Now I know why they call it Black Friday.

Did you know it all started around 1950 in Philadelphia? The annual Army/Navy game is played in Philadelphia on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Many people from the suburbs would come to the city on Friday in anticipation of the game.

The cities retailers decided to have large discount sales to entice shoppers. The large crowds of people shopping and attendees of the game overwhelmed the local law enforcement to control traffic. Large crowds in stores also attracted shoplifters taking advantage of the bedlam in stores.

By1961, the term Black Friday caught on in the nation. Today everyone considers it a great sale day lasting up to four days, but it is also the slowest restaurant day of the year. Everyone is shopping, not going out to eat. Yes, more than 200 million people will take advantage of the savings. All 200 million, except me.

OK, I know everyone loves Black Friday and all the special buys. But why did I pay $45.39 for a gallon of milk. Let me explain. I get up every morning at 5 a.m.; can’t help myself just a habit of years of going to work early in restaurants. This particular morning I decided to treat my family to French toast and noticed we had used all the milk on Thanksgiving Day. No big deal. I would run to Walmart down the street, which is open 24 hours and get right back. BIG MISTAKE.

I pulled into the parking lot as I have so many times before at this time and was surprised at the number of cars in the lot. I noticed people with three and four carts full of merchandise loading their cars. Hmmm, must be a special early bird sale of some kind.

You guessed it, I'm not a Black Friday shopper and will never be again. I entered the store on the food side and got swept up in a crowd of people going down the main isle. Instead of food that is usually displayed, there was everything but food. I managed to get to the back of the store where the milk was stored and grabbed a gallon.

I headed back into the mob to try and cash out. That’s when I found myself in front of a table with some kind of electronic games. I picked it up and people were trying to take it out of my hand. I held on to it as if it were gold, not knowing what it was. I made it to the cashier and my bill came to $45.39. I was too embarrassed to say anything, so I just paid and left.

When I got home, my wife asked me why I bought a children‘s electronic frog game. I played it cool and said, “Oh I thought it would be nice to give it to Toys for Tots.” Please don’t tell her . . . I made the French toast for breakfast with my $45.39 gallon of milk and promised myself I would never go shopping on Black Friday again, it’s too expensive.

Try this French toast recipe; you’ll love it. I suggest you buy a cheaper milk.

French Custard Toast

Ingredients

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon sugar, optional

Dash salt

1 cup milk

5 slices white bread 1 ½ inch thick

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon butternut extracts

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preparation

Break eggs into a wide, shallow bowl; beat lightly with a fork. Stir in sugar, salt, butternut extracts and milk. Over medium-low heat, heat griddle or skillet, coated with a thin layer of butter or margarine.

Place the bread slices, one at a time, into the bowl or plate, letting slices soak up egg mixture for a few seconds, then carefully turn to coat the other side. Soak or coat only as many slices as you will be cooking at one time. Transfer bread slices to griddle or skillet, heating slowly until bottom is golden brown. Sprinkle with cinnamon, turn and brown on the other side. Sprinkle again. Serve French toast hot sprinkled with powdered sugar, or butter and syrup.

Costa Magoulas is dean of the Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality and Culinary Management at Daytona State College. Contact him at (386) 506-3578 or magoulc@daytonastate.edu.

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