Saturday, May 12, 2018

When a Teenager is Cooking #OurAuthorGang

When a teenager is cooking, it doesn't always turn out well

by Erika M Szabo

Crepes (palacsinta)

When I was a kid, my mother often made crepes (palacsinta in Hungarian) for dessert because it's easy to make and she could use any filling to make it a little different every time.
Sometimes she filled the crepes with cream cheese mixed with sugar and raisins, other times with chopped fruit, apricot or strawberry preserves, leftover pudding, or simply sprinkled them with cinnamon or cocoa powder and sugar. I've tried it with Nutella too, it's delish!
When I'm not in the mood for sweets, I leave the sugar and vanilla out of the batter and fill the crepes with sauteed vegetables and meat, fish, or cheese.

Before I give you the recipe, let me tell you a story

When I was a young teenager, I decided to make crepes when my parents weren't home. I've seen my mom make crepes hundreds of times, so I was sure I can cook them too. Everything went well, I mixed the batter, and the first few crepes turned out beautifully cooked until...

I got a little over-confident and instead of turning the crepes with the spatula, I decided to flip to turn them like my brother did. That didn't work so well. The first crepe I tried to flip landed on Snowball's back like a blanket.

The cat got spooked and ran out of the kitchen to the backyard, trying to shake off the clinging pastry. She couldn't because one side was still sticky, so she ran, and I ran after her.

The trouble started when the neighbors' cats got a whiff and started chasing Snowball through the garden and tearing bits of crepe off her back. Snowball had enough of running, she turned, and a fierce fight broke out with lots of posturing, hissing, and clawing.

Luckily, the fight ended quickly as soon as the crepe was gone. Snowball tried to save some dignity and chased after the cats. She was exhausted by the time she chased the neighbors' cats home and went inside to eat her well-deserved crepe filled with meat.

Just for fun, learn how to flip

Here is my mother's recipe

1 cup, all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup water or best seltzer water
3 Tbsp melted butter
¼ tsp Kosher salt (or ⅛ tsp table salt)
1 tbsp sugar (for sweet crepes only)
1 tsp vanilla extract (for sweet crepes only)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about 20 seconds. The batter should be fairly thin and pourable, but still creamy.

Let the batter rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat a 9- to 12-inch nonstick pan over medium heat, and add some butter or oil, or just spray it with some cooking spray. (I use peanut oil)

Let the pan get hot for about 30 seconds, then pour a small amount of crepe batter onto the center of the pan. About ¼ cup to ⅓ cup should be the right amount for most pans. Swirl the pan around so that the crepe batter coats the whole pan, right up to the edges.

Let the crepe cook for about 30 seconds.

Flip the crepe, let it cook for about 10 more seconds, and then let it cool on a plate.

Add the filling of your choice and either roll up the crepes or fold them, it's up to you.


Next time, read about one of the characters from my upcoming books on the 22nd.

If you'd like to read my previous blog posts, click here to find a list at the end of the page:

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