Friday, May 17, 2013

Manwich Goulash (Pasta), crepes, beans and beef... recipe 41

I am going to write this one out of chronological order but I am not going to but it in my index out of order.  I am writing it because I wrote about the success I finally had with crepes and this memory is so fresh it just wanted to be laid to paper.  Thanks for bearing with me and my meanderings.

We moved to Arizona in December of 1970.  My sister Little Sister was 4 months old.  We had lots of adventures in the 10 months we lived there but I will regale you with them in order.  We meant the most interesting of people there and one such family was an implanted family from New York City, the Bronx's to be precise.  They had move there at about the same time as we had.  We meant them at Church.  They had moved to Arizona because their littlest daughter had asthma and her doctors had said she would have better health in the dry climate of Arizona.  They had packed up part and parcel and moved for their daughters sake.  The Church had known they struggled with the move so they had helped them out with provisions.  Mom and Janette had struck up a friendship, both being implants and new to the Church became fast friends.

We got to be good friend with the Fecco's ( I have no idea if that is spelled right and since we have not seen them in 42 years I don't think their privacy will be disturbed from my little blog).  They had 3 or 4 children and a grandmother, as I recall, but I may not be just right in the numbers in the family.  Janette one day confided in my mother that she had been given 50 lbs of beans and 1/4 of a beef but was having difficulty knowing what to do with it.  My mother would have had no such problem using a partial side of beef and dried pintos.  She volunteered to go over and help Janette with her dilemma.  Jeanette was so thankful she invited us for brunch, we had never had brunch before.  We were to have casserole and crepes.  Crepes were a wondrously wonderful dessert.  We were so excited to get to go. 

We arrived early in the morning and we kids all got to playing in the back yard.  Janette and my mom had a heart to heart.  Janette was very upset.  She was very grateful for all the Church had done for them but no idea what to do with either the meat or the beans.  She said she sort of knew what to do with the hamburger as it was something they did use occasionally in their Italian food but for the rest of the meat was at a loss for what to do with it.  My mom asked her if she had ever had steak or roast she said only out at restaurants.  My mom by this time was a great cook.  My mom walked her through the basics of making roasts and steaks.  She was unsure but willing to try.  They went on to the beans.  She said she had had green beans but dry bean never.  She said she had fried them but they never got soft enough to eat and they did not like them.  My mom assured her that they would like them and explained how to boil them up and use some of the hamburger to make a good chili,  Janette felt they would manage now that she had some info on how to cook them all.  My mom was amazed that the culture was so different from where she had come from that she had no idea how to use the meat or the beans. 

Janette made up a pasta dish for brunch.  She boiled pasta noodles, we just called them egg noodles, she fried up some cabbage and then she put manwich sauce in it and that was the main course. We had never had a pasta dish made with cabbage and manwich no meat involved so we learned something new that day as well, win win.  It was like Manwich goulash to us, we had never known it was pasta.  She decide to make their favorite dessert and that was crepes.  She cooked them up, to us they looked like really thick pancakes as she cooked them.  She rolled jelly in them and added whipped cream.  We were all excited to dive in.  We were soon not so excited, they were horribly gummy and gooy and thickly dry if that is possible.  Our mom's sourdough pancakes were much better, we were also taught to eat what was put in front of us, so it was a long slow process to finishing up those crepes.  She was so disappointed that not one of us kids wanted seconds, her kids ate several.  I do know that I never wanted a crepe again in my life. 

It has taken me 42 years to over come the horrible crepe experience.  I made them yesterday after studying them for the last few years, yesterday I got up my nerve and made them.  Mine turned out wonderful and my Ladies will not have long term trauma from the having of them.  I made savory and dessert crepes, all were eaten right up no leftovers.  Yay.  I had to make them in my electric skillet and I used my pie server to thin them out but all in all a success and I didn't ruin one, which really surprised me.  Need less to say I do not have a crepe pain or a non stick pan and with the success I no longer am contemplating the purchasing of either.

Crepes- Basic (my recipe tweaked from reading several dozen recipes and adapting to my needs and ideas)

2cups of sifted flour, I spooned it gentle into the cup so it didn't get crushed down
1/2 tsp. of salt

Mix together and set aside

2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of water
2 tbsp. butter melted
4 eggs

I whipped the liquids in a big bowl, but you could use a blender, I gently added the flour mixture, once combined I put it in the frig one hour to rest and meld together.

I got my big electric skillet out and heated it on 400 degrees, I put a tablespoon of butter in the pan and melted it all around.  I scooped up a scant 1/4 cup of batter and poured in in the pan in a circular manner then I took my pie server and pushed all of the batter around until it was a thin circle without any holes.  I took 30 seconds or so for the batter to turn a creamy color. I check on the cooked side and sure enough nice golden brown like the ones I had seen on the cooking shows.  I flipped it over and cook it another 15 second or so.  I transferred it to a plate, folded it into triangles and was ready to make the next one.  I made 14 of them and each was a nice as the first.  I put them in the frig and then filled them and heated them later for dinner,  I used the last 4 to make a filled sweet dessert. I will try them in manicotti next time.  I am also going to add coco powder and sugar to make chocolate ones, or maybe some cinnamon, sugar and vanilla when I make sweet ones but the plain basic were fine for a less sweet dessert, and not as caloric a version.

All in all these will be something we regularly eat, no more shivers when I think of having to eat crepes.  I mean to tell you 42 years of hating a simple crepe is way to long......

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