(which is next Tuesday 12th Feb)
I often find myself reliving special holidays trawling through photographs. More recently it’s through the blog and photo books, before that (and when everyone actually shared photos on Facebook) in my albums on there and before that ACTUAL photos in albums and on my walls. I even have some journals that I can read through, thumbing through old bus tickets and gallery stumps and bar coasters that had some kind of significance for me and reading with the passion and excitement of my words as a young backpacker seeing the big, wide world for the first time. While photos will take you back so far it’s the other memories that can trigger a place or time in an instant. The smell of the Tube or Subway. A song that played over and over again through a holiday. Or for me, in particular, because of the way I am wired, food. Going to New York last July was a dream come true for me because I had so many food fantasies to live out – a huge slice of pepperoni pizza, soda fountain coke, a slice of pie from a diner, a hot dog from a street vendor, a big old juicy hamburger. When I was in Ireland it had to be Guinness of course, a fish chowder from a pub, some Irish stew. Thailand the hot spices of a fresh Larb Gai and when I was in one of my favourite cities of all – Paris – I discovered the passion for one of life’s simple perfections – a crispy crepe with Nutella.
I first went to Europe as a 21 year old Uni student travelling through our summer break with two girlfriends on a ticket given to me by my Mum & Step Dad. My eyes were truly opened up to a world bigger than a girl from the suburbs in Sydney could ever know about and I devoured each and every moment. I had my first Nutella crepe under the Eiffel Tower on a sunny, cold afternoon in January and was lucky enough to have another when Rob and I travelled to Paris with an almost 2 year old Daisy a few years ago at Christmas time.
Of all my overseas food loves this is the easiest to recreate at home quickly for the odd weekend. While they are not perfect, they are a pretty good recreation. I use the tried and true crepe recipe that my clever Step Father won all our hearts with when he came into our family all those years ago now. I like crepes to be thin, crispy and buttery on the edges, dark in colour and hot. Served immediately and devoured shortly after.
Milton’s crepes with Nutella
2 cups plain sifted flour
2 drops olive oil
500 mls milk
Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
Make a well in the centre and crack the egg into it. Add the milk slowly, whisking as you go, until you have a thin consistency (thinner than regular pancakes and pikelet mix).
Set mixture aside for 30 mins – this may well be Milt’s secret weapon – I think he’s onto something.
Get the pan on a high heat and add a small knob of butter until it’s hot and bubbling. My rule of thumb with pancakes, pikelets or crepes is that the first one is rubbish. It just is. The pan is never hot enough, it’s always turned early and seems rubbery. So don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t look great first up, I think it’s universal, unless you’re French perhaps?
Add the mixture to the bubbling, buttery pan and swirl it around so it’s nice and thin. Flip after a minute or so or when you can see you have those delicious crispy edges.
I spread an amount over half, and then fold then into quarters, just like I had them served to me.
Oui! Oui! Oui!
Do you make pancakes on Pancake Tuesday?
What’s your favourite holiday food memory?
Ever been lucky enough to sample one of these bad boys?