Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Special crepes for a special day

Welcome to the April 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Recipes

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants are sharing their recipes, their stories, their pictures, and their memories.

When Sam was growing up, his mother made French crêpes (or Swedish pancakes, as they also called them) for his family on special occasions: New Year's Day breakfast, birthdays, report cards, and other holidays and festivities. When I joined the family, I quickly embraced the crepe love and enjoyed my visits to the family estate that included one of these ritual breakfasts. (And it didn't take much prodding of my dear mother-in-law for every visit to include one!)

The matriarch holds court over her plug-in crepe pan and pours out one careful measure of batter at a time, until one after another golden-brown flapjack is flipped off the pan and onto a carrying plate, to be claimed immediately by the next relative in line to devour one. The dining table is crammed with toppings — jams, jellies, berries, bananas, butter, cinnamon sugar, all sorts of syrups, fried Polish sausage, sauteed mushrooms, cheese, Nutella, powdered sugar, and probably more I'm forgetting! — and the sensuous pagan ritual crepe preparation and eating begins. And, let me tell you, we can all pack 'em away! Sam used to keep track in his diary each year of how many more crepes he ate as compared with the previous New Year's (and that was about all he recorded in his diary — you know, the important things). I don't want to brag for him, but I think he got up to 14.

The family crepe pan. Sam's already called dibs!

Since Mikko wouldn't stand for having crepes only on the most special of occasions, Sam had to learn how to manage his mother's recipe at our home. First of all, he has had to make do with a regular pan, since a couple crepe makers he found at thrift shops weren't temperature-adjustable. The good news there is that he now knows how to make crepes without any sort of special equipment. He also inadvertently discovered that he needed to adjust for using whole milk instead of his mom's usual skim and so altered the family recipe slightly.

The other fun aspect of family crepes is that Mikko has been learning alongside Sam and now can help mix and even cook them!

Be warned that this is not a "healthy" recipe, just a fun one. You might want to save it for special occasions — and savor it when you do!

Here's the recipe as written by the ever-inspiring Crackerdog Sam.


yields 16-18 crepes [can be easily doubled if you have a family with lumberjack appetites like ours!]
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup melted butter

Dietary restrictions and notes:

[Vegetarian. Contains dairy, eggs, sugar, salt, grains … you know … all the good stuff. Um … but it's … nut-free? Woo!]


1) Mix all ingredients in the order given. Let sit 15 minutes.

Do you recognize that little hand? That's Mikko last year.


And here's the budding chef this year.

It can be so rewarding to get your kids involved in the kitchen!

2) Heat a nonstick, sloped-sided 8-inch pan at just past medium heat on the stove. (I use setting #6 on my electric stove for the first two or three crepes, then turn it down to #5, exactly medium, thereafter. I have no idea what that temperature is, though, so you'd have to experiment.)

3) Using a 1/4 cup measuring scoop, get it about 3/4 full, and pour batter into hot pan toward one side. With the other hand, immediately begin tipping/swirling/shaking the pan to let the batter coat the bottom of the pan. Make sure the batter gets up the sloped sides to get crispy edges. (This is a hallmark of the family crepes that I was at last able to duplicate with the right pan.)

Here Mikko pours and cooks his very first crepe.

4) Once the edges are crispy (1-2 minutes), flip crepe over and cook another 30 seconds or so.

5) Either serve immediately to hungry family members at a table stocked with breakfast fillings, one crepe at a time, or set crepes in a stack to keep warm as you make a dinner filling on the stove and then served the wrapped crepes to your family. Both cooked crepes and batter will store a day or two if you have leftovers. (As if!)

Ready to fill!


Here are just a few ideas for fillings that we enjoy.

  • Mikko's favorite is just powdered sugar in the middle and rolled up.

  • Lauren's favorite dessert crepe is Nutella spread inside with powdered sugar. My family decided that Nutella combined with fresh fruit, like strawberries or blueberries, was a new top choice.

  • Our family favorite growing up was lingonberry preserves (once a rarity we had to stock up on on our biannual trip to Maine, now available at IKEA and our local supermarket).

  • Bananas with maple syrup. Most fruits and most syrups will work in some combination.

  • Butter with cinnamon sugar is a sweet and spicy combination.

  • I sometimes like them folded into triangles with crumbled bacon inside. I like the soft/crispy contrast.

