Why My Family Must Eat French Toast on Snow Days

Why My Family Must Eat French Toast on Snow Days

Confession: I was one of those people at the grocery store yesterday buying milk, bread, and eggs in preparation for bad winter weather. But I'm not the idiot many Facebook statuses or this guy would have you believe:

I'm pretty sure most of the other people who were at the store with me aren't idiots either. Well, some of them might have been, but not because they were making sure their pantries were stocked for the next few days.

We are having some atypical weather here in St. Louis. I'm going to resist using the word that melds "snow" and "Armageddon," because I have a hard time picturing the end of the world as something that looks like a Bob Ross painting.

It has been quite awhile since we have seen this much snow, and temperatures haven't been below zero since 1999. So yeah, we might be a little dramatic about the situation by a Wisconsin native's standards. But that is simply because we aren't the kind of folk who can justify owning a four-wheel drive vehicle armed with a snowplow...since our plastic sleds and newly purchased snow boots rarely see much action from year to year, much to the dismay of our hopeful children. So when the real frozen deal does come our way, we are a bit like the pinch hitter finally getting called into the game. We want to be prepared to knock our snow day out of the park. And that means French toast...otherwise known as milk, bread and eggs (and as far as I'm concerned, some vanilla and cinnamon as well.) I think it's practically a law that you must eat French toast on snow days.

polar vortex in New York City
Image: Bryan Smith/Corbis

Now, I am a very spotty watcher of the news. I know, that's very un-adult of me. So I was unaware for a while of such an ominous cold and snowy forecast for this weekend, unlike avid news watchers. And, of course Murphy's Law dictated that our pantry was in desperate need of restocking. Not only did I not have the ingredients for French toast, I also didn't have most of the foods that keep my children content. So I went to the store, despite being possibly branded an "alarmist" by almost everyone who appeared in my Facebook news feed yesterday.

Most, like the gentleman in the video above, were simply poking good-natured fun at the "French toast phenomenon" that seems to happen whenever our weather forecasters even whisper the word "snow." But others, of course, had to make it a commentary on some larger issue, like the media's need to blow everything out of proportion, or our society's inability to make do with what we have, or people's ill-preparedness for sudden catastrophe.

But news flash: I went to the store because I wanted French toast on a snow day. End of story. As I look out my window now, it is obvious the media didn't blow this thing out of proportion (at least not this time). And yes, I could have made do with what I had, but I didn't want to and didn't have to. The prospect of being housebound for a couple of days listening to my kids complain about having to eat kidney beans and couscous with a side of cantaloupe just about past its safe consumption period was enough to justify a trip to the grocery store with almost everyone else in the city. (And honestly, that trip wasn't so bad. I spent an extra two minutes more than usual finding a spot in the parking lot, had to use a smaller basket since the big ones were gone, had to say "excuse me" a few more times than usual, and waited maybe five minutes longer than normal at the checkout line. It was obviously pure hell.)

And as far as being ill-prepared for a sudden catastrophe, well, you got me there. When the zombie apocalypse or doomsday or the fall of our government happens, everyone eating canned corn in bunkers can laugh at me and my foolish carpe diem ways. Until then, I will likely remain the person who puts off the grocery shopping one more day in favor of getting together with a friend, writing when inspiration strikes or having a spontaneous movie night with my kids and husband. Consequently, you probably won't find me passing judgement on anyone else who finds themselves in the chaos of last-minute shopping. Because sometimes, just sometimes, what we need to spend our time doing should give way to what we want to spend our time doing. Snow day or no.

That also means I will likely be the person running to the store the next time a big winter storm is in the forecast. So make fun of me on Facebook all you want. My family is happy and warm and no one is complaining about what there is (or isn't) to eat, all because we were the idiots who braved the mass chaos of the grocery store hours before we were snowed in a for a few days. And considering I just got word school is cancelled tomorrow, after the kids have already been home for the two-week Christmas break, being able to make French toast again in the morning will be a lifesaver.

This pinch hitter knows how to knock snow days out the park.

snow day
Oh the weather outside is frightful. But our bread, milk and eggs are so delightful.

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