Sometimes, when life feels complicated, it helps to go back to the simple things.
Sunlight on a wooden floor.
Dancing to Aretha Franklin, then stopping to belt it out with her.
Talking late into the night, vulnerable, saying exactly what is.
Lunch with Lucy, the three of us sitting at the little Sesame Street table, Danny and I hunched in the tiny chairs, laughing while she does ridiculous voices to say “I love you!”
It has been a big week around here. I finished all the recipes for our next cookbook, plus all the headnotes and endnotes. Written, edited, collated, double-checked, and sent.
(I still have to finish some essays that will live around those recipes. Next Monday I will be done with the cookbook.)
Normally, that would be enough for the week. Right?
This week, Danny left his cooking job.
It has been awhile coming. I don’t want to say why. There’s no need. Instead, I’ll say that he wasn’t happy, for many reasons. He kept at being head chef for months, even when he suspected it wasn’t the right place for him. He wanted to do the right thing, to bring in money, to feel secure.
But there reaches a point where doing something because an imposed voice says you should? It just doesn’t satisfy.
“What ultimately kills us isn’t one big thing, but the accumulation of a thousand tiny obligations we can’t say no to for fear of offending.” — Alain de Botton
So, he left.
There’s fear in a big leap, of course. But eventually, choosing to jump with the fear on your back helps to blow it off into the canyon. I haven’t seen him this happy and relaxed in a long time.
(By the way, please don’t worry about us. We’ve been saving. We have some big plans, cool things brewing that we can’t share with you yet. We’re fine.)
With Danny no longer working as a restaurant chef, and the book being almost done, and turning in the last of the paperwork for the adoption this week, and moving to a new home on the island next week? We’re breathing. We’re talking. We’re dancing.
And Danny has been making crêpes.
It has been awhile since we did a Danny video. He’s been at the restaurant 10 to 12 hours a day. There hasn’t been time. But now, you’ll be seeing more of them. This site really is going back to being Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.
We’ve been making crêpes because we love them but also because it’s crêpes month for the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally. We’ve been so busy that we haven’t been able to participate in months — sort of dreadful since the rally was my idea in the first place! — but here we are. Crêpes.
Crêpes are the easiest food in the world to make by ratio. I’m not kidding. The idea behind ratios is that each baked good, and many other foods, have a ratio as their backbones: so many parts of flour to another part of eggs to another part of liquids. Here is the ratio for crêpes:
2 parts liquid
2 parts eggs
1 part flour
A large egg weighs 2 ounces, so we’ll use that as our starting point. That means for this ratio you’d use 2 eggs (4 ounces), 4 ounces of milk, and 2 ounces of flour. That makes 2 full-size crêpes (of course, that depends on the size of the pan you use to cook them). So, if you want more, all you have to do is double or triple or quadruple the ratio.
8 ounces liquid
4 large eggs
4 ounces flour
That’s it. That’s all you need to make crêpes by ratio. Add a pinch of salt and you have a crêpe batter. I’m not kidding. That’s it.
And to cook them? Equally easy. Let Danny show you how.
See how easy it is?
One note here on the buckwheat. Most commercial buckwheat flours are toasted, which can be a pleasant taste or it can be a slightly bitter burnt taste. But it’s not a quiet taste. It dominates. Moreover, some of those buckwheat flours might be cross-contaminated with gluten. (We love Bob’s Red Mill and all their flours. However, you should know that their buckwheat flour is ground in the facility with gluten rather than the gluten-free facility.) For a couple of years, I thought that meant no buckwheat flour. However, the wonderful Ali Segersten from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen turned me onto raw buckwheat flour. We use raw buckwheat groats and grind them into flour. It’s simple. The groats are soft enough that you can put them in a blender, a few ounces at a time, and let them grind up. You might have to sift them through a fine-mesh sieve then blend them again. It’s worth it, though. Right now, buckwheat is one of my absolute favorite flours.
Without it, there wouldn’t be the comfort of these buckwheat crêpes.
GLUTEN-FREE RATIO RALLY: crepes
Thank you to T.R. Crumbley from No One Likes Crumbley Cookies for hosting the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally this month. And look at this list of other crêpes to eat!
Crêpes are wonderfully easy to make. Don’t let the circumflex in the word or the French pronunciation prevent you from making these. Once you know the ratio, you can make any kind of crepes you want. The ratio itself calls for liquid, so you could make these with cashew milk or soy milk or heavy cream, if you want. You could also try a gluten-free beer crêpe.
8 ounces milk
4 large eggs
4 ounces buckwheat flour
good pinch kosher salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil (you can also use butter or olive oil)
Making the crêpe batter. Whisk together the milk and eggs. Add the buckwheat flour. Pinch in the salt. Whisk them together fully.
You could make the crêpes immediately, if you want. We usually like to make the batter a couple of hours ahead and let it sit in the refrigerator, allowing the flavors to mingle fully. If you do this, be sure to whisk the batter fully before cooking the crêpes. Any starches in the gluten-free flour mix tend to sink to the bottom of the bowl.
Cooking the crêpes. Set a large cast-iron skillet over low heat. Slowly, bring it up to medium-high heat. Put some of the coconut oil in the hot skillet. When the oil has melted, swirl in some of the crêpe batter (Danny suggests about 2 ounces, if you want to measure it). Tilt the skillet back and forth until the batter covers the entire surface. When the edges are set and starting to curl up from the pan, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, run a metal spatula under all the edges of the crêpe. Flip the crêpe. Cook for 30 seconds then turn the crêpe out onto a cutting board or plate.
Repeat with the remaining crêpe batter.
Makes 4 to 6 crêpes.
Feel like playing?
This is the plain version of these crêpes so you can add to them and make them your own. I love the idea of black pepper buckwheat crêpes, or cardamom and lemon zest crêpes, or cinnamon-nutmeg crêpes.
Some of our favorite fillings: ham and cheese, fried egg, fresh ricotta and chives, peanut butter and jam, nutella, chocolate ganache and powdered sugar. You’ll come up with your own.