the time to be thinking about amphibians.  However, anxiety for spring, seed catalogs in my mail box, and discovering photos of children with toads will do that to a girl.  I wanted you to know that I have discovered something in my adventures in parenthood.  Toads are part of my life now.

My son loves to find toads and so does my daughter.  They go toad hunting in the spring and all summer long.  The first time my son came to me with a toad, I wanted to scream and run in the opposite direction.  I am not particularly afraid of toads.  I just don’t embrace them as a species.  There is no affinity or fondness that resides in my heart.  At least, there never used to be.

But when my children go toad hunting and find baby ones and grandpa ones, I see and recognize the delight in their eyes and I myself can’t help but be delighted.  There is something magical about holding a creature, albeit slightly slimy, in your hands.  To watch their little necks go in and out and to inspect their crazy little feet is certainly something special.  Of course, the holding of the toad is sacredly reserved for my children.  I could not possibly steal the delight of holding a toad from my children.  Can you see the joy radiating on that sweet little face?

While motherhood has held its share of shock and surprise, this was one of the things I have found to be quite amazing.  I can look at a toad and smile, all the while cringing inside.  Because moms have to be cool.  They have to be calm and collected.  Even in the face of imminent amphibian danger.