[Sca-cooks] crepes

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Mon Sep 20 05:20:17 PDT 2010

On Sep 20, 2010, at 7:50 AM, Claire Clarke wrote:

> Nah. The batter should be runny enough that you can swirl it around in the
> pan after you pour it in by gently tipping the pan. There's a little bit of
> a knack to it. I guess if you don't have a crepe pan (or just a plain old
> frying pan) you'd need a spreader. Ideally you should just have enough
> butter/oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and enough batter to make a very
> thin layer over the bottom of the pan. 

I think the differing views on this subject are just one of approach/background. Using a spreader is not a classic cooking technique, but it is apparently one commonly used for mass production. I suspect that the logical divider is akin to, how much of your day is spent actually making crepes? If you're at home or working in a restaurant or hotel where other foods are prepared and served, it doesn't necessarily make sense to have a piece of equipment dedicated to the spreading of crepe batter. OTOH, if what you do all day consists of making crepes, fillings for them, filling them and plating them, maybe it does make sense.

The other thing that struck me is that the description of using the spreader seems to assume a flat-top griddle arrangement, and not a round pan, which, to me, establishes that while this method may make sense under certain circumstances, it's not the mainstream "traditional" method. Nonetheless, it's a method a lot of people apparently use.

One of the more gratifying moments I experienced in an SCA kitchen was the opportunity to teach someone about keeping the quality up even in a mass-production setting: I threw away a pancake that I felt was sub-par -- I was making several hundred of them, after all; I could spare enough batter to throw one or two away if they were burnt or misshapen. My partner was surprised that I could bring myself to care about one pancake out of hundreds, and I repeated the old tale of how Napoleon said the first crepe is always fed to the cat, and said, "Just remember that each of these is going into the mouth of someone  you care about."

Yeah, okay, I'm'a go finish my coffee now...


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies."
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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