In 1978 I was in seminary and royally broke. After classes were over for the semester December 15, I babysat for a senior citizen in home hospice until December 23, but the family had not paid me yet.
Late Christmas Eve the mailman appeared like a snow angel and I received a Christmas Money Card from a friend.
Now I faced a second problem. I knew everything I wanted to give everyone on my Christmas list, but by now all the stores were closed.
I drove the streets looking for even a restaurant open where I could buy gift cards (back then they were hand written and called gift certificates), but all lights were out in Flint, Michigan except at gas stations. (For some additional retro history, back in the late 1970's gas stations did not have mini-stores attached to them.)
Then ahead of me a cluster of brilliant sparkling lights shone brightly. It was heaven. It was 7-Eleven.
I stepped on the gas and slammed harder than I needed to on the brake, after parking sloppy sideways in the lot, fearing that they might close at 11:00 Pm. It was 10:55 Pm.
"Nope, open 24 hours. What's wrong? Do you need something in particular?"
"I am looking for everything."
After looking up and down each small aisle three times, I brought to the counter a stapler and a thingy to take snow off the car window for my dad, all my sisters got beauty magazines and chocolate (I was hoping they would share with me), but I could not find a gift for my mom.
Even after circling the store one more time, I could not find anything for my mom. Then backward in the store window, I read, "We Sell U.S. Postage Stamps."
"Do you have any stamps left?" I excitedly asked. I knew my mom liked stamps even more than me and I loved them.
"Yep." This store clerk was a one word kind of guy.
Since my family thought they were getting nothing from me, they were crazy happy Christmas morning with their "wanna-be gifts, especially when they heard my funny but sincere shopping story."
Today for you, PROCRASTINATION finally pays off and royally!
I know Christmas morning has passed, so I am changing the name of my Christmas Morning
Orange Julius French Toast Casserole to New Year's Morning Orange Julius French Toast Casserole :)
Orange Julius Froth Lives On: Feel the Froth
New Year's Morning Orange Julius French Toast Casserole
1 loaf French bread (about 16 ounces)
4 eggs, beaten well
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups orange juice
2 1/2 cups eggnog
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1 16 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained and slightly mashed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Tear bread into 1" cubes and place into greased 9×13 pan.
2. In a blender (or in a bowl using an electric mixer) beat eggs and salt for several minutes until smooth.
3. Pour in orange juice, eggnog, and vanilla and blend until well combined.
4. Stir in the slightly mashed mandarin oranges by hand.
5. Pour mixture over bread, making sure all pieces are covered.
6. Combine 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg in a dry small cup and stir.
7. Sprinkle on top of entire casserole.
8. Prepare Christmas Eve (cover and refrigerate) or put it completely together Christmas morning.
9. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.
10. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until top is golden brown, solid in the middle, and bread is puffed up.
11. Remove from oven and serve hot.
12. Serve with optional on the side maple syrup and butter if you like.
Don't over power the Orange Julius French Toast Casserole with milk or juice. Instead for your breakfast drink, serve with hot unflavored coffee or tea.
Enjoy! At first bite you will suddenly feel 40 years younger. In your mind's eye, you will be walking
in Eastland (now Courtland) Mall in Flint, Michigan past the Orange Julius Stand smelling the orange blossoms and feeling the froth.
1978Fu Manjulius mustache trend overtakes fashion world. (This was so men could feel the froth longer.)
Cheryl Moeller would love to speak, do cooking demos, and make you laugh at your Midwest event in 2013: firstname.lastname@example.org