This is a guest post by my friend Al. We met in 1997 when his kids were wee babies – he was a customer of mine at the toy store. Fast forward twenty years, and now my kids call him ‘Uncle Al’.
Click here for Al’s Traditional Sweet Crêpes
Click here for my guide to Gluten Free Prepared Foods
Dressed in our pinks and greens, my friend Lawrence and I made eye contact from across the stage as we anticipated our commander’s downbeat for the last tune of our mid day concert. We were in the square in downtown Brussels, and the encore for our show was always Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood”. This classic was very much expected by the European audiences attending concerts by the United States Air Force’s Army Air Corps Glenn Miller Band. Our commander always kicked off this tune much too fast for our liking but today we didn’t mind as we had plans. Big, tasty, plans. After the last note was released, we enjoyed a standing ovation which brought a bittersweet tear to my eye. Not so much because it was likely the last concert I’d play on that square in Belgium, but because we had started a bit of a tradition to visit what we considered one of the finest creperies in all of Europe, and we knew today would our last visit. Both Lawrence and I had received our orders to return stateside.
This cute little creperie was nestled into a corner along one of the small cobblestone streets about a block from the main square. At that time, the business was owned by a lady in her late 30s with a well defined entrepreneurial spirit. She was very cordial, attractive, and just stern enough to remain focused on serving as many of her local patrons as she single-handedly could. Little did she know, that day my friend and I would test her resolve.
Upon our arrival we informed her that this would be our last visit to her creperie and placed our order. When served, we asked for her recipe, just as we have each and every visit in the past – to no avail. Only this time, we let her know we would be returning to the United States soon. We wanted to continue enjoying what we considered one of life’s finer treats. She said no… again. So we asked again, and again, and again. Annoyed, she finally said if you are going to stay here you need to order something else, so we did … and we did, and we did. Finally, EIGHTEEN crepes later she gave us the recipe and her local patrons applauded OUR resolve.
Since our return to the United States in the Summer of 1998, my family and I have enjoyed and sustained a newfound tradition of making crepes together every Sunday morning after church, and rarely missed an opportunity to do so for years. Each of our four children grew up learning how to make the batter, eagerly starting when they were just tall enough to stand on a chair and reach over the counter. Little did we know such a simple food would provide years and years of really enjoyable “together time” … not to mention the literally thousands of crepes we have cooked and shared with extended family and friends – here and abroad.
I would be remiss not to mention that although you can choose to fill these crepes with a wide variety of choices including fruit, nuts, cheeses, creams and sauces etc. etc. we always come back to a simpler presentation with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Ironically, exactly what my friend Lawrence and I regularly ordered in Brussels.