French Toast with Currant & Rosehip Syrup

I bought my first loaf of bread at the market today!

I had previously been quite intimidated.  Because many items are behind the counter in these little Ukrainian market shacks, it is difficult to point or explain what one desires, unless one know what it is called.  And I sure don’t.

But I came across a stall that had all the different types of bread labeled with a name and price, so I thought I’d take a crack at it.

I shoveled up to the window and stood in silence.  The lady behind the counter was pre-occupied by recording something in her notebook.   Did she know I was there, but didn’t want to be bothered?  Maybe she had closed up shop for the day and was balancing the books?  Is there a hint here that I’m just not getting?

I managed a “zdrasvutsyah” and hoped that she wouldn’t yell at me (partially because I don’t like being yelled at, and partially because I would have no idea what she was saying).  She returned the greeting and continued working on her books.

Okay, then.

After several long seconds, she looked at me.  Her eyes spoke English; they said, “what do you want?”  I sounded out the name of the bread that I wanted.  Bingo!  She understood.

The next thing I knew, I had paid 60 cents for a fresh, warm loaf of bread.  Oh, the simple things in life!

French Toast with Currant & Rosehip Syrup

3 tbsp. fresh currants
4 tbsp. rosehip syrup
1/2 persimmon
2 slices of bread
1 egg
2 tbsp. cream
1 tbsp. creamy goat cheese

Place the currants in a shallow pan and add 5 tbsp. water.
Heat over low heat while gently crushing the berries with  your trusty pestle.
Add chopped persimmon.  Persimmons have quickly become my favorite fruit here, and will add welcomed sweetness to balance the tart currants.
After 3/4 of the water has evaporated, add the rosehip syrup and remove from heat.
Beat the egg and cream well.
Dip the bread slices in the egg & cream mixture and cook each side for two minutes on low-medium heat.
Pour syrup over french toast slices and crumble the goat cheese on top.
Serve with Christmas tea.


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