Our family called New Zealand home for two busy years while fitting out the interior of Elcie, our custom-built aluminum catamaran. We were ultimately preparing for a voyage home to the U.S. East Coast via the South Pacific and the Panama Canal.
One Sunday in early summer, we were invited to breakfast by some Kiwi friends. These ex-professional sailors had settled in lovely Nelson, at the top end of the South Island, after a transpacific voyage, and we enjoyed a relaxing meal while trading tales of past nautical adventures. They served hot crêpes, thin as parchment, which arrived steaming beneath a cloth napkin. An abundance of fillings were laid out before us, including our own contribution: fresh-picked berries. Each crêpe, whether savory or sweet, was delicious. We were hooked. By order of a decree from our two young daughters, Emma and Molly, the Sunday-morning breakfast menu aboard Elcie was forever set. On our 10,000-mile voyage home to Chesapeake Bay, we enjoyed crêpes nearly every Sunday morning. The fillings changed to match the season and our latitude. Now, this Sunday breakfast is an anchor in our busy cruising lives.
Makes 6 servings
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup butter, melted but not bubbling
In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. In another, smaller bowl, beat together milk and eggs. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Blend until smooth. Stir in butter. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Heat a wide nonstick pan until medium-hot. Wipe the bottom of the pan with a bit of butter on a paper towel. While tilting the pan toward you at a 45-degree angle, pour in a scant 1/3 cup of batter. Tilt the pan from side to side to finish covering the surface. Return pan to heat. Crêpe is ready to flip when the top looks dry and the edges are just beginning to curl. Use a spatula to flip; cook briefly on the other side. Set aside and cover until all crêpes are cooked. Makes ten or eleven 10-inch crêpes.
by Lynda Morris Childress
There are countless fillings for crêpes, both savory and sweet. Let your tastes, imagination, and the availability of ingredients be your guides. Here are some suggestions.
Savory: Try ham and cheese, shrimp or crab and cream sauce, bacon or sausage with cream cheese and chutney, and spinach and hollandaise sauce or cheese.
Sweet: Nutella and banana, grated coconut, or sliced peaches all make delicious fillings. Berries and whipped cream or yogurt with honey are delightful, too. Or try a Kiwi favorite: crushed pineapple, fresh lemon juice, and sugar.
Look for inspiration in your own fridge or galley locker to initiate your own onboard crêpes tradition.