I remember, as kid – a teenager – and also even a young adult, coming back home on a Tuesday evening in February or early March, opening the door of the kitchen and feeling a delicious and familiar odor reaching my nose… Mum would then say “It’s Mardi Gras, It’s crepes tonight!” (Well she would say this in French of course).
Years later, even living far from home as an expat, I found myself excited about carrying on this tradition. Back in the days, Mardi Gras would be the last night of celebration prior to the fasting season of Lent, just before Easter. If the tradition of fasting or privation has pretty much disappeared in our “modern” societies, the celebration still remains and tonight I will be cooking crepes!
There are thousands of recipes for crepes, but the best one probably always remains the one from your childhood. The one below is my favorite, it’s traditional from the north of France with its touch of beer and comes from my nanny Tatie. It’s easy to make and will please any mouth!
“Traditional French crepes” from Tatie – recipe
What you need (for 2 greedies):
* 3 eggs
* 125g flour
* 25 cL semi skimmed milk
* 25 cL beer
* 60g butter
1) First, all the flour in a big recipient and do a hole in the center.
2) Add the eggs in the hole you made and mix them with the flour strongly but delicately
3) Add the milk by pouring little by little and mix it continually until the end.
4) Add the beer and incorporate it with the mixture
5) At the end, you should have a liquid mixture without lump in it.
6) Melt the butter and add it at the end in the mixture
7) Leave it one hour with a cloth to recover it.
8) Put a bit of butter (or oil in your pan)
9) Turn on the fire and wait until the pan is quite hot.
10) Pour the mixture with a ladle and spread it very quickly on the entire pan. It should be very thin, but without big holes.
11) When you can (normally after 3-4 minutes), return the crêpe delicately to cook the other part…
12) Add all the good food you want !!! You can enjoy them salty (Ham, egg, cheese, mushrooms…) or sweet (Marmalade, butter and lemon, chocolate, sugar, brown sugar, honey, apple, banana, ice cream, …)
Note about crepes:
As all traditions from France involving food, it’s a bit sacred (for more on that read 17 signs your soul belongs to France) , and us French are really serious about it. In case of doubt, I suggest the below extract from movie Talladega Nights.
French with crepes, Swedes with semla. How do you celebrate Fat Tuesday?
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