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Thanks for the Crepes

Hey Y'all, From North Carolina!

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I've lurked on  this site for over a decade, and I'm delighted to finally have joined.

 

I'm from Cary, which is a suburb of Raleigh, and followed Varmint's pig pickin's avidly. He's a lawyer from Raleigh, but sadly, he seems to be inactive now.

 

I found EGullet during a culinary search, though it's been so long ago, I can't remember what I was looking for. I bookmarked, and have been back nearly every day to learn from kind, generous and erudite members.

 

I made my first crepes because of the EG "Cookoff" about them. I'd watched the hapless "Hell's Kitchen" crew screw them up so badly with their method, that I was even more intimidated than before. The cookoff made it clear to me that I could swirl batter in a non-stick skillet. I used Marcella Hazan's recipe for crespelles from "The Classic Italian Cook Book". (She really does make cookbook two words.) I had success the first time, and have made them many times after.

 

For folks who remember fondly Stouffer's frozen entree, crepes with ham and swiss, I include my

recipe for their discontinued item:

 

 

Stouffer's Ham and Cheese Copycat Crepes

 

12-10" crepes (your favorite recipe)

16 oz. deli shaved ham (I use Land O' Frost hickory smoked)

8 oz. swiss cheese, grated

2 c. med. thickness bechamel sauce

2 T. drinkable white wine

 

Make crepes.

Make bechamel, and stir in wine and cheese until melted and sauce is smooth.

Oven 350F

Assemble crepes by laying them all out and placing 3 slices of ham (Land o' Frost brand has exactly 36 slices to the pound) lengthwise down the center of each one. Then use a small ladle to divy up the sauce down the center of the ham row. Roll up, and either bake them off immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. I usually do that with half the recipe to feed my husband and myself the next day, and pop the other half into the freezer for another lovely meal. They freeze beautifully. I have individual oval gratin dishes which fit 3 filled crepes perfectly.

 

If refrigerated or frozen, you want to have them come up to room temperature before baking. Thaw from frozen overnight in fridge.

 

Bake 10 minutes at 350, then either reduce heat to 200, if you have a normal, decent oven, or if you have a crummy oven like my landlord's, turn off oven, and leave in for another 10 minutes, until the delicious cheese sauce is starting to bubble at the ends and it and the crepes are browning just a tad.

 

________________________________________________________________________________

 

I hope someone enjoys this as much as I have since they discontinued this item. Stouffer's just isn't what it used to be. They must have been bought out by Wall Street. Even the lasagna sucks now. Two thick noodles are fused together because they don't bother to put sauce in between them. Stouffer's history is an interesting read, and they maintained good quality for many years, but that is over. So difficult to get even acceptable food now unless you make it yourself.

 

Thank you all so much for helping me to do just that, and I hope to be able to contribute now that I have joined.

 

Just like StuartLikesStrudel said a day or two ago, "A bunch of people helping each other in the name of cake... kinda restores one's faith in humanity and the internet :P"   :wub: 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome Thanks for the Crepes! Looking forward to your posts.

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Let me add my welcome, and thank you for posting that recipe! It's good that you've decided to stop lurking and join in. :-)


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Hey, Crepes!  Welcome!  Glad you finally decided to de-cloak!  It took me forever, too.  I spent every summer of my childhood in Reidsville NC, so I'm always glad to see someone from Carolina.  Looking forward to your posts.

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Thank you for the kind welcome, Kim Shook!

 

Yours are always among the posts I look forward to. I'm very sorry to hear of your health problems and wish you a speedy recovery from everything, and it, unfortunately, seems like a daunting lot. 

 

I have followed this forum for many years, and you have always been kind and helpful to everyone. It would be a privilege to know you in real life, I am convinced.

 

I love your down home Southern cookin', lady!  I hope you continue to delight people with your cuisine for many more years.

 

It is such a pleasure to meet you in virtual space.


