Sandburg's Hometown

October 21, 2013

Fattiga Riggare - Swedish French Toast
Fattiga Riddars

A Warm Breakfast

By Barbara Schock

Clara Sandburg often served fried eggs and side meat to her husband and working sons for breakfast. They needed a stout meal to see them through the morning. When Carl spent several weeks harvesting ice on Lake George, now known as Lake Rice, his mother made sure he had a pork chop sandwich along with a few other bits of food in a paper sack. At midnight the workers would find a place out of the wind to sit and eat their cold meal. After such heavy labor, they were in need of sustenance.

For her younger children she may have prepared Fattiga Riddars (Poor Knights) as the winter mornings became colder. Two-day old bread was dipped in beaten egg and milk. The bread was allowed to soak up the liquid and was then fried in fat. The interior of the bread became soft and creamy, almost like pudding, and the crust became crisp.

It is believed that this idea for using stale bread began in convents in the 14th century. In France, it is called Pain Perdue or lost bread. The British call the dish eggy pudding or Poor Knights. In Spain and South America, it is called Torrijas and is served frequently during Lent. The French have a luxurious version in which almond paste in spread on a slice of bread and applesauce on another slice. The sandwich is dipped in cream and breadcrumbs and fried in butter. Of course, it is called Rich Knight. Swedes also enjoy this version.

Here is a recipe for the Poor Knights version of French Toast:

Fattiga Riddars

6 slices day-old bread
1 egg
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Butter for frying

Place bread in a single layer in a flat baking dish or baking sheet with sides. In a bowl, whisk the egg and milk with the other ingredients until well blended. Pour egg mixture over bread and allow to soak through. Add butter to a medium hot griddle or skillet. Brown bread on both sides. Serve hot with lingonberries and cream or syrup or jelly. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Sandburg's Hometown
Date Title
October 21, 2013 A Warm Breakfast
October 14, 2013 Marion D. Shutter
October 7, 2013 Cigars and Consumption
September 30, 2013 Forrest F. Cooke & August Sandburg
September 16, 2013 Forrest F. Cooke, Mayor
September 9, 2013 Dusty Streets
September 2, 2013 Typhoid Fever
August 26, 2013 Coffee and Water
August 19, 2013 A Horse! A Horse!
August 12, 2013 Gaddial Scott
August 5, 2013 The Racetrack
July 29, 2013 John Peter Algeld - Part II
July 22, 2013 John Peter Altgeld - Part I
July 15, 2013 Tramps, Tramps, Tramps
July 8, 2013 Lady Liberty
July 1, 2013 Galesburg's Fourth
June 24, 2013 John H. Finley
June 17, 2013 The World's Columbian Exhibition
June 10, 2013 Fruit Short-Cake
June 3, 2013 Horatio Alger, Author
May 27, 2013 Memorial Day, 1887
May 20, 2013 Professor Jon W. Grubb
May 13, 2013 Beginnings of Lombard University
May 6, 2013 Young Sandburg’s View of Lombard College
April 29, 2013 Thinking
April 22, 2013 Robert Colville, Master Mechanic
April 15, 2013 The Galesburg Opera House
April 8, 2013 Grocery Stores and Sample Rooms
April 1, 2013  A Hearty  Breakfast 
March 25, 2013  The Lost Wallpaper Legend 
March 18, 2013 Martin G. Sandburg
March 4, 2013 The Edison Talking Machine
February 25, 2013 Joe Elser, Civil War Veteran
February 18, 2013 Remember the Maine...
February 11, 2013 Lincoln's Birthday
February 4, 2013 Curiosity