Crepes. I remember the first time I ever had a crepe. Kelly and I were in Paris, he was the guitarist for the bluegrass band that accompanied the Ricks College Folk Dance Team to a six-week Europen tour, and we had recently gotten married, so I was there with him. In fact, the whole reason we were there was because he knew that I had been planning on doing a semester abroad in Europe, but I decided to marry him instead. So when he saw the opportunity to audition for the band, and take me to Europe, he jumped on it. So there we were walking down a street* in Paris, and there was a crepe vendor on the street corner. The aroma wafting through the air enticed us closer, and of course with that inducement, we had to have crepes. Mine was served with a cinnamon-applesauce filling, and it was delicious.
*Tell me you heard this song, too.
Since that first crepe, I have made crepes often, adopting the practice of making them when I go camping with my medieval re-enactment friends. That started when I decided to serve them at a birthday party I threw for myself while camping, and a few years later, the tradition of Saturday night crepes was well established. Sometimes I make them at home, on a regular stove top and not a camping stove, and it seems kind of weird. This is the recipe I use. (Omit the sugar & vanilla to make savory crepes.)
I love how versatile crepes are they can be savory or sweet and the fillings can be as varied an individual imagination makes them. They are good with butter and brown sugar, with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream, with a blueberry compote, or even ice cream.
1 1/2 c. flour
1/8 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. milk
1 cube butter (not margarine!)
Mix ingredients (except the butter) in a blender until smooth. Allow batter to rest approximately 30 minutes. To cook, heat a crepe pan (or an eight-inch non-stick skillet) to medium heat. Melt butter (I usually unwrap the end of a cube of butter, and hold it by the other, still-wrapped end and swish it across the pan for each crepe) in pan; pour in batter (about 3 tbsp. per crepe — a 1/4 c. dry measuring cup just about right for getting the correct amount of batter). Swirl the batter so it spreads evenly in the pan. Cook for about 1 minute. Carefully lift the edge of the crepe with a spatula to check for doneness. The crepe is ready to flip when it can be shaken loose from the pan. Turn and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Place on a towel to cool or serve hot.
Lemon juice and powdered sugar, butter and brown sugar, cinnamon applesauce, sliced strawberries, bananas, raspberries, blackberries, whipped cream, Nutella, peanut butter, jams or jellies, etc.
Blueberry or Huckleberry Compote
2 – 3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 pound (3 cups) frozen blueberries or huckleberries, not thawed
In a medium sized saucepan stir 2 tbsp sugar and cornstarch together until blended. Add berries, toss until coated. Cover and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries thaw and the mixtures starts to boil. (About 5 – 7 minutes.) Remove lid, cook, stirring constantly, until boiling and thickened (1 – 2 minutes). Stir in additional sugar if desired.