Why I would never let Dustin Hoffman make me French toast

Photo above: Look! It’s that dish made in Moonstruck/V for Vendetta — egg in a basket.

There are certain movies where something is being made or served that have resonated with me to this day. Sometimes randomly during the day, almost always when I cook or eat. Those movies are “Kramer Vs. Kramer,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “Moonstruck” β€” all for different reasons.

“You like your French toast crunchy don’t you?”

The earliest was “Kramer Vs. Kramer.” I don’t know why my parents dragged me along to see this 1979 movie. And to this day, no scene stands out except when Dustin Hoffman’s character attempts to cook his son French toast for breakfast. As a 5-year-old, that scene shocked me down to my little sneakers. It spoke volumes about how Hoffman’s character was coping as a newly single parent and how to care for his son. To this day, every time I have French toast, I think of Hoffman dunking slices of bread in a coffee mug with the name Ted on the cup.

“Do you have something simple? Like soup?”

On a more light-hearted level is “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” It’s not that I’ve eaten any of those items served during the infamous dinner scene. Who has, really? But that scene has become sort of a coping mechanism for me when dealing with a meal that seems bizarre or overly weird. I simply draw in my reserve and think that it can’t be as bad as chilled monkey brains. This way of thinking helped me get through my first experience with sushi.

“Old man, you give those dogs another piece of my food and I’m gonna kick you ’til you’re dead!”

In “Moonstruck,” there’s a scene where Olympia Dukakis is going on to Cher about moving out, getting married and whatnot. All that caught my attention were those eggs and how they were being cooked with bread. Up until recently, I thought it was called “toad in a hole,” but they are actually called “egg in a basket.” Regardless, I make this almost every weekend and the effort to cut a hole from a piece of bread is worth it.

Eggs played a role again in 2006’s “V for Vendetta” as V, the masked title character, is cooking up breakfast for Natalie Portman. Upon further research, “egg in a basket” was also referenced by Beach Boys musician Brian Wilson during an interview.

Now for some optional reader participation: Are there any movies that have affected your culinary outlook? Which movies are they and how have the affected you?

24 thoughts on “Why I would never let Dustin Hoffman make me French toast

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  1. I think "toad in a hole" is like a puffed pancake with sausage. The ends of the sausage poke out of the pancake to look like a toad in a hole (I'm guessing). I've never actually had it, but I think it would be fun to make. Egg in a basket is awesome, especially if you leave the yolk runny to dip the bread into.

  2. Hi Leanne–I agree the a runny yolk is the best for those exact reasons!Hi Us vs Food–I stand corrected and Olympia Dukakis does cook some mean food.

  3. Isn't funny how movies can resonate like that, especially when we are young? I love Kramer vs. Kramer, but that does seem like a bizzare choice for a five-year-old.

  4. Best post ever!I thought it was Toad in a Hole too. Huh. I will have to think about movies and get back to you…

  5. Hi Foodette–I should probably revisit Kramer Vs. Kramer as an adult and get over that french toast scene. Maybe that's why I always choose pancakes instead of french toast.Hi JustJenn–Maybe it is also called toad in a hole too? I'm truly confused what the true name is and wikipedia is no help.

  6. I've never seen Kramer vs. Kramer, but that's an amazingly done scene. I'm glad I didn't see it as a child…would've scarred me for life. But then I did see Robocop when I was too young. That probably did some damage.

  7. I've never seen Kramer vs. Kramer, but that's an amazingly done scene. I'm glad I didn't see it as a child…would've scarred me for life. But then I did see Robocop when I was too young. That probably did some damage.

  8. Ah yes… the chilled monkey brains. My favorite… line!I discovered your blog through Foodbuzz and really enjoy your writing style, your photography, and your blog's feel. I'm definitely going to be back!Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  9. I was never overly fond of eggs, but ever since the first time I saw Cool Hand Luke and the boiled egg eating…*gag*…I just couldn't do it anymore. No more eggs for me. Blech.

