Creating Family Traditions: Mama's Easy Crepes

Family traditions are often embedded so deeply in our psyches that we fail to recognize these patterns of behavior as "traditions." We simply do what we do when we do it. Traditions help us feel closer to those closest to us. They strengthen our values and give us roots of structure, continuity and belonging, says Psychology Today. I feel compelled to create new traditions that are less common, but I don't want to force anything. Traditions, if you ask me, should arise organically. Like crepes on a Sunday morning.

My husband calls me a crepe expert; I learned at a young age. Weekend crepe feasts are a happy memory from my own childhood, started by my Francophile mama who spent a year studying abroad in Paris. On my most recent trip home, she made us crepes every single morning. To me, crepes are love.

Last night, in honor of Bastille Day, I made dinner crepes for the first time, and my family raved. These crepes are smaller than street crepes as I use an iron skillet, but just as tasty and, of course, accessible to anyone with basic kitchen tools.

Mama's Crepe Recipe

  1. Heat the iron skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Blend: 2 cups organic milk (I use 2%) 4 pastured eggs 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional--for sweet crepes only)
  3. Generously spread organic butter in the heated skillet. Pour the batter until it covers the bottom of the skillet. The batter will likely have a thinner consistency than you expect and will come out quickly. It takes practice to figure out the right amount of liquid since different people prefer a different crepe thickness, so if you want to measure, use 1/4 cup of batter per crepe.
  4. This is the tricky part. You want the crepe cooked through so that it will stay together when you flip it, but you don't want it overdone because it will become hard and papery. Usually when the crepe is consistently a few shades darker than the batter it will be ready to flip. (Again, the more you make crepes, the easier this gets.)
  5. Use a thin metal spatula. The crepe will only need to cook for approximately 30 seconds on the other side.
  6. Fill the crepe, let the cheese melt if using, and serve up. Sometimes I fold the crepe in half, sometimes I roll it. Variety is the spice of life.

Our favorite sweet fillings:

  • butter and coconut sugar with a squeeze of lemon
  • whipped cream and apples fried in coconut oil with cinnamon
  • whipped cream and any kind of stewed fruits
  • nutella with banana and/or strawberries
  • ricotta cheese and honey

Our favorite savory fillings:

  • pesto and parmesan
  • brushetta and goat cheese
  • smoked salmon, avocado and mozzarella
  • cooked spinach, garlic and cream cheese

The possibilities are endless. Fill these crepes with anything on-hand, though I recommend you omit the vanilla if making a savory crepe.

They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial fats and high quality protein. We like them hot off the grill (plus I like any excuse to keep my family at the table for longer) but you can also keep them stacked in a warm oven to serve everyone at once.

Bon appetit!

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