Ma Nourriture Est En Feu!: Crepes Suzette Day

Crepes Suzette

“Crepes Suzette” from Seduction Meals

I’m a bit of a pyromaniac, if you haven’t figured that out already. When I found out that today is Crepes Suzette Day… well I guess you can imagine.

Now I’m sure that, like me, you have all probably heard some not so nice rumors about Crepes Suzette. That it’s complicated. That it’s bourgeois. And on and on the rumor mills go making us all afraid of something quite simple. Make crepes. Again a lot of rumors about crepes but speaking as someone who actually cannot make pancakes but can make crepes… they’re easy. Put stuff in and on crepes. Easy enough, right? Get some booze all up in there. That’s not only easy but it sounds like a party. Light that S**T on FIRE!

Eat but be careful. Don’t eat the fire. That’s just stupid.

Eat smart Foodie Nation!

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Crêpes Are For…

Crêpes with Strawberries and Muscat-Yogurt Sauce

“Crêpes with Strawberries and Muscat-Yogurt Sauce” from Food & Wine

Way, way, back at the turn of the century when I still had brightly colored hair and wore a little too much (all) black, I used to follow my mother around the world dutifully slacking off in my school work and listening to music that we simply will not bring up because it really wasn’t worth all those hours and made a horrifying soundtrack to driving through the Dalmatian coast in the fall…

Back in 200o I was temporarily living in a lovely flat in Baku, Azerbaijan, while my mom was doing work there. My dad had returned to his actual full time job of professoring to students he would still be teaching several years later when I started college and a couple of whom I beat to graduation a few years after that. After our time in Azerbaijan, and many caviar breakfasts later, my mom decided to take me to Paris for a week to get as much art and culture into me as possible. While in Paris we did several things right: Fresh pastries like croissants for breakfast, lunch at a cafe or restaurant somewhere in the city in between our tourist bits, and crepes for dinner.

There was this man who stood in this little box on the corner of some street near our hotel. He probably had a stool in there too but the stand was so small it looked like he just stood there for hours. He had a few shelves with basic ingredients and then a large container with his batter and his round pan in front of him. My mom would always order (in French) and she usually got the classic with a little lemon and powdered sugar.

Basic Crepes

“Basic Crepes” from Leite’s Culinaria

I on the other hand noticed the Nutella jar on his shelf. Sometimes I’d mix it up and get Nutella with strawberries but there was no way anything else could compare to a fresh, hot, crepe slathered in Nutella and eaten on the way to to the Eiffel Tower on a November evening.

Chocolate Crepes

Chocolate Crepes from Kwestia Smaku (This picture also happens to be the background on my phone)

The first time I had ever had crepes was a few years earlier when my mom was still having to spend 2 weeks a month in Haiti and I would usually go with her.  Sometimes we would be in a guest house provided by the office or staying in the house of friends who worked there too but occasionally we would end up in a hotel. Now, most of the hotels we stayed at sustained some damage in the last earthquake but they were high-end enough that they have since done some recovering and last time my mom was there they were housing way too many aid workers than is good for any country. Back then, I’d had crepes for brunch or lunch and it was filled with asparagus and a sort of hollandaise-like sauce that I absolutely loved. I have no idea how to recreate that but I’ve just now decided that I really need to be more purposeful in my trying to.

But ever since Haiti I’ve only ever had crepes savory once. It was after some really awkwardly weird production on “Women Beware Women” at a small theater neat U St. at a crepe shop with a lovely menu. I forget everything that was in it but I do remember goat cheese and eggplant because I know that I saw that option on the menu and I know me so I know that I ordered whatever that was. But other than that it’s usually been sweet crepes like these:

Maryam's Chocolate Crepes

“Maryam’s Chocolate Crepes” from Sips and Spoonfuls

Another thing, is that except for every single time I’ve eaten a crepe “out” it’s been for a meal that started at least around noon while at home, I’ve always had it for breakfast. I think that the only explanation is that crepes are good for every meal at any time of day and that they can be sweet or savory which I think is verging on the perfect food… Yeah I think it’s just about perfect. We’re gonna go with perfect.