  10. The British "Toad in the Hole" is sausages poking out of yorkshire pudding. I have made it a few times, I am not a fan of yorkshire pudding its a bit too bland and glutinous for me.Check out Martha Stewart's Mother's Day Breakfast for a 'cheesey' version!http://www.marthastewart.com/just search for Mother's Day Breakfast

  11. This post was so funny that it prompted me to write my first comment on MBK. I remember all those scenes (since I watched them with you) and they affected me just as much as you – and I didn't even tell you about them!

  12. Hi Elmomonster–Ha! I agree that Robocop is one scary movie!! Especially when the lead gets shot up and dies before he becomes Robocop.Hi Rosehaven Cottage–Thanks! See you around!!Hi Jodi–You're the second person that has made a reference to Cool Hand Luke to me and unfortunately I never saw the movie. But… they have that clip on Youtube — as they do everything else.Hi London Girl–Thank you for the clarification. I'll check out the link for Martha Stewart's version.Hi Warren–I find it bizarre that you even remember Kramer Vs. Kramer since you were 3 at the time. Thanks for finally leaving a comment. πŸ™‚

  13. Sorry just to clarify.. the Martha Stewart recipe is for the 'eggs in a blanket'. And I meant "cheesey" as in "corny". I will put a recipe for Toad in the Hole on my blog. I have the best recipe for it!

  14. Oh my gosh. I love the scene from Moonstruck…the snappy Olympia D. but mostly the eggs in bread she was cooking. For so long I wanted to live in that house…with the wallpaper and woodwork and Italian culture! (I've always contented I was switched at birth and my parents are actually Italian). P.S. I ran into Cher on the street one day and she is SHORT! About 5 feet. Who knew?

  15. Hi again, London Girl–Thanks for your clarification!Hi Not Martha–Thanks for visiting.Hi Kitchen Trove–I actually had forgotten how snappy Olympia Dukakis was and how cool you ran into Cher!

  16. My ex-roommate introduced me to this wonderful dish. She told me that her French grandmother made it for her when she was little and had called it "Toad in a Hole." The name scared her off and to get her to eat it, her mother changed the name to "Egg in a Basket."

  17. Mio nonno, Pietro, (My grandfather, Peter), used to make these, as well as soft boiled eggs. You should try using a good Italian bread for them! My grandfather's were always hand torn – no cookie cutter! I don't recall them ever being referred to by name, but my very first cookbook called them "Framed eggs".Have you seen No Reservations yet? There's not a certain dish that it brings to mind, but I have the urge to listen to opera and "Mambo Italiano" in the kitchen now!The only food scene I can think of is Goonies…in the Fratellis' place…when Mouth is torturing Mikey by pouring the nasty water from one glass to another.

  18. Hi Tere–I've never heard of it being called a popeye. Thanks for the heads up. I'll have to do some research.Hi Girl Can Eat–Don't you just love that scene?? I didn't know it had an impact on so many people!Hi Ghetto Gourmet–Thanks for sharing your roommate's story!Hi Cara Mia–I will try Italian bread next time (I believe that was the bread used in Moonstruck). I have not seen No Reservations yet. And I remember that scene from Goonies!

  19. great post! I'd forgotten how much i loved K vs.K as it's been so long since I've seen it!Ok, this is going way back… I was like 4 or 5 and a huge fan of the Popeye cartoon and I was obsessed with the idea of spinach. However, the only two leafy greens that ever made it into our household when I was young were iceberg lettuce and bok choy. When I finally got old enough to start contributing to the household, I bought spinach but had no idea what to do it. My dad surprised me a few days after I'd brought it home by preparing it for me. It was delicious and I asked why he had never made it before. He said he hated it but that didn't mean he didn't know how to cook it…! :-)Second obsession – but this one yet to be fulfilled: TIMPANO! Have you seen Big Night? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that movie! And I have to say, if growing up the daughter of a cook wasn't enough to make me a foodie, then this movie would have done the trick. The whole movie is tied to this elaborate, made with love dish that I'd never heard of and you won't find on any neighborhood Italian restaurants. I did find a recipe for it on newitalianrecipes.com and I intend to try it when I have company. It's layers of salami, cheese, pasta meatballs, hardboiled eggs inside of a calzone-like bread dough. It's supposed to be quite impressive when sliced into… Hey! Maybe you and Cool Jerk could be my guinea pigs! πŸ˜€

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