Tiptoeing around the bed, over the large black lump known as King Ace in the middle of the floor and between two chew toys that were sure to leave a mark had I not seen them, I made my way to the kitchen.
In my small circle of friends, I've come to be known as the one who can cook. Heck, I'm not sure some of my girlfriends know the difference between a sauce pan and a soup pot. So I had high expectations of myself when it came to fixing a surprise breakfast for my champion.
We just had scrambled eggs and pancakes, and a few days before that it was my grandma's recipe for delicious waffles, so it was time to change things up.
Living with the world's pickiest eater — we're talking no condiments on a hamburger, unless you consider putting your french fries between the meat and bun a condiment, type of picky eater — my options were limited.
French toast! Yeah, I'd seen him eat french toast a time or two at my parents’ house for the weekend. It may not be his favorite, but at least I knew he'd eat it.
But did I remember how to make french toast? I remember my mother always saying it was just as easy as scrambled eggs, but for some reason I was drawing a few blanks in the recipe. So I flipped open my trusty Mac.
A few minutes and few dozen different french toast recipes later I was cracking eggs.
Four eggs and a guesstimated 1 cup of milk, I was combining a few online recipes, a few dashes of cinnamon and sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla then it was time to dunk.
Now the various Internet recipes all said to allow the bread to soak, anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. With a few memories of my mother making her yummy french toast, I never remembered her soaking the toast, so I compromised and counted to 10.
Tossing two pieces onto my hot griddle, I waited and flipped. Well that doesn't look right I thought, but continued on.
Being early in the morning, I wasn't about to call mom and wake her, so I did four more pieces just as the smell woke the other half.
"Surprise!" I shouted. Then came my verbal disclaimer and rundown of the morning’s online events.
"None of the recipes online matched, and I can't remember how mom does it," I said. "So remember it's the thought that counts, and I don't have to be at work for another two hours, so I could still be sleeping and if they taste bad just remember that I tried."
Glancing over my shoulder, I could see he was a bit less than impressed but still looked hungry enough to try 'em.
I tossed him the container of my grandma's recipe, homemade syrup and said "have at it."
He took a piece and headed to the living room.
When the dogs weren't even begging, I knew it couldn't be good. But I took two pieces for myself and joined him for our breakfast together.
He was almost finished with his piece before I took my first bite.
"Oh, it's not so bad," I said. "Yay, maybe I am a good girlfriend."
And then I took the second bite.
"Oh no, that's awful. How are you eating that?" I asked
Dumping what was left of mine, I watched as he finished his piece and opted out of seconds.
It was time to call mom.
"How do you goof up french toast?" was the response on the other end.
My mother, being the witty woman that she is, only poured salt in the wound by posting a how-to video of her making french toast in under 3 minutes later that day on Facebook. Damn.
–Megan Tilk is a reporter and weekly columnist for the Maryville Daily Forum. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.