French Students Prepare Crepes and Learn French Customs
The extended class period time of Lab Days allowed the French language students of Madame Pope, Monsieur Wilson, and Madame Shaffer to create the French culinary delight: crepes. Maple Forest, the on-campus residence of the Grier family, provided a fully-equipped kitchen and dining room for the students to prepare and enjoy their crepes.
Students prepared the large, thin pancakes using traditional crepe making methods and tools. Chef Duane of Grier’s Food Services was instrumental in preparing the crepe batter and providing culinary technique instruction to the students as they created their crepes. The recipe for the batter is authentically French, handed down to Madame Shaffer from her mother.
After sauteing their crepes, students selected from an array of fillings and toppings to complete their dishes. Savory toppings included smoked salmon, cream cheese, shredded Gruyère, and ham. Sweet toppings included strawberries, bananas, Nutella, sugar, and whipped cream. As the students enjoyed the crepes, they conversed in French and watched a DVD about the country of France.
Madame Pope explained that crepes are a key part of an annual tradition on February 2nd in France. Longing for a break from winter, the French cook these golden yellow circles that remind them of sunshine. Flipping the crepe correctly is said to result in good luck. The tradition also developed from the need to use up indulgent perishable ingredients before the onset of the Lenten season.
Hosts Dr. Douglas Grier and Mrs. Harriet Grier were there to observe and enjoy the crepes and the camaraderie among the French students and their teachers. The fluffy and docile family cat, Blue, was also a hit with the students.