Sunday, August 14, 2011

Salutations from Maria ...

I've made it! Made it! Oh my God. You have no idea. No idea. But I am about to give you an idea. I, dear readers, have just spent the last hour, on a bicycle, with a twenty pound knapsack, cycling through the countryside. The hilly countryside. The rugged countryside. The mountainous countryside. The getting whacked with bugs that literally went paff! into my unsuspecting chest countryside. Ughh. You get my drift. And for most people, this would be no problem, I think. For me, well, let's just say...I've made it! Why in the world would I put on a twenty pound knapsack and drag my out of breath behind up mountainous countryside you ask? Don't laugh now...but ...well...the simple truth is ...it looked slightly (a lot) less...hilly, from the car.


Without a twenty pound knapsack on.


Eeesh.


Okay! so! dear readers! Here I am in a tiny, seaside town called Maria, at a little cafe on the water, sipping tea and about to faint from above mentioned nutty bike ride. I snuck in a little time away from our vacation to say hello, share some things I have loved on this first part of our trip with you and give you the best crepe recipe ever. I do not know what has come over me dear readers, but on this trip, I have been eating beautiful, thin, Buckwheat Crepes (or, more elegantly, Galettes de Sarrasin, say the French). Lots of them. Every morning, in fact. I love them. Obsessed, really. Simple, on their own, with some homemade, ridiculously delicious confiture de fraises et bluetes and some powdered sugar...sublime. Seems to be the specialty here in these parts. So, some photos, some crepes and my salutations from Maria (there is a link if you click on the word Maria. I have still not figured out how to bold and underline a link. I know. Shame fills me.).


I'm taking a taxi back. In case you were wondering. With my bike.


Hi, dear readers ...


Things I have loved so far ...


Soft sunsets ...
Stables and fences ...
Waterfalls ...
Empty stormy beaches ... 
Grazing ...
Horses in the ocean ...with us on them ...
Flowers ...
Crazy storm clouds ...

I mentioned crazy, right?

Curves ...



Pretty fields snapped while gasping for air on nutty bike ride ...
Triangular greenhouses ...

So awesome ...


Fields ...
A slug's life ...

Creamy honey ...
Berries ...


Time to dish.


Galettes de Sarrasin, otherwise known here as Glorious Buckwheat Crepes 






Here is what you need ...



  • Lots of (1/2 stick) fresh butter


  • 3/4 cups buckwheat flour


  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour


  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  • 1 tablespoon of sugar


  • 3 large farm eggs


  • 1 & 1/4 cups whole milk, don't skimp on the fat please


  • Here is what to do ...


    **It is best to let the batter chill overnight. Then let it come to room temperature before frying. Also, keep stirring the batter as you go while frying because the flour has a tendency to sink to the bottom.**

    1. First, melt the butter in a small saucepan and set aside to cool.
    2. Then, in a large bowl, sift together the buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour and salt. Make a well in the center.
    3. Add eggs and whisk (or use your fingers) until the eggs and flour are thoroughly mixed. Then, slowly add half of the milk, whisking constantly and gradually drawing in the flour to make a smooth and lovely batter. Stir in half of the melted butter and half of the remaining milk. Allow to stand for 2 hours.
    4. When you are ready to cook these delectable discs, stir and check the consistency of the batter beforehand. It should be like thin beautiful cream. If you need to, add more milk to achieve the right consistency. Use the remaining butter to coat the pan.
    5. Heat an 8" crepe pan or skillet over med-high heat. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the pan; if they sizzle, the pan is ready to use. Brush with a little of the melted butter.
    6. Using a 1/4 cup measure (until you get the hang of it, then you can pour with calculated abandon), fill it with batter and pour it into the skillet. Immediately pick up the pan and tilt and swirl it so that the batter covers the entire bottom of the pan. Pour any excess batter back into the bowl.
    7. Loosen the edges of the crepe with a metal spatula and then turn the crepe. You can use a spatula to turn the crepe, but I turn it with my fingers, tempered as they are. Using both hands, pick up the loosened edges with thumb and index finger and...flip it over!
    8. Cook on the other side until lightly brown (usually less than a minute) and slide it out onto a plate. Cover with waxed paper. Repeat with the remaining batter.

    To serve ...
    Roll into little bundles, place on a beautiful plate, dust with powdered sugar and your most magnificent preserves (I used raspberry and wild blueberry) and enjoy. I also love old cheddar and slightly stewed cinnamon apples with these gems.

    To store ...
    Crepes may be kept tightly wrapped for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. It's great. They can also be frozen. Be sure to bring them to room temperature before using.

    To reheat ...yup, it's so easy and so awesome...
    Crepes can easily and deliciously be reheated. Just heat a skillet, brush with a little butter and heat gently on both sides. Then go back to the to serve part and repeat.

    6 comments:

    1. Oana, I'm away from home right now (not quite a vacation, but I take what I can get), but I will make these as soon as I can! Do I really need to have a separate pan dedicated to crepes? My boyfriend had one before I met him, but I definitely ruined it cooking other things on it. I promised to buy him a new one nearly a year ago, but I haven't been convinced that we need one. Usually, for our batter-based breakfast needs we use a cast-iron pan. But if you think that the crepe pan is necessary, I'm sure my boyfriend will be glad that someone has finally convinced me.
      Happy vacationing! It looks epic. I will be in Europe later this summer, but it will be more of a meeting-the-boyfriend's-extended-family-that-don't-speak-English sort of thing.

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    2. I love that you wrote to us while on your trip and congrats on the bike trek (you are nuts). Your pictures are all so stunning! And yes such a buckwheat crepe is to die for, every morning, over and over again!

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    3. @ Katie, No not at all, any pan will do but it should have a wide bottom. It makes it easier. Cast iron works beautifully as long as you are seasoned. And I believe you are :). Thank you. It wasn't :). I will write about it this week. Oh my gosh...well...LUCK! Where will you go in Europe?

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    4. @ Cheap Ethnic Eatz, but of course. Thank you and yes, I know. It was madness. The taxi back was great..made me appreciate the bike ride more. Indeed :).

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