One of the most welcome gifts of the season is the unexpected invitation to share some time with friends. Just last week my friend Tracy Dockray – an exceptional gal & an expat from Texas – collected a gaggle of ‘Class Moms” at her home for holiday coffee. The hour of conversation was a terrific diversion from the commotion of the season.
A collector of the extraordinary – from her friends, to her pets, to her boxes of biological bug specimens and bobwire (!) Her home was decorated in holiday memorabilia passed down from her family. A beautiful Victoria tree and a perfectly set table – all set off by her hand painted murals on the dining room walls. Tracy is a well known artist and the illustrator of the Beverly Cleary books.
Tracy called them “Company Eggs”, a tradition from her Texas family. I am not sure if she made the eggs or her very gracious husband Mark Rudd, but they offered us the recipe. The fabulousness of the dish is that it MUST be made the night before and then baked in the oven first thing in the morning. Sounds perfect for New Year’s Day to me…you can also add bacon, sausage, ham, herbs, or whatever you like. We loved it and I will be serving this in my home on Jan 1. – it is just as perfect as my friend Tracy.
Tracy’s Company Eggs
8 slices of bread – something soft will soak up the eggs and get almost fluffy
1 cup of milk (or half & half if you are truly decadent)
2/3 lb cheddar cheese grated – but you can substitute
½ t dry mustard
1 t salt – I prefer sea salt
pepper to taste – I prefer white pepper
If you are living large, try a grating of nutmeg or cayenne – but that is my addition not Tracy’s
Butter an ovenproof dish
Layer the bread & the cheese
Beat the eggs; an old-fashioned eggbeater is perfect for this
Add dry mustard, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg or cayenne if you choose
Pour over the bread & cheese
Cover and refrigerate overnight
Bake in a 325-degree oven – covered for 1 hour
Remover cover and continue to cook for another 10 minutes to brown