I am an idiot. Or as Mark’s Granny Belle used to say, an “idjut.”
Every year at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church the youth throw a pancake supper to mark the end of Mardi Gras and the beginning of Lent. The youth actually do the work of flipping the pancakes and serving the congregation, but there is a substantial assist from the adults in the area of pre-prepared items like potato casseroles and, yes, crepes. Why we have both pancakes and crepes I have no idea.
But whoever has made them in the past apparently moved away or died. Kristi, the youth wrangler at St. Paul’s, gingerly approached me a few weeks ago. “Uh, could you make a few crepes for the pancake supper?” she asked. I have a complete aversion to the word “no” apparently and even though I had never made a crepe in my life, I immediately said “sure.” But I failed to ask that crucial question: how many?
A couple of weeks ago, Kristi e-mails me the recipe. Only then, do I ask how many. “We’ll need 150,” she says, “but I can get you help if you need it.” Help? If we have learned one thing from the English Tea it is that disaster lurks just around the corner if you have more than one person making any one kind of tea sandwich. They all must be precisely the same. And, unfortunately for me, the same goes for crepes.
So I set about making 150 crepes. It takes a long, long time to make 150 crepes. Although the repetitive aspect of doing something exactly the same 150 times is oddly soothing. I made the first batch and got 10 crepes. Fourteen more batches to go. I noticed, sadly, that at the end of the first few batches there was not one crepe left over for the cook. However, I then realized if I doubled the recipe and skimped just ever so slightly on a few of the crepes there would be an extra one left. For me. I hope nobody at the pancake supper will notice they got a slightly paltry looking crepe.
So I now consider myself somewhat of an expert crepe maker, although I am sure someone such as Howard, travel agent to the stars who travels in France extensively, will take one look at this photo and offer some gentle advice. I don’t have that long wooden spreading thing that I know real crepe makers have and I made them in an 8-inch skillet, which I know is not correct either.
However. They tasted just like the real McCoy. My cook’s treat was taking a few of those leftover warm crepes, spreading them with boysenberry jam and butter, and folding them into quarters. I ate them at the kitchen sink just as you do a tomato sandwich so the juice, or in this case melted butter, harmlessly drips away.
My apologies that I do not know where this recipe comes from so I cannot give credit to its author. I am sure it’s been handed down through 20 or so pancake suppers. But I do know it works. One hundred and fifty times worth.
1 cup milk
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- In a blender combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and oil. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into pan, tilting to completely coat the surface of the pan. Cook 30 seconds on one side or until the crepe is loose in the pan. Flip and cook another 15 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter.