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French toast with a twist

Navel oranges are larger this season. Although the production of this fruit from California and Arizona is below last year's bumper crop, the size of the individual oranges is extra large: Some are almost the size of grapefruits.

These big navels can be cut in half and eaten like grapefruit. They'll be in the markets through April.

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Also, there are plentiful supplies of lemons. They can add color and flavor to any menu. The size of this year's winter lemon crop is comparable to last year's, with individual lemons about the same size as those available this past summer.

Grapefruit supplies from California and Arizona are plentiful, as are many varieties of tangerines.

When it comes to Valencias, word from the growers is that Americans will be up to their ears in oranges this year. It is, they say, ''the most abundant Valencia crop we've had since the mid-1940s.''

Along with suggesting at least one of their oranges in every lunch box, pocket, and purse, they offer the following new twist on an old breakfast recipe. Orange French Toast with Sour Cream Topping 6 eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup milk Grated peel of one orange 1/4 teaspoon salt 12 pieces French bread in 1-inch slices Butter or shortening for frying 3 oranges, peeled, cut in cartwheels 1 1/2 half cups sour cream 3 tablespoons brown sugar Confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

In shallow dish, combine eggs, milk, half of the orange peel, and salt. Dip 3 or 4 slices of bread at a time in egg mixture, turning to coat both sides.

In large skillet, brown bread slices on both sides in butter or shortening. As toast is browned, arrange in 13-by-9-by-2-inch shallow baking dish, overlapping toast with orange slices. Keep baking dish in warmed oven while preparing remaining French toast.

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Make topping by combining sour cream, brown sugar, and remaining orange peel; chill in refrigerator.

Before serving, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and add sour cream topping.

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