Vive la France: my journey to the crepery


One of my new favourite things to do is read blogs. Since joining the WordPress community I have found some great bloggers, lots through the coveted ‘Freshly Pressed’. As an MECFS and Fibromyalgia sufferer, I have lots of days where I am too tired to even talk, WordPress provides a view to the outside world. Something to pass the time. BUT it has also become a great source for inspiration. Through reading blogs I have become much more in-tuned with my creative side.

One of the best things I have found on ‘Freshly Pressed’ is a blog named Carbonara’s Weblog. The author is an American, and having visited both France and Italy compared the two countries’ street crepe sellers. He also oozed about Nutella, a rich hazelnut spread, perfect to lather on hot crepes. This post gave me a huge craving for crepes covered in Nutella, but, being wheat-intolerant, I could dip in to the crepery in John Lewis. What I did get from there though, was a crepe maker. It didn’t take me long to pass my craving on to my boyfriend. A few days later we casually slipped in to John Lewis, just to have a look at the crepe maker. Having located the crepe maker, we stood there, both trying to think of a reason to justify buying one.Neither of us needed much convincing.

Since we brought it home we’ve had crepes nearly everyday. We spent a lot of time dreaming up different toppings. So far my favourite has been peanut butter, Nutella, and bananas. If this post has given you a craving then check out the recipe below, you can see how I adapted it to make gluten-free crepes and/or dairy and lactose crepes too. To find somewhere to purchase a very good but reasonably priced crepe maker or pan keep scrolling. Let me know if you think of any great toppings. Happy crepe-ing!

Basic crepe recipe: makes about 8 or 9 crepes

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour or gluten-free flour, I buy Dove Farm which is available in most supermarkets, whole food stores and health shops
  • 4 eggs
  • 50g melted butter/soya butter works just as well if you’re lactose-intolerant
  • 500ml milk/dairy-free alternative, I use Lacto-free milk (available in most supermarkets too) but you could use rice, soya or oat milk too
  • 1tbs sugar

Method

Use a hand-blender to mix the flour, eggs, milk and sugar. Add  the melted butter and whisk until a fine, smooth mix is achieved. It’s best to let it the batter sit for an hour, but if you’re impatient (like me) then you can just make them straight away. Use a small amount of butter to grease the pan, you can use oil but they don’t taste as nice. Set you crepe maker to low (about 3 on mine) to make a light brown crepe, or higher if you prefer your crepe to be quite brown. Spoon the batter on the pan, starting from the centre and moving around to the crepes. Use the wooden T *see pictures* to evenly spread the batter. Use the wooden turn over to flip the crepe after about a minute (wet the turnover to prevent the crepe from sticking to them). The best thing about crepes, unlike pancakes, it’s pretty hard to mess up the turnover. Spread the filling inside the crepe, then fold over in half, repeat twice more and then enjoy!

I bought my crepe maker from John Lewis for £29.99

You can buy a crepe pan from Amazon for £7.75

Crepe pans and makers are also available on Amazon in  Europe and the USA, if you live outside of the UK, for reasonable price

10 Reasons to Save Your Local Library


1.       Free internet access

2.       Free books– libraries stock a wide range of books. From the latest novel, classical novels to autobiographies. Getting them from the library is even cheaper than picking them up at discounted prices from Tesco and Amazon.

3.       Research base– for absolutely anything, from children’s projects, to reading up on herbalism, meditation, how to use ebay, or an illness. I borrow a lot of recipe books from my library, you can get the book out and then just photocopy your favourite recipes instead of having to buy one. This is especially great if you only bake once in a blue moon, or are having a vegetarian to stay, or someone with an intolerance.

4.       Sanctuary– libraries are the only place left where you can sit in quiet/silence. You can get away from the busy, noisy outside world.

5.       Free culture– lots of libraries now have a whole host of events. I went to a Chinese new year celebration last Saturday, enjoying free lanterns, having a go at painting or writing in Chinese style, free tea, the list goes on, and all for free! Libraries usually hold open mic poetry readings, amongst other things.

6.       Base of the community– libraries are the best place to find out about societies and clubs in your area. Lots of them have a list online with a contact number. You can find out about athletics, yoga, special interest groups, language learners groups, writing groups, book clubs, there really is a wide range of things to join and there is no other way to find out about them, not even Google can tell you, you can only find the extensive list at your library.

7.       Local history– books about your local area will have been written by academics, professors or researchers so that people can use the research to write papers/journal articles about the bigger picture. Without libraries, there will be no way to collect this information, as they are not usually published- there isn’t a market to buy them. This will lose the best way to learn about your local area too.

8.       Online resources– libraries now have online reference points, such as three types of encyclopaedias (one for younger children, older children, and adults). They are easy and quick to use, and far more accurate than Wikipedia.

9.       Large print books– for anyone with worsening eye sight, but also large print books are just easier to read, it makes the eye muscles in your eyes not have to work so hard so you won’t get tired as fast. It is incredibly difficult to buy large print books; you can’t even find them online most of the time. It is really important to keep this service for people who need large print books. This is why it is vital to save those little mobile libraries, for the elderly and sick in particular, so that people who can’t leave the house much can use the service.

10.   Reading should be free– every child should be able to read regardless of their background. It will be a sad day when we lose a service like that. Every summer libraries run a little course, children can join in for free. The aim is to read six books in the summer holidays, collecting small prizes like stickers and pencils, and finally working towards a certificate and a medal at the end. I used to do this every summer, I loved it. For children whose parents have to work, or aren’t able to afford day trips, being able to read books for free is a great way to spend the long summer holiday. Books are expensive, that’s the bottom line, reading regularly really helps children learn to write well and spell, so libraries are vital for families from poorer backgrounds, whose children statistically are under-achievers.

Last Saturday was ‘save your local library’ day but it’s not too late. If you don’t have a member card yet, go to your local library and sign up, and start using it for free. You can now reserve books online so you can just pop in and collect your books. You can renew online too so no late fees.