The French Toast Phenomenon: Why I Won’t Make Fun of You For Buying Milk, Bread, and Eggs Before a Snowstorm

Confession: I was one of those people at the grocery store yesterday buying milk, bread, and eggs in preparation for bad winter weather. Because, duh, french toast. 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 pretty snowy 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.

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It has been quite a while 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 snow plow…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 extract and cinnamon as well.) I think it’s practically a law that you must eat french toast on snow days.

milkNow, I am a very spotty watcher of the news. I know, that’s very un-adult of me. So I was unaware for awhile 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 newsflash: 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 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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25 Responses

  1. I want you to be the pinch hitter on my team! I like the way you think—I was nodding the whole time. And now I want french toast more than my next breath. (sorry, that was just the hunger talking) Stay safe and warm!

  2. Love it! We didn’t do french toast this time. We DO have milk, eggs and bread and used all three, but opted to making up some omlettes this morning. May need to opt for some french toast tomorrow!

  3. I have to admit I was at the grocery as well, buying lettuce and a tomato (for BLT) and also because I LOVE to be snowed in. The rest of the stuff was already purchased! After all we still have so much left over from Christmas, we could live for quite awhile before we looked for the canned corn!
    Let it snow, let it snow…

  4. Meanwhile, it will be 60 degrees in North Carolina tomorrow. I may make some French toast anyway 😉

  5. Anne Nestor Blind

    Well, I too Made french toast as you might have seen on my Facebook Status! I just had too. That’s all I could think about this morning. Don’t mind the being snowed in bit but I will definitely get lonely with only Maslow to talk to. Last time I remember a snow like this Mike and I got stuck in Farmington with NO food but canned corn or maybe green beans. I also remember a lot of people I worked with had babies 9 months later!

  6. Bahahaha! I love this, Kelly! Funny, witty and such a dead on point. I too am not prepared (intentionally) for the zombie apocalypse. Ok, so I am prone to coming home with more chicken, Trader Joe’s Japanese Fried rice (a staple in this house), bread, eggs, than we need… so yes, both (both) of my freezers are overflowing. But, that’s all just hoarding mentality, not preparedness… on my part. The truth is, when the zombies really come, we’ll be racing to cook all the defrosting food; I’ll be searching for milk, water, basics on the empty grocery shelves… and ultimately, while I can deal with a good snow storm (which we rarely get), I have little desire to be a Prepper or survive the Apocalypse (whatever heralds it). I am squarely a Carpe girl too, and before I have to eat my kids, I’ll finish whats in my cabinet and check out. (dark turn there, but truth be told). Rock on and enjoy your snow days! PS) ironically, Smart Guy made french toast this morning. 😉

    • Thanks, Dawn! And yeah, I know what you mean. Although, I do think I’ve watched enough Walking Dead episodes to to maybe at least get me through the first wave elimination. But I’m not sure I’d want to survive much past that point. Because I bet the world really starts to smell bad, and I’m not good with foul smells.

  7. I’m so jealous; all we got in Memphis was 9 degrees farenheit, and NO SNOW!!!! At first they did predict one to three inches, which was enough to jam every grocery store from the parking lot to the loading dock. But let me tell you, I ALWAYS go to the grocery store when a winter storm is predicted because it is such a treat to be snowed in that I don’t want to be without my hot chocolate and whatever other treats i decide I need. I can make my own bread, but not my own chocolate.

  8. Same grocery store rush Saturday in Wisconsin but not because of snow. Instead it was because of dire cold warnings for Monday and a Packers playoff game on Sunday (one does not shop during a Packer game. One is already prepared with a full refrigerator of beer and dip).

    • It sounded like Monday was even too cold for Packers fans, which says a lot! And you gotta love people who stock up for sporting events!! That is just good sense.

  9. Wow. I’m so glad I stayed off FB last week when there was snow headed to NYC. People sure do enjoy judging – if you stockpile canned goods just in case, then you’re not making do with that you have, and vice versa. So no matter what you do, someone’s going to criticize.

    This is how the world will end – will people snarking at each other instead of working together to overcome the zombies/aliens/natural or manmade disaster.

    I have a 2-person tent I’ve been meaning to get rid of for months now. Thanks to a bad back, I’m unlikely to ever sleep in a tent again. Yet, I keep it because what if something happens and we all have to get out of the cities like on Revolution of The Walking Dead? Which sounds completely crazy even to me.

  10. Hello from another snowed-in mom in St. Louis! I still can’t believe how much snow fell here!

    And moreover, I can’t believe I didn’t think to make French Toast!!! Good thing I stocked up on eggs, milk, and bread before the storm hit! 😉

    Mmmmm, now I can’t wait til breakfast in the morning!

    • Hope you guys weathered your snow days well! My two should be back in school tomorrow…I think everyone is actually happy about it, even them 🙂

  11. I am finally back at work after being snowed in for 3 days with the kids – my husband was called out to work so it was just me against them….. today at work feels like a vacation, it’s nice and quiet and I get to complete my thoughts without someone yanking on my pajama pants to ask me a question or tattle on a sibling, it’s glorious!
    We were in the store on Saturday too – here in E-ham the shelves of the basics were literally empty – it was nuts – but for good reason as the whole town shut down on Monday and most of it was still closed yesterday – or so it seemed! Thank goodness we got out today because I am down to my last 1/2 gallon of milk, 3 eggs and a couple slices of bread!! 🙂

    • It’s funny how fast food goes when everyone is stuck inside 🙂 Glad things are getting back to normal. While the occasional snowstorm can be fun, it does make you appreciate your routines.

  12. I’m a wee bit jealous of the snow, we got the freezing temps here in hot lil FL without any fun. My fountain froze and made my daughter giggle, woohoo! And we got a call from the school saying to dress your kids warm but school will still be in session. Did they really think we would expect them to let kids out for a cold day?!? That’s Florida for you 😉 I loved the video! Cracked me up, reminds me of pre-tropical storm days here and the mad rush for water and batteries.

    • I would bet your snow day equivalent IS probably the tropical storm warnings. And I’m with you…if it’s going to be freezing cold, as least give me a few days of snow in there. It is fun to have around for a little while 🙂

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