Chickens VS Robots: AKA “Present Philosophical Breakfast Musings”

Crêpes with Sweet Yogurt and Raspberry-Apricot Sauce

Crêpes with Sweet Yogurt and Raspberry-Apricot Sauce

One of my earlier attempts at writing an essay to send in with grad school applications had me half naked and shivering in an alley way somewhere between the High Platonic Lane and the curvy and often flooded Utopian/Dystopian Deridian Highway. I was just a lonely sad little street walker type looking for a grad school to take me in and I would do whatever they wanted for a place in a classroom.

That essay never made it into circulation but that was probably for the best.

Nowadays, the majority of my philosophical musings rotate around mealtimes and bedtime. Carefully calculating when i must go to bed in order to wake up and not look like some form of the living dead is key to working in a place that claims we’re all happy to see the students we “serve” every day no matter how far below a 1.0 GPA they may have fallen. To be fair, I do love the vast majority of my students (I have about 140 now after calculating Spring semester newcomers and a few dropouts from the Fall). There are always cases where students have actually had genuine struggles and their grades have suffered. I just wish they had come in and us this was the case earlier so we could have helped them out. My problem is with the students who didn’t bother getting out of bed at 11 AM to go to class or decided making out with some random guy in the basement of the girls’ dorm was more important than reading a few pages of homework. Sometimes, when I say things like that (<–) I feel old and snarly but good grief go to class!

Sigh…

Anyways, back to happier things. For instance: I HAD BREAKFAST THIS MORNING!!!!

It was good and I feel much better than I usually do on Monday mornings. But I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to aspire to more with my breakfast. Sauteed baby tomato and cheese omelette? I have 8 year old cousins that can make that while partially asleep ((I know because I taught them how)! I am a grown ass woman with a full time job and a masters degree. I should do better. BE better.

I currently don’t have a fully functioning computer and home so the majority of my internet access happens either on a mobile device or my work computer. So when I arrived at work I had my usual inbox full of academic alerts and foodie mail. One of the more fun ones (I’ll let you guys figure out which) had the above recipe in it. I looked at it and realized: I could have done that. If I had woken up 15 minutes earlier this morning I could have made crepes instead of some measly omelette. I even had all of the ingredients in my kitchen despite the fact that we’re on a fridge cleansing stint and are only buying fresh goods like fruits and veggies. But for some reason, come Monday morning, any motivation to wake up has vanished. Just yesterday morning I woke up at SIX O’CLOCK in the MORNING. What sort of insanity is that? I didn’t even have any plans that day. Granted I still didn’t eat breakfast until after returning from a trip to Behnke’s to buy some seeds and flower bulbs (I actually had to wait for them to open) but still, if I had been hungry enough I probably would have made something.

Sometimes I wonder if my internal clock and external clock aren’t in some wort of battle and my poor brain is getting caught in the middle. I used to have this old alarm clock that crowed (as in cock-a-doodle-doo) every morning and I could actually feel the clock getting ready to go off and my brain started becoming conscious so that by the time it actually started crowing at me I was awake enough to hit the button on top to turn in off. And at that point the waking up process would have been far enough along that I would have juuuust enough momentum to climb down the ladder of my bed and go about my post-out-of-bed-now-what? activities. But now I have to use my phone as an alarm clock most nights and it makes sounds like a robot. I like the sounds, it’s cute and non-abrasive. But there’s not internal trigger and so I sleep through the first 20 seconds or so of the alarm and then it’s a scramble of searching under my 10+ pillows trying to find where it migrated to during the night. So I’m neither awake nor rested as I hit my head on the ceiling in a panic and then crash back down half unconscious for non-restful purposes. I miss my old alarm clock.

But I’m up and fed and at work now so I guess I’ll just have to try again tomorrow…