Farmland Family Traditions: The French Crepe

A family tradition that soon was followed by her own creation of a thinner pancake, known as a French Crepe. On a New England farm land where she would gather the hens eggs and carry them to her mothers kitchen, she grew up in a house filled with 12 children, her being the second to last. Her inspiration to cook was a lack there of. She rather be fishing with her on the farm with her Pa, as she usually did almost everyday after school. Her mothers Pancakes however, were one special memory kept alive. It was the year of 1959, when My great Pepè would climb three flights of stairs to their top floor apartment. Stopping every few, to take a short rest. It took him almost an hour to get to the front door, while the aroma of pancakes kept him encouraged. He would travel great lengths for my Meme's special breakfast. He would finally make it to the kitchen table where he would gladly rest, filling himself will three of the largest pancakes my grandmothers black cast iron skillet could make. It was one of those old heavy skillets that we can almost no longer find these days. She would start the fire on the stove knowing his arrival would be soon, melting the butter turning it into a light brown color, almost caramelizing the outside casing of the fluffy pancake itself. As her father stopped coming and her daughter, my mother grew up, pancakes turned into a meal served almost anytime of the day. For a lighter supper meal, she would make a thinner pancake, known as the French crepĂ©. My mothers love of the Crepe then became a tradition in our household as I was a child. Growing up I came from two very different worlds. One in which was known as "Memeres manner school," and the other, a less fortunate side, where my mother would sacrifice her own dinner from time to time. Crepes were a cheap alternative to sophisticated dinners, with what seemed like four forks on the table. Although, I could appreciate the luxury of white tablecloths and lavish dinners at such an early age, I also loved the simplicity of good old fashion brown sugar, topped with Aunt Jamima maple syrup on my mothers rolled crepe, passed from generation to generation. I now let the aroma fill my house with that brown butter smell as it hits my pan and the crepe batter begins to bubble. Not always perfecting the crepe on my first try, (I usually have to throw the first one out,)  quickly remembering how my mother slowly poured the batter, knowing instinctively when to flip it over to it's other side of golden perfection.