French chefs in tall white hats

I had what can only be described as an out of body experience last week.

I love breakfast.  As a kid I remember subsisting on cold cereal, but over the years this meal has moved way up on my yummy To Do list.  Danish, bacon, eggs, biscuits, waffles, sausage…I could go on and on and on.

But I won’t, since this post isn’t about the glories of breakfast.  Crêpes, on the other hand…now there is a glories shining, angels singing, majestic mountains at sunrise sort of food.

And I only just discovered it.

How I got to the ripe old age of 45 without tasting this magical food I’ll never know, but I stumbled upon it last week and have (amen! hallelujah!) seen the light.

You know how sometimes you eat somewhere new and there’s this mysterious food station? There’s a line of people waiting patiently, so you know it must be good, but it’s just a little intimidating.  Who are all these people?  How do they know what to say to that man in the tall hat?  What exactly are they doing up there anyway?

I didn’t know the answers to any of those questions, so the first morning I hung back.  Eating my (still delicious) breakfast, I watched like a hawk.  I could feel my eyes squinting as I tried to make sense of what I was seeing and put a name to it.

I failed.

It was Bear who overheard someone say it was a crêpe station (huh?) and announced her intentions to visit it the next morning.  Sweet!  I’m in, sister!

So the second morning dawned and we found ourselves at breakfast, preparing to launch into the unknown.  Bear and I hesitantly approached the chef, knowing he was about to ask us questions we had no answers for. A friendly man with a slight French accent asked Bear what she would like in her crêpe and she answered “strawberries.”

[Insert oui oui accent here.]  “Only?  No chocolate or syrup or powder sugar?”  “No, just strawberries.”

No one can accuse Bear of not knowing what she wants.

So the man in the tall hat turns to me and I decide to ‘fess up.  “Well, this is my first crêpe and I will take whatever you recommend.”  He looked momentarily nonplussed, but only for the briefest millisecond before he asked if I preferred salty or sweet.  “Sweet” seemed like a safe bet.

Well, a dish of almost epic deliciousness arrived at my place a few minutes later.  It had a soft, warm, and chewy pastry folded around the outside, like an extremely thin pancake.  But the real magic happened when I cut into it with my fork.

Chocolate oozed out in a melty flow.  A drizzle of maple syrup somehow complemented the strawberries nestled amongst the chocolate.  I had died and gone to breakfast pastry heaven.

I experimented a bit over the week – adding bananas, Nutella, and white chocolate chips in turn – and by the end had arrived at my breakfast of champions.  A decadent crêpe filled with Nutella and strawberries then sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Oh. My. Word.

I never did getting around to trying the salty version, but we can safely say that sweet was a huge hit.  Bear and I feasted on crêpes each morning – it’s important to fuel up for big days of walking and such – even feeling slightly virtuous because, you know, strawberries.  Which meant I was getting my daughter to start off her day with fruit.

Score one for mama.  And crêpes.  And French chefs in tall white hats.

 

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