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I See Elsie

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Posted by Claire Mokrauer-Madden at 10:18AM   |  Add a comment

Last time I had writer's block I wrote about chairs.  So this time I'll hit the tables.  Just joking.  I crack myself up.  I have other more immediate material at hand.

Paris.  What's it famous for?  French manners come to mind, but not before French cuisine.  I love crepes.  You can have your moules et frites to your heart's content, I'll have crepes any day.  They were the food of my childhood and though my mother's will always take pride of place when rating them, I won't knock the French for trying to outdo her.  After all, my mother took the recipe from her Alsatian mother, so my Fre-German roots offer credence to my opinion.

As a child I preferred my crepes hot and plain, straight out of the pan.  Nothing could beat that. My sister liked damson plum jam on hers and her best friend like maple syrup, but for me the taste of the salted butter they had been fried in was what I wanted most.

I had my first French crepes when I was 17.  Strictly speaking, I learned that year that I had grown up on pfannkuchen, which is the German for crepe.  The batter created a thinner, less spongy cake than what I experienced in Paris, and to my mind the pancake itself was more flavorful.  The Parisian crepes were much larger and seemed first and foremost to be vehicles for topping.  I remember finding this first crepe stall.  My mother said, I know exactly where to get our first crepes!  This man is great!  He's from the Balkans!  I was surprised that we weren't going to a stall run by a genuine French person, but the man from the Balkans did not disappoint.  I had my first crepe with sugar and lemon juice.  Later I would experiment with Nutella and marshmallow.  Very sweet!  Next I had one that had something to do with banana.  I have no recollection of my reaction.  I should also point out that I didn't have all these crepes in one sitting, they were spread out over a few days.

This weekend I'm planning on exploiting my weakness for crepes once more, because how do we travel except to plan our excursions around meals?

-Claire


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