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Thank you so much for the sweet comments!  I am feeling much better these past few days – I even started on a project that I suspended almost 2 years ago when all my issues started!  I painted a second coat on an outside door and cleaned two more that I plan to paint tomorrow if the weather cooperates!  I am also planning to concentrate on cooking a lot more than I have been.  I would love to meet you in real life – I’ve met a few eG folks and without exception they have been wonderful people and are still friends.  If you ever get up to the Richmond area, please let me know!

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Welcome to eGullet. I too lurked here for years, mostly from North Carolina, the western part. Moved fairly recently up to Nova Scotia, but, tonight as I write this, I am back in the Asheville area for a few weeks so will wave to you across the state. You just reminded me that, not too long ago, I bought an 'almost' professional electric crepe maker that I have yet to try out yet. Thanks for the recipe.

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Hey Kim,

 

I've only been to Richmond one time for my sister in law's graduation from medical school.

 

I was very impressed by the beautiful architechture and the history of the place. The lovely old buildings, all the statues!

 

I was also taken aback by the horrible neighborhood my SIL lived in. She lived over a hair salon, which smelled really bad. The surrounding area was filled with homeless people, who are really sad to me because most of us are about two, three, or a few more paychecks from being there ourselves. Anyway, they were bumming money, and on our walk to the place SIL lived, we encountered fresh blood on the sidewalk. Not a lethal amount, necessarily, but enough to scare us quite a bit, and remain with me since 1987.

 

So it's not all history and architecture.

 

SIL said she just stayed in after dark and was fine, but she's pretty and quite small, and I worried about her a lot after going for her graduation.

 

She was out of there shortly afterward to an internship, and it eased my mind.

 

I'm sure you know the better sides of the city. I'd love to explore them with you one day.

 

I'm absolutely delighted that you're feeling better!

 

Thank God!


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Deryn,

 

Please try the technique of swirl a thin crepe batter in a non-stick skillet, which you probably already own for eggs and such.

 

I promise that even crepe-phobes like me can have a successful result.

 

Read this: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/89116-crepes-cook-off-23/

 

I promise that you will be able to produce lovely crepes without any special equipment. In fact, I think that unscruplous people promote expensive devices to take advantage of people's fear of failure.

 

What I remember from Asheville was a local auction in 1987. It was what to do on a Saturday night. Everyone came because there was not anything else to do; it may be different now. My boyfriend and I went with the local folks we were visiting. They were very aggressive in trying to make me buy a cosmetics collection they had. I declined, but they made me feel very bad. I have enough cosmetics to last long after my death.

 

I did stop on the way out of town and buy a very inexpensive jewelry box that the person selling it on the side of the road had hand-made. I still have it and use it. It's a dark-stained very hard wood with brass pulls and red velvet lining.

 

It seems like most of the folks, except of course the tourists, are quite poor in that area.

 

They also seem to be quite proud and moral, and determined to make their lot better.


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Hello- Welcome! One of my nephews goes to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is working on his Doctorate in Philosophy.


"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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Thanks for the Crepes,

 

I appreciate your tips on how to make crepes. I haven't made any in years to be honest, but, I used to make them the way you describe all the time and had good results. The crepe maker was an impulse purchase but since it is just a large round flat surface heated electrically, my kitchen-gadget-warped reasoning was that it also had promise for 'teppanyaki' style cooking (meats, veg, etc). I just haven't used it for crepes yet and do want to try it out.

 

Oh and I think you should drive the 4 hours across the state to this area again - it is beautiful here. I doubt you would find it anything like what you remember. I expect it may have been when my aunt (who died in 1996) first came here in the late 50s/early 60s but you would probably have to go further out into the hills to find much of what you described in this area now. We now have running water. :) There 'is' a man who sells hand carved canes along the road not far from me once in a while. And the 'nut truck' comes to sit in parking lots around the area I live in November/December. Yes, there are a lot of people on food stamps around these parts I know, but, I know those are everywhere these days. I haven't heard of auctions such as you describe but it sounds like a 'small town' thing and Asheville isn't really a 'small town' any more except perhaps for the purposes of government accounting. It is just harder to get lost in than in the 'big city'. :)


Edited by Deryn (log)

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Deryn,

 

Your crepe maker sounds a lot like the devices I saw the "Hell's Kitchen" contestants having epic fails with, but I totally understand the delight in a new kitchen toy and the multipurpose uses you had in mind when you got it. What fun to sit around the table with a small group and cook your own ingredients! I hope you get much enjoyment from it.

