Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you are celebrating today (being Valentine’s Day and the 14th day of French February) as I am with a bite of something delicious! (Crepes are beyond delicious, but that may be partially due to how simple they are to make! I mean, I croissants are incredible too but they require a lot more effort!)
Yesterday, I had a fun conversation (via text) with a friend. I really enjoyed the conversation and thought I’d dramatize the texting conversation here today…
Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt.
Tyler looked down from his computer to his phone. The screen turned on indicating that he had just received a message. Reaching down, Tyler grabbed the phone and swiped the screen to open the device. One new message. He swiped again to read the text message.
“Hey Tyler, my friends and I are creating a board game and they need guinea pigs. Would you like to join? I can’t guarantee there will be food (crepes, chocolate, who knows really tomorrow is Valentine’s Day so I’ve no idea, just throwing that out there).”
Surprised by the randomness of the message, Tyler laughed and responded, “Hey, sorry but I can’t make it. I just got an invite to join a potluck tomorrow evening.” He set the phone down on a plate and returned to the computer.
After a few minutes of attempting to learn how social media and Photoshop work, Tyler’s phone went wild. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. “Holy Smoke!” Tyler thought as he rushed to stop the device, and plate, from falling off the table. Three new messages. Two confirming the potluck and one from responding to his message.
“I thought you didn’t like potlucks. Didn’t you say that somebody always brings an ‘M&M Salad’?”
“Haha, almost.” Tyler typed, “I avoid M&M salad like the plague. And there’s nothing I can do about that.” Tyler sent the text and paused. Something was missing. He smiled and typed, “As I always like to say, I’d never join a potluck that would have me as a chef.”
Almost immediately the phone vibrated. “Are you intentionally misquoting Groucho Marx?”
Embarrassed, Tyler set down the phone and continued working on whatever it was he was attempting to do before the conversation began. Tyler pressed Control + Tab until he sought the window he was looking for, Google Chrome. In the address bar, he began typing, drive.google.com. A few seconds later, he found what he was looking for. A crêpe recipe that was given to him by a friend. (Possibly the recipe for the best crepes Tyler had ever had. The recipe originated from Brest, France and was not only authentic but awesome, which, in Tyler’s terminology, meant tasty, delicious, and actually from France.)
Standing up, Tyler began to prepare crepes for the morning. The process didn’t take long, but halfway through his phone buzzed again. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. Vzzzzzt. After washing his hands, he picked up the phone. “So, other than the potluck, do you have any fabulous plans for Valentine’s Day? :D”
“Actually, I’ll be making some crepes. You don’t sound very excited.”
The conversation continued over the course of the next twenty minutes. (The crepes have to rest after all the ingredients have been mixed together.)
“Honestly when was the last time you were genuinely excited about Valentine’s Day?
“The last time for me was 6th grade. Because we got lots of candy. 🙂
“I’d rather be doing homework than moping around like some of my past roommates.”
To which Tyler responded, in an equally long series of texts.
“I usually treat it like any other day. It I treated Valentine’s Day as something special then I would be causing a division between holidays and normal days, and that can’t be correct at all.
“Now, Christmas is an exception, but the other holidays have already given their permission. Christmas can be celebrated by one and all. All 364+ of us voted.
“Naturally it was unanimous”
Ok, truth be told the conversation didn’t go anything like that. I actually made the crepes today (though the ones I did not eat will last till tomorrow). I also didn’t intentionally misquote Groucho Marx. No no, I simply exaggerated the importance of the crepes in that conversation, along with misquoting practically all of the conversation itself but unless my friend reads this that story is between you and me. Truth be told, I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of the conversation. Naturally, I am the hero 🙂
Other than my typed musings and disfigured stories, we have yet to arrive at the reason we have come together this fine day. Crepes. Specifically, a recipe from the great city of Brest. Or as I like to call this recipe, Brest’s Best Crepes.
Brest’s Best Crepes
Soon you’ll see that crepes should really be in the repertoire of every chef. They are soo easy to make! Now they look complex when you see them on the streets of France or at places where they only make crepes, but they take almost no time!
Let’s rush to where we keep our food to get these delicious crepes made! Today, you’ll need
- 4 large eggs
- ½ liter (17 oz) of milk
- 250 grams (2 cups) flour
- 150 grams (⅔ cup) sugar
- 1 gram (¼ teaspoon) of salt
- 28 grams (2 tablespoons) of oil
- Vanilla extract (optional)
To begin, beat the eggs. Once the eggs have turned a yellow color (with no sign of unincorporated egg whites) slowly stir in the milk.
In a separate container, sift the flour, sugar, and salt together. We want all the dry ingredients to be evenly spaced out throughout the mixture. This will not only keep you from tasting super salty sections of a crêpe, but the sifting will help make them light and fluffy.
Next, slowly fold the dry ingredients into the egg-milk mixture. Once they are one uniform batter, add the oil and vanilla. Then, set the bowl aside for 30 minutes. Setting the mixture aside will give the flour time to absorb some of the liquid and the sugar time to dissolve. Goodness knows that we don’t anything crunchy inside the crêpe itself. (When we eat it though, if you decide to throw in chunky peanut butter then that is an acceptable crunch. Personally, egg shells are particularly disagreeable.)
Using a hot frying pan, or a fancy crepe machine, pour about 78 milliliters (1/3 cup, though this quantity will depend on the size of the pan) onto the pan. Spread and allow the batter to begin cooking. Once it begins to brown, flip (or fold in half) and let the crêpe finish cooking. Serve with your favorite crêpe toppings and enjoy!
If you are wondering how crepes are made in France check out this video. I taught myself how to spread and cook the crepes from this video. For years, my Mom made crepes with this style crêpe machine:
Honestly, I can’t stand when crepes are made with these little guys. They are not just annoying, but the crêpe is soo thin! I know crepes are supposed to be thin, but on these guys, they are wafer thin. So thin that sometimes it feels like you’ve only been given a single layer of puff pastry. Can you imagine that?!?!? Eww, don’t do it.
I prefer using a pan or the kinds that you see in France or at crêpe places. After a bit of practice, they are super easy to use. I lost my batter spreader and I just tilt the machine to spread it batter across the surface. It works perfectly.
My advice, use one of these fancy machines or a pan with a large flat bottom (or even a crêpe pan) for your crepes.
Let me know your thoughts! Au revoir!