Nov 30
2007

"C’est facile comme bonjour."

in Dessert, French, Fuji Favorites, Main Course, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type

We live in an area of Tokyo that has a lot of French influences. For starters, the Tokyo tower, which is a reddish orange version of the Eiffel Tower, is visible from our living room window. Our neighborhood is filled with French inspired cafés, bakeries, and restaurants. In fact, these places are all within 5-minute walk from our front door (and there are many more to be had if you are willing to walk a few minutes farther):
 
1. Chez Matsuo–a little French restaurant, 1 minute away
2. Pourcel–Bistro/Café, 3 minutes away
3. Jouvaud–French patisserie, 5 minutes away
 
I love these little pieces of transplanted France, as my undergraduate degree is a BA in French. Part way into my undergraduate studies I studied abroad in Paris, living with the wonderful Servin family in Le Vésinet, a little suburb just outside of Paris. My months spent in Paris, and all of my time studying French filled my life with many rich memories. Hubby and I have added to those memories by returning to Paris twice in the past three and a half years. I recently got back in touch with one of my best friends from undergrad who was a French teaching major. Hearing from her has opened the flood gate to all of those memories, and I have been feeling very nostalgic. One of my favorite French professors, who was also the head of the French department, terrified students. She was a stern, no-nonsense sort of woman, and she was French through and through. I grew to love her though, and learned a lot from her, though at one point I thought that I would never survive, no less pass, her French phonetics course. She had a saying, that will always be in my head, "C'est facile comme bonjour" ("It's as easy as Bonjour"). She always used to use that phrase whenever something seemed difficult or daunting, or when there was an obstacle to get past.
So what to do when one is feeling nostalgic for France? Why, c'est facile comme bonjour–make les crêpes! I used a simple recipe tonight so I could whip them up quick:
 
LFM's Simple Crêpes
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
butter or cooking spray for coating the pan
** For sweet crêpes (crêpes sucrées) add all ingredients as directed. For savoury galettes (crêpes salées) omit the sugar and vanilla.
1. Process the flour, sugar, eggs and salt in a blender until the mixture is smooth, but do not overmix. Add the milk 1/3 cup at a time, until the batter is a liquid consistency. Set batter aside for 20 minutes.

2. Melt a little butter in a crêpe pan or large skillet over low-medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of batter to the pan (or slightly more if using a large skillet) and swirl until the bottom of the pan is covered with batter.

3. Cook the crêpe for 1 minute, or until the crêpe is slightly moist on top and golden underneath. Loosen the edges of the crêpe, slide the spatula under it, and then gently flip it upside down into the pan. Cook for 1 minute and transfer the cooked crêpe to a plate to keep warm. At this point, you could also add whatever filling you like and let it heat, and the fold the crêpe as desired.

Makes about 8 servings.

Tonight we had two different types of les crêpes salées: (1) thin slices of vine ripened tomato and crumbled goat cheese, and (2) paper thin slices of black forest ham and gooey pieces of Camembert cheese. We didn't have any crêpes sucrées tonight, but if we had, my favorite topping is Nutella.

Squirrel likes them too–sorry Daddy!
Today's color is BROWN:

1. Feodora 2. Reaching 3. Dove Dark 4. Last sip 5. Happy Poo 6. Semi-sweet

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }



judy November 30, 2007 at 8:46 am

You are one remarkable gal. Can you make crepes for me when you come? Can you make a Happy Poo for your Uncle D?

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Polly November 30, 2007 at 9:56 am

Please call up the Paris hotel creperie and give them the recipe for the vegetarian savory crepe.

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Jean November 30, 2007 at 10:08 am

That is so cool. I had no idea there was a French flavor to parts of Tokyo.

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Natalie, Cameron and Samuel November 30, 2007 at 10:12 am

Oh man, those look SO good! My mouth is watering. :0) And oh, le Vesinet! Boy does that make me nostalgic…

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JRS November 30, 2007 at 6:37 pm

I too have a BA in French, and I’ve met many others here who do as well. Wonder why we all wind up in Japan?!

Your crepes look excellent. The couple of times I’ve tried to make them, it’s been a disaster. But when I go to Tokyo, I always try to make it to Creperie la Bretagne!

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