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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Julia!

Today is Julia Child's birthday. She was one of the people most responsible for encouraging Americans to cook classic French food at home. I loved watching Julia Child on television. She was the antithesis of the television chefs of today. She wasn't pretty, she wasn't graceful and she wasn't phony. She was the real deal. Her funny voice and sometimes awkward manner made her someone everyone could relate to. She made mistakes and she fixed them right there for everyone to see. She was no Martha Stewart, that's for sure.

One of my favorite shows was her crepe episode. She made entree crepes, dessert crepes, stacked crepes, filled crepes and demonstrated just how easy they are to make. I cook more Italian food than French food, but there are a few French dishes I have no fear of thanks to Julia. One is clafouti and another is crepes. This morning to honor Julia I made her recipe, instead of mine. It's perfect, of course. Thanks Julia, for being you.

Note: The only change I made to the recipe was to make half a batch instead of a whole batch. While crepes freeze well I just don't have the space at the moment.

Julia's Crepes
makes 6-8 crepes (double recipe for a full batch of 12)

1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons previously melted butter

Whirl all the ingredients together in the blender. Julia suggests straining through a sieve but I just refrigerate the mixture overnight instead. In either case, do refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flour particles to swell.

Ladle approximately a quarter cup of batter into a non-stick crepe or omelette pan (I use a 10 inch pan, but 8 inch would be fine too) and tilt the pan to cover the bottom with a thin, even coating. Cook the crepe until small bubbles form on the surface and it is barely firm, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip and repeat until crepe is done. Use crepes immediately or wrap well and freeze for up to one month. Thaw while still wrapped at room temperature.