I need to start off by saying I have never been a fan of The Berenstain Bears. When I was teaching second grade, the Berenstain Bear section was the area some of my students headed to first. While the books can teach some good lessons, such as not watching too much TV, not eating too much junk food, and not getting the “gimmies,” I never thought of these books as being good literature for children. But I do have to admit they encouraged my reluctant readers to read, and that is a good thing.
Enter children of my own.
For my first Mother’s Day, my husband gave me several books about Mother’s Day, including The Berenstain Bears and the Mama’s Day Surprise. As soon as Lily was old enough, she would take this book off the shelf and ask me to read it. I would protest; she would insist. Once again I would read the story of bumbling Papa Bear and the cubs preparing a breakfast surprise for Mama, that of course is not really a surprise. Mama sees all, makes sure all the supplies are in the kitchen, and pretends to be surprised when Mother’s Day finally dawns. The true surprise at the end of the book is that Papa and the cubs present Mama with a completely clean kitchen.
So why did I share a book with you that I gave a less-than-glowing review?
Well, over time, while not actually liking this book, I can tolerate it. And both the girls love reading it. Every household has a few books that a child loves and the parents dislike.
Plus, it gave me an opportunity to share a fantastic recipe with you! Papa Bear and the cubs made Mama Bear “Honeyed French Toast with Blueberries”. The following recipe comes from Every Day with Rachael Ray. I make it for lunch, not breakfast, and it is one of the girls’ favorite things!
Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast Sticks
1/2 cup peanut butter
8 slices sandwich bread
1/2 cup jelly (any flavor) (We didn’t have jelly, so we used honey instead. Doesn’t that fit the bear theme better, anyway?)
5 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 T. butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
Spread the peanut butter on 4 bread slices and the jelly (honey) on the other 4, and combine to make 4 sandwiches.
In a wide, medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When the butter is almost melted, dunk two of the sandwiches into the french toast batter and let the excess drip off. Place in the pan and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 sandwiches. Let cool slightly and cut into sticks; serve with maple syrup.
For more Mother’s Day books, visit Janna at The Adventure of Motherhood by clicking on the button below!