Crêpe with salad

Re: No more pancakes, please!

Hey Dad,

We need to talk.

Image of pleading child.

We know you’re trying hard these days and we appreciate it — really. We know work’s been rough and your boss is really riding your tail. We know the drain in the basement keeps backing up. We know about the centipedes in the shed out back. We know Uncle Joe’s reptile farm — smart investment though it seemed — isn’t doing so hot. We know mom has been really busy since she started spending so much time with her trainer, Russell.

Image of reptile farm

Uncle Joe always was a wild one.

So, we don’t want to sound ungrateful — really we don’t. But we can’t eat any more pancakes.

Please don’t be offended. We love pancakes once in a while. Now and again, breakfast for dinner really hits the spot. (And your scrambled eggs got a lot better after you read that great blog post you showed us.) But, it’s been twice a week for two months now and it’s not doing Angie’s diabetes any favours.

We know you’re the King of Breakfast and we agree. Mom always used to make “healthy” breakfasts like oatmeal and fruit salad before she started having those all-night training sessions on Russell’s houseboat. We loved when you’d make us pancakes, especially when you got mixed up and poured your funny-tasting creamer into the batter.

But now, it’s like you’re not even trying. We agree, Krusteaz makes a helluva pancake mix and Aunt Jemima is the cherry on top. But, we’re growing children! We need nutrients. We need variety. We need something else.

We’re sorry we complained that time you tried to make macaroni-and-cheese but you forgot to boil the noodles. We’re sorry we whined about your Cheez Whiz and jam sandwiches. We didn’t mean to discourage you! We want to help you, Dad! Maybe those projects were just too much for you, with all you’ve got going on.

So, we got to talking and we all thought, “Hey, why don’t we get Dad to put his breakfast skills to good use?”

Remember when we stayed at Théo’s house a couple of weeks ago so you and Mom could talk? Well, his Mom made something that looked a lot like pancakes, but they were … different. They were bigger and thinner and they weren’t sweet at all. They were more like a burrito wrapper. She called them crêpes.

Apparently she used to eat them growing up in Brittany. Then she showed us a picture of her and her friends eating crêpes out of a bag on a street corner.

Image of stand selling crêpes.

Probably at a stand much like this one.

Crazy, right? We thought crêpes had to be super fancy, but she says they do that all the time in France. Our friend Zhang Wei agreed. Apparently they’re just like this street food he used to eat in Beijing, something he called jian bing guo zi.

She’s a pretty good cook, Mrs. Dupuis, but she kept insisting that crêpes weren’t difficult to make at all. “Listen, honey, I just throw some eggs and flour in a bowl and hope for the best,” she said between drags from her Camel filter.

Then, we watched her make a big batch of them. Wow, they weren’t complicated at all! Everything she used, we’ve got in our kitchen right now. Even we could do it, if we could reach the stove.

She gave us her recipe. It looks a lot like the recipe you used for pancakes, back when you didn’t spend Sunday mornings alone in the garage. We think you could do a great job with these! So, maybe, you could try making them some night next week? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Mrs. Dupuis filled them with a bunch of weird stuff that tastes really good, but she said we could use whatever we’ve got lying around. (Maybe even those roast chickens you always buy at the store.)

We believe in you, Dad. We just need you to try again. We think this is a great way. Maybe they’ll even taste so good that Mom will stay for dinner again.

Sincerely,

Your Children


Crêpes

First, buy this stuff:

Image of ingredients for crêpes

  • All-purpose flour
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Salt

Note: Ratios matter with the batter, so stick with measuring. For the filling, add as much or as little of each as you think will taste good.

Measure out 1.5 cups of flour into a big-ass mixing bowl.

Crack three eggs into the bowl too.

Pour a cup of milk on top of everything.

Toss in a couple of big pinches of salt.

Image of ingredients for crêpes in mixing bowl.

Stir the whole thing around with a whisk until it’s all a loose batter with no obvious clumps.

Image of crêpe batter.

Leave the bowl on the counter while you bust out to the long version of “Rapper’s Delight” in your bedroom.

Cool down by melting a little butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

Pour a ladle of crêpe batter onto the butter and immediately tilt and rotate the pan so the batter spreads across the bottom in a thin layer. (Note: This takes a little practice, but even the ruined crêpes taste good.)

Image of crêpe frying

Shake the pan. Does the crêpe slide around? Good. Peel it off with a spatula and lay it aside while you cook the others. (PRO TIP: Stack a whole batch of crêpes on top of each other between layers of wax paper.)

Lay one crepe on a plate.

Add your fillings. (Add less than you think is necessary. Like burritos, overstuffed crêpes tend to spill out everywhere.)

Image of crêpes with fillings

Here we’ve got some leftover pâté, some apricot jam, and some sautéed leeks.

Fold the crêpe over itself, then roll it like you’re clearing away a tiny sleeping bag.

Image of folded crêpes

Et voilà! You’ve got crêpes.

Crêpes with salad

Top it with a little more apricot jam. A chicory salad doesn’t hurt either.

See? That’s pretty easy, Dad. Please, oh please, oh please won’t you make these for us some night? We promise not to leave our Legos on the staircase in the dark anymore. Angie says she’ll even take her shots again.

Mrs. Dupuis says you can share this recipe around all you want too — on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, wherever. Make sure you tell her how it works out, though! She says she loves hearing all about it. She cooks all kinds of things too, so think of all the other recipes we could get from her!

Thanks a lot, Dad. We know you’ll come through. You always do! (And you’re still our Dad anyway, no matter what Mom says.)

PS. We bet Russell can’t make anything half as good.

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