Bare with me as I take another jaunt down memory lane…food and music seem to be intertwined with most of my childhood memories. My first experience with crepes happened during childhood…seaside, when I was living in Maryland. I’m not quite sure of my age, just that I lived in Maryland for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades…so I was probably about 8 or 9. We were in a restaurant, and I’m not even sure how they ended up on my plate…they could have been on my mom’s plate for all I know. Or possibly she recommended them to me since she loves them also. But it was love at first bite with these strawberry crepes. I’m sure sweetness played a big role, as I’m always a sucker for sweets.
But you know what else, they also sounded fancy to me…grown-up…and though they only made sporadic appearances over the course of my first 20 years due to circumstances beyond my control, I did seek them out whenever possible. And if they were on any breakfast menu, you could be sure that’s what I was ordering. It never even occurred to me that crepes were something that I could learn to make for myself…they seemed so exotic and foreign to me…French.
In my 20s during college, I purchased a crepe maker. A special electric gadget that looked like a paddle with a non-stick round surface at the end. You would pick up the “paddle” and dip it into your batter and flip it over. When the little glowing light turned off, your crepe was ready to be plucked off the paddle. It was a handy little gadget, and I thought it was needed to make crepes. OH…talk about heaven!! I could finally savor crepes without having to go out to eat. This would definitely save me some money! Too bad I didn’t have one of these when I lived in Hawaii…it’s sad to think of all the missed crepe opportunities over the years.
In my 30s I discovered that crepes could be made in any non-stick pan, which was really a huge eye-opener for me. Maybe mine aren’t always as thin as you consider crepes, but over the years I’ve gotten quite good at getting them pretty close to what passes as a crepe. And hey…the taste is “spot on”, so I’m happy!
I received these organic beauties in my share from Affordable Organics last week, and put them aside to make what else…strawberry crepes for my girls! Ripe, luscious strawberries, and for most of you in the dead of winter…I know it’s a tease. But that’s one of the advantages of living in Florida….it’s strawberry season right now!! Oh please don’t hate me.
2 cups whole milk
2 cups whole wheat flour (or your flour of choice)
pinch of sea salt
2 heaping Tbsp sugar (omit for savory crepes)
1 tsp pure vanilla (optional, or extract/flavoring of choice)
Add ingredients to blender in order listed. First blend milk and eggs thoroughly. Then add flour 1 cup at a time, blending after each addition. Follow with remaining ingredients. Blend till smooth.
Have a lot of butter on hand. I use a medium sized non-stick skillet. Set the burner between 6 and 7, though I turn it down to 5 after the first few crepes have been made as it tends to get hotter as time goes by. For some reason, the 1st one is usually a dud (meaning I have to pick it up in a couple pieces off the pan). Let’s call it a practice run. After that I have no issues. I ladle the batter right out of the blender and onto the pan. About half a ladle works well for me, but as I am streaming the batter onto the hot pan, I swirl the pan in such a way to coat the entire pan with the batter. After several minutes there will be bubbling, and you will sense it is time to turn the crepe over. I’ve tried spatulas and forks for turning, but have had the best luck with my hand! Easy, quick and it doesn’t even burn. Continue until all batter has been used, greasing the pan for each crepe.
This is where it gets good!! More often than not we fill them with fresh strawberries, and roll them up. Sometimes we use frozen peach slices that I’ve thawed. You can make an apple filling…seriously, whatever fruit you have on hand or desire. Drizzle generously with pure maple syrup. Perhaps squeeze some fresh lemon juice.
One of my absolute favorites…put the crepe back in the pan, and get it crispy on both sides…crispy, but not burnt. Pull off, coat with butter, squeeze fresh lemon juice over, add a few drops of maple syrup…spread it all evenly, and prepare to bite into a delectable creation!! How do I know? I just ate about four of these tonight. Sheesh…I really have no self-control when it comes to crepes…which is why I don’t make them as often as my girls would like. They’d eat them everyday if they could.
Of course there is also the “savory” option…which I could never quite wrap my mind around. Yeah…no, I haven’t tried it yet. To me crepes scream breakfast….or dessert. So to me, it just seems wrong. There are so many ways to eat crepes. Some sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of them. Others fill them with Nutella or lemon curd (YUM!!), or how about cream cheese and fruit? Really the sky is the limit. You are the flavor creator!!
I’m sure many of you love crepes as much as I do. I’m not sure it’s widely known how EASY they are to make, and that you can in fact, make them for yourself at home. Not only that…crepes are VERY frugal, with few ingredients, and most of them you’d always have on hand. I actually find these easier to make than pancakes, even though I have to make them one at at time. The girls LOVE them, and they definitely pop up as breakfast for dinner at least every month or so. They are a perfect choice for brunch, and very impressive to make for guests.
Now it’s your turn. Do you make crepes in your house? What are some favorite fillings you like to use? Are any of you into savory options for your crepes? I’m interested to know which fillings you use.
P.S. It doesn’t seem right not to mention that 3 years ago today, January 17th, my sweet little Leah (my youngest) was born…Happy Birthday Leah…Mommy loves you!!
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