Thursday, September 30, 2010

C'est pas chandeleur mais...

Chandeleur is a holiday in France, Candlemas in English.  Anyways, when I lived in Dijon, I learned how to flip a crêpe.  Traditionally, you hold a coin in your hand while doing it and if you catch the crepe, it means prosperity for you and your loved ones for the year to come.  Well, I can't wait until February to feast on crêpes, so I decided to whip some up now.
It's actually the small café Alice Waters founded after the success of Chez Panisse that features these delectable treats as a fixture on the menu.   Buckwheat crêpes (krampouz in Breton, and Mission, SF eatery, Ti Couz) in France are topped only with savory things.  The mix (pâte), however, is very simple and dry, sometimes made only with buckwheat flour and water.  The pâte to follow is more involved, requiring a cup of flat beer.  Both necessitate a rest time of 2 hours before cooking for the flour to absorb the moisture.  

My mom has always been a devotee to Alice Waters.  Reading the forward in the cookbook, Waters really did start using buzzwords like sustainable and local 30 years ago.  The book is older than I am:

Because this recipe is nontraditional, until I went to France, I thought it was cheating to use a white flour recipe for sweet crêpes.  I was raised on these, and Café Fanny serves them both with sweet and savory toppings. A secret?  Flat beer! 
The beer produces this tangy, yeasty flavor.  Now for cooking:

 My favorite: sucrée
Organic plain yogurt with fresh organic plums.  Alice Waters would have it no other way.  And later that night, a friend sought refuge from the heat outside:

I put him outside, in a rosemary patch. 

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