Thursday, February 18, 2010

No Ma'am, we don't serve those here...

There are times in life when your best only option is to turn and walk away. I can't hear the word crepe without being reminded of one such time in my life. In another life, many moons ago, I owned a small cafe. I worked out in the front, doing most anything that needed to be done. A large part of my job, and possibly the most important, was talking with the customers. I spent the better part of the day, making sure that everyone had what they needed and was enjoying their meals. This was the best and the worst part of owning a restaurant. Most people were very nice, some were a lot of fun, a few were very opinionated, and a small minority were just jerks.
Then there were those customers with odd suggestions on how we could make our restaurant better. Put toothpicks in the ladies bathroom, for instance...really? Keep them in the bathroom? Umm,yuck... Can't you pick one up out front and take it with you? Apparently, "a lady doesn't want to be seen getting a toothpick". Really???... I just smiled and thanked her for the idea.
The most common question/suggestion I got was: "Why don't you serve...?" It was one of these type of questions that makes me chuckle every time I hear the word crepe. I often waited on tables when we were really busy and had stopped by to take the order from a older couple. The wife was studying the menu when she looked up and asked if we served "craps". I was totally caught off guard. In my mind I'm thinking, "Craps?? Is she implying the menu is crap? What the $%# are craps??"  "Ummm...excuse me?", was all I could think to say. To which she replied, "you know craps, like they serve at ..." and she named another local restaurant known for it's crepes. Then it dawns on me, she calling a crepe, a crap. So as I struggle to maintain my composure and a straight face, I mumbled "No Ma'am, we don't serve those here." She replied "well you really should, I just love craps." I turned and fled.

Easy Crepes (printable recipe)
Source: Bon App├ętit  | June 1998 Epicurous

1 1/3 cups whole milk, room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Mix first 6 ingredients in blender just until smooth. Cover batter and chill at least 15 minutes and up to 1 day. Strain the batter through a sieve. This will remove any lumps and your crepes will cook better if there are no lumps in the batter.
Spray 7-inch-diameter nonstick skillet with vegetable oil spray and heat over medium heat. Pour 2 tablespoons batter into pan and swirl to coat bottom. Cook until edge of crepe is light brown, about 1 minute. Loosen edges gently with spatula. Carefully turn crepe over. Cook until bottom begins to brown in spots, about 30 seconds. Transfer to plate. Cover with paper towel. Repeat with remaining batter, spraying pan with oil spray as needed and covering each crepe with paper towel. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Note: I find using a measuring cup with a lip for easy pouring works well for the batter.Also don't be discourage if your first crepe doesn't turn out perfectly. I find that it takes 2 or 3 to get a perfect crepe.

My first one from this batch was an ugly duckling but the rest were lovely.

One of the great things about crepes is you can fill them with almost anything you want, jam, marmalade etc... This recipe is for a sweet crepe but if you wanted to go with a savory filling just omit the sugar. I decided to go classic with my crepes and make Crepes Suzette. Crepes Suzette are a sweet crepe in an orange butter sauce. You flambe (ignite) the sauce at the end for a dramatic presentation. It's quite simple but looks impressive.

 Orange Butter Sauce
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
 zest from one orange 
1/2cup orange juice
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange liqueur
1 tbsp brandy

Place ingredients in a large skillet, over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring sugar to melt. Boil for 2-3 minutes until slightly thick. Stir in orange liqueur and brandy boil for 30 seconds more. Using tongs add crepes one at a time to the skillet, dipping in the sauce then quickly folding over twice to form a triangle. Lay folded crepes to one side of pan while you prepare the rest. When all are folded arrange crepes on the bottom of the pan. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of orange liqueur over the crepes. Cook for about 15 seconds spooning the sauce over the crepes. Then, stand back and carefully ignite with a long match or lighter. If you have a gas cook top, you can simple tip the skillet to one side allowing the flame to ignite the sauce. Serve immediately!

These are definitely not craps!


Eliana said...

Look super delish and absolutely lovely.

Bob said...

Ha! Awesome. Customer requests can be priceless. I was working in a pharmacy/convenience store once and a guy wanted us to move a structural support beam. He said it was in his way.

Those look wicked good! I love crepes, haven't had them since I was a kid.

Julie said...

I had to laugh at your story. You are very very gracious the way you handled the customer. I guess that the kind of customers you end up with is a crepe shot!

Snooky doodle said...

ha ha you made me laugh! I like crepes not craps :)

HereBeDragons said...

Ignorance is bliss?

Joanne said...

That story is HYSTERICAL. I laughed the whole way through. People are so amusing sometimes.

Your "craps" look delicious. Especially that sauce...

Elle said...

Yummy 'craps' and orange and flames...who could ask for more?

grace said...

nothing like some craps first thing in the morning, am i right? that's hilarious. and placing toothpicks in the bathroom is quite possibly the most disgusting thing i've ever heard.
um, about that sauce--it needs to be poured down my gullet apace. :)

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Cute story! I make crepes for blintzes, but I've always wanted to make this version. I have everything to do so... hmmmm. Thanks!

Barbara said...

Please pass those craps 'cause they look delicious. And then, if you don't mind, I'll just go on in and get some toothpicks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the fun story! Your crepes look perfect and I love the delicious orange butter sauce!

Sophie said...

I don't know that I'd want to eat anything named "craps", but these crepes look fabulous! :)

Pam said...

Ha! Great story! You're a good writer! Love crepes and your look absolutely delicious. I can't say that I have ever seen toothpicks in the bathroom and I'll be darned if I would ever use one if I saw them there! And I wouldn't eat craps either! Thanks for the laugh!

Stella said...

I love this post. My grandfather owned a cafe, and I have worked in restaurants almost all my life till recently. I've heard a lot of odd things from guests, but this is too funny! I suppose I would like one of your delicious looking 'craps', as the photo is enticing me!

Emily said...

Haha. Such a funny story! I love crepes.. especially with Nutella.

I CAN'T belive she actually thought they were called "craps." Hilarious.

Sherry G said...

Crepes are my fav to make! Yours, however, look better than any of mine have ever turned out. Nice job!

apparentlyjessy said...

Hehe, your story made me giggle! I am afraid to make crepes, they look so fragile I feel certain I will mess them up!