 

I hope you didn't take my reflections of 1987 Asheville to be derogatory in any way. I am a simple country girl at heart, even though I'm stuck in the city for my husband's employment. I was raised on a 20-acre hobby farm in Vermont. We had horses, and raised a few calves for slaughter. My dad grew up plowing a mule down in Bossier Parish, Louisiana. He got out of poverty by joining the navy at 17 and going to MIT for an electrical engineering degree on the GI bill, which actually had teeth in those days. I've accompanied his dad, my grandpa to the local schools to pick up waste cafeteria food from lunch service that was separated from other trash. That's what he fed to his hogs. We slaughtered, ate and sold the hogs along with the chickens he also raised. They were free range chickens, as were the hogs, and he sold the eggs, produce from his garden and a tropical houseplants in his older age from his front yard. He used to have a small dairy before regulation drove him out. There was a picture of me my grandma kept next to her bed until the day she died showing me at about three years old milking one of the cows into a 3 pound Maxwell House coffee can.

 

My cousins asked me if I wasn't embarrassed to go to the schools for the hog slop, but I was too young and naive to understand what they were talking about. I was just happy to spend time with my grandpa and give him what help I could.

 

Nowadays the food we ate back then is high dollar fare for sophisticates. I've never had better pork or chicken in my life anywhere. 

 

The friends we were visiting in 1987 were our regular companions at the Bass Mountain bluegrass festival in Burlington, NC, for years, and had invited us to their home in Asheville to stay for a long weekend. We camped at the Burlington festival and always cooked and ate our meals at our campsites, collaborating on our meals and sharing them.

 

Your running water remark reminds me of dark nights many moons ago when I would carefully pick my way by flashlight through the cow pasture to the outhouse on my grandparent's property. They got running water later, and that was a very, very good thing!

 

Please believe me when I tell you there's not a snobby bone in my body, and if I had my way I'd get out of this rat race, and start raising all my own food again.  :smile:


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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We just got back from a wedding in the Raleigh area.  We were very pleased to discover that the bride and groom had opted for a pig pickin' for their wedding dinner.  With vinegar sauce.  And collards.  Yay! 

 

Welcome.

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Thanks for the welcome SylviaLovegren!

 

My little sister had a pig pickin' for her wedding feast at her church with no alcohol allowed. A lot of the guests were bummed about the dry stipulation, including my brother and me, but it was a beautiful day, and I respected her wishes enough to have a wonderful time, and create unforgettable memories from so many years ago.

 

I can look up from my computer station at my dining table, and see a matted, I'd guess 8-1/2" x 11" photo (excluding matting) that my sister-in-law had framed for me of my sister in her exquisite wedding gown she made herself, my brother, and I with a dogwood tree in full bloom on the church grounds, under the sun that shone down on everything that day. Good times.

 

I just wish we all looked like we did then in the picture, but still were as wise and experienced as we are now.  :biggrin:

 

Pig pickin's for weddings are quite the custom here.


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I tried to edit my post above when I remembered I have a really good recipe for the NC vinegar based sauce SylviaLovegren mentions above in this thread, and was allowed to do the edit, but I guess I took too long to complete the post.  :huh:  :sad:

 

Anyway, it went poof, after I'd spent a chunk of my life trying to share it.

 

It's reduced down from the 40-gallon one the Cary chapter of the Masonic Lodge uses for their fundraiser pig pickin's.

 

If anyone wants it, let me know, and I'll try again.


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