Good Grief & French Toast Take Time

Overnight French Toast

Overnight French Toast

It should have come as no surprise that the first new episode of Downton Abbey would be about GRIEF. By the end of last season, Tom Branson lost a wife, Mary lost a husband and Mrs. Crawley lost a much loved son in a tragic accident. (Sigh! I can still see that handsome Mathew pinned under that car. That final episode haunts me.) We even saw a bit of angry suffering in the character of Carson as we learned of his love and loss. The episode enforced many of the things I have felt and have discussed on this blog like  finding strength to celebrate life, the need for forgiveness and the need for distraction.

good times around the fire pit

good times around the fire pit

However, I beg to differ with one final notion as portrayed through the grief-stricken Mary. With the exception of her father, the other characters believe 6 months should be plenty of time for her to resolve her grief and get back into the swing of things. What is so magical about 6 months? Good grief takes time–however long it takes. I am going on 3 years and I am still in the resolution phase. If, however, after 6 months, you still are not eating, sleeping or enjoying any kind of social interaction then it is time to see your health care provider as those are signs of a deeper, more complicated grief and depression.

Good French toast, believe it or not, also takes time. Especially if you like it a little crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth soft and creamy on the inside. It takes some simple planning. First of all, your bread should be just a bit stale–1 day old is good with most artisan breads that don’t use preservatives. The bread also needs to get a good 8 hours (overnight) in a yummy milk bath to soak up all the creamy goodness. Topped with butter and real maple syrup it is worth the time.


Simple Overnight French Toast

4 (1-inch thick) slices French baguette*

2 eggs

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt


Arrange bread in a single layer in a baking dish. In bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until well mixed; pour evenly over bread. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or as long as overnight. Melt some butter over medium heat on a non-stick griddle. Place soaked bread slices on hot griddle. Cook, turning once, until deep golden brown on both sides. Serve with your favorite toppings.

*Use the center portion of the bread and save the ends for another use. Trimming the crusts is optional.

14 thoughts on “Good Grief & French Toast Take Time

  1. It is a very well written program with an interesting cast of characters—rare in today’s TV standards. Hope you like the French toast—thanks to our dad I think I have 101 uses for day old bread.

  2. That was such a great night around the fire-pit…so much fun to watch William and Tyler together. I wish I knew what they were all laughing at though! BTW, 6 months is NOTHING! Not sure how anyone could be “back to normal” so fast after a tragic loss. I know everyone is different, you just take whatever time you need. PS: the french toast looks so good…will you make this for me when I come visit??? 🙂

  3. You have such a way with words-the comparison to the show and your own life-well done (again).

  4. I really look forward to your blog. You never seize to amaze me, Lisa. You are right on about Downton. I was kind of mad at Mary’s dad, but you make a very good point. Patience is needed. You will be famous with this blog, although I know that is not your point at all. I made sausage and peppers again tonight. Yummy! Can’t wait to try Good French toast. See you this weekend. XXOO Ellen

    Sent from my iPad

    • Not sure Mary’s dad knew what to do or how to do it, but his instinct was to protect her (even though his motives were questioned). Happy to hear you are enjoying some of my recipes.

  5. I don’t know how anyone in the lives of Downton Abby could possibly be moving on so quickly for so many tragedies. But you have to remember in those days you were expected to bury your feelings and move on. I think writing like you are Lisa is the best way of handling loss. I have written myself in times. The brain/heart get in a different mode where you find comfort. Keep it up you are great at it and probably have discovered something about yourself that you probably have never known. I think I would like to take an overnight milk bath with vanilla myself
    . 😉

    • Thanks, Sallie. I think it is not uncommon to take on a few traits of the one who has been lost. My writing comes from a place very deep in my heart with William’s name on it. It is a piece I never knew I had until he was gone. I also find Caitlin’s young strength inspiring. Come on down and we will go to the Hershey Park Spa where we can enjoy a chocolate milk bath 🙂

  6. mmm….going to have to pass this recipe to Chris, he’s the breakfast guy. Though, I might try it for dinner when he’s traveling 🙂
    Always a pleasure to read your blog….you are a very wise lady, indeed!
    What’s this about “chocolate milk bath”? I’m in! 🙂

  7. Nice to have a breakfast guy especially if he serves up a good cup of coffee. I am terrible at making coffee. Hershey Park has a spa that does all kinds of chocolate treatments great for a girls day out. How about painting a still life of Hershey kisses?

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