  • On the dinner side of things, asparagus cooked in béarnaise sauce is simple and delicious.

  • One year I made Thanksgiving dinner wrapped in crepes — turkey and rice casserole with added green beans, mushrooms, and crispy onions, topped with cranberry sauce.

  • Mushrooms with cheese is also quite easy and gourmet.

  • Avocado, tomato, chicken, and pesto makes a nice treat.

Use your imagination and run wild — crepes pair with so much!

Enjoy your crepes thoroughly!

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Three Favorite Family Recipes: To Eat, To Wash, To Play — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings is back with three family favorites: gluten-free vanilla orange sugar cookies, DIY powdered laundry detergent, and something fun for the kids: homemade "Flubber"!
  • Black Bean Soup Forever — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot shares a soup recipe that's been around forever.
  • Do you want to know a secret? — SRB at Little Chicken Nuggets lets go of her mac and cheese recipe, a comfort food favourite for friends and family for years.
  • Creating Our Own Family Recipes — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM shares how she's trying to create meals that her girls will want to pass down to their own children some day.
  • Vranameer Chicken: A Family Recipe — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares a recipe that reminds her of childhood and more specifically, of her mother. It's a South African take on sweet and sour chicken and what it lacks in healthy it makes up for in tantalising to the taste buds.
  • One Recipe, Three Uses: Dishwasher Liquid Detergent, Dish Soap, and Hand Soap — If you love saving money and time, you'll love this green recipe from Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama, guest posting at Natural Parents Network.
  • Our Family's Favorite Pies — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares recipes and tutorials for the quintessential American dessert.
  • Deliciously Easy Crock Pot ChiliLactating Girl shares her crock pot chili that is not only quick and easy, but awesome.
  • All-Purpose Crock Pot PorkCrunchy Con Mommy's simple "recipe" for cooking perfect pork in the crock pot is for whatever mood her family is in!
  • Family Rules: A Recipe for Harmony — Cooped-up kids + winter weather + frazzled parents can all blend together into a recipe for disaster. Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares what brought back the peace in her house.
  • Favorite Healthy Family Recipes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares her family’s healthy eating experiences along with links to free printable vegetarian recipes that her family has created with love.
  • Grandma's Banana Bread — Megan at The Boho Mama has early and fond memories of her grandma's banana bread. It's love in a loaf!
  • Family Comfort Food — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares a recipe handed down that moms have made for their kids, for regular meals as well as to comfort.


Jana said...

Crepes are so amazing. We make them for dinner sometimes - starting with savory (spinach and mushrooms) and then adding a little sugar for dessert (with homemade apricot jam).

- jana

Bianca @ The Pierogie Mama said...

Crepes are a special meal for my family too. It was my dad's weekly tradition of making crepes on Sundays. After he passed, it was one of my favorite ways to honor his memory. I haven't had savory crepes before - I'll have to use some of your examples next time!

We usually use nutella, jam, or sweet cream cheese (cream cheese, a little bit of milk and rehydrated raisins) as filling.

Thanks for sharing this great recipe and story!

Lindsay said...

Ooh we love crepes!
When my mom was here we made them with whole wheat flour and they were delicious, and then we pretend that they are healthy...before slathering them in butter and sugar. Healthier at least, and they could be filled with like yogurt and fresh fruit instead of the junk I put in :)

Tree Peters said...

I can't believe you just up and make crepes! So fancy.
I love the pictures of Mikko helping and that last one!
They all look too delicious and if I learned how to do that we would be sunk.
sooooo tempting though. and Yum.

Deb Chitwood said...

What a fun family tradition! And I love that Mikko helps! :) Deb @ LivingMontessoriNow.com

Unknown said...

Oh how I miss crepes! And your creations looks incredible! I have a coconut flour crepe recipe I have been meaning to try. I think that your fillings will give me the push I need to try it out!

KerryAnn @ Cooking Traditional Foods said...

Oohhh!!! I have asparagus and I have Hollandaise sauce here! I know what I'm making for breakfast!

SRB said...

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the step-by-step tutorial on how to do this. Every time I think I can make crepes...I can't. Asparagus season starts in just a few weeks, and this is HAPPENING. Yum!!!

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

Oh yum. The Nutella option sounds amazing. I wonder (as always) if I can do this with coconut or almond milk... It is worth a try!!

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