Monday, December 20, 2010

Advent Activities: Advantages and Disadvantages

Having been much more industrious with our Advent Activities this year, I have recognized a detriment: the daily activities ratchet up the excitement factor while seemingly prolonging the wait for Christmas. In other words, Bud's words: It. Takes. So. Long.

And so, you'll have noticed that we're skipping some days or designating activities as the one for the day in hindsight. Like this weekend, the kids were in NYC with their Mama and grandparents; the whole weekend--the tree at Rockefeller Center, the creche at St. Patrick's, the Lego Store, Fifth Avenue windows, Korean BBQ, Christmas decorating, Christmas presents, dim sum--was Christmas. No extra Advent Activity was needed.

There was a similar occurrence today. Sis brought home a library book, Crepes by Suzette by Monica Wellington, which tours Paris through the crepes cart of a young girl. We savored the book, with its Parisian population taken straight from famous works of art by Leonardo, Picasso, Matisse, Cassatt, Toulouse-Lautrec (not all currently in French collections, but I believe all painted in France), etc., and then decided to savor some crepes. Which I'd never made and they'd never eaten. I always thought it was so hard but the recipe in the back of the book (I love children's books with recipes in the back!) didn't sound too hard, kinda like a Dutch Baby you make on the stove. So we did, filling them with melted chocolate chips, some of our summer strawberry pickings, and orange marmalade for me. Not half bad, actually pretty good, especially for a first go. And not a predetermined, official-from-the-stocking Advent Activity, (and hard to relate to the season in any way except as something new and fun), but just what we needed today.

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Suzette's Crepes

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine eggs and milk in a blender, food processor, or by hand. Add flour and mix until smooth. Add butter, sugar, and salt. It should be the consistency of heavy cream. The batter can be used immediately, but is even better chilled 1 hour or overnight (I had to add a little milk to lighten the consistency after 2 hours in the fridge).

Heat the pan and brush lightly with melted butter. Pour in a ladleful of batter (about 3 tablespoons). Quickly swirl the pan around to spread out the batter. Cook over medium-high heat until the crepe is set and the edges are lightly browned and lift up easily, about 2 minutes. Flip it, spread it with your favorite filling, and cook for about another minute. Fold in half and then half again, creating a triangle, then serve.

Monica Wellington, Crepes By Suzette

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