Super Bowl and Crepes

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Tucked between the New Year’s big dreams and the anticipation of spring, shorter than its eleven siblings, often the coldest, the month of February could be forgotten.

Maybe because of its bleak appeal, this is, however, a month of many events.

Two of them for this first part of the month:

1- Super Bowl. This one is for my French readers who asked.

2013 was our first Superbowl at home. We had guacamole and chips, BBQ chicken wings, more chips, some pie, and even sodas.

We skipped 2014 because we were out of town.

2015 should have been a good year for me. The Patriots are from my son’s hometown, also where I became an American citizen. On my gym’s big screens I saw Matt Damon and Ben Affleck giving their pronostics. I also heard that this Super Bowl was controversial. There was an issue about a deflated ball. I’m concerned about a deflated soufflé not a ball. We didn’t watch.

You see, American football remains strange to me.

Even though I went once to the UC Berkeley stadium for a game and felt part of the crowd, I would lie if I said that I loved the game. I enjoy people’s company in general, and like most French I also like watching people. We have the cafés terraces for practice back there. I’ve just learned to watch people in a more discreet way, now that I am an American, that’s all. Anyway at the Berkeley stadium it turned out that observing was an asset for someone who doesn’t know the rules of the game.

When people cheered, I cheered, when they stood up like one, I stood up too, when they booed, I booed. I just made sure I was watching the right people, the ones who wore the colors of my daughter’s school. I could manage that part.

I just realize that I wrote about Super Bowl in English for my French readers. Sorry! But, as it is for football, practice is key. It will be good for your English skills.

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2- The Chandeleur is the American Groundhog Day. Instead of waiting for a weird furry animal to see or not its shadow, the French flip crepes. At my home we do both. We make crepes and we watch Groudhog Day for the hundredth times.

I’m sad to say that with our four kids away from home for the first time this year, my husband and I forgot about the Chandeleur. We didn’t even watch our cult movie. And I only read today that we are getting six more weeks of winter, people.

 

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Two encouraging things about crepes:

  • The first crepe is always imperfect, too thin, too thick, burnt or uncooked. But you need the first one. The rest will be perfect. I swear.
  • When I offered to teach my kids how to make crepes, so they would make some for their kids one day, my youngest daughter said, “No, you will make them for our kids. And you will speak French too. You’re much better than us at these French things.”

 

My crepes recipe comes from my maman. She got it from hers who probably got it from her maman too. It’s not fancy. It’s real. And it always works. Kind of a vintage recipe. Certainly a collectible in my homemade cookbook.

 

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In my Middle Grade novel Chronicles From Château Moines, Scott is disappointed when his dad makes crepes for the first time.

“Dad made crepes for the festival of la Chandeleur, but the batter was so runny he couldn’t flip one single crepe, so we ended up eating pasta for the fourth time that week. I suppose my classic cookbook wasn’t such a great gift after all.”

He’s also surprised to realize that Valentine’s Day isn’t the same in France than in the US.

“I hid my Valentines just in time. In France, only the adults celebrate with red roses and a dinner. We stayed home, reading the sweet Valentines Stacey made for us.”

 

More about February 14th soon…

 

Meanwhile, tell me, in French, in English, or anything in between.

Now that the game is over, what is Super Bowl really about? I’m not talking of the food and friends. I got that part.

And what about crepes? Do you make some? Do you like them?

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I love reading these snippets of your experience with your transition. You seem to maintain a delicate balance, maintaining the best of your heritage and embracing some but not all of American culture. I don’t blame you for skipping this one. I did watch (company function). It was a good game, but the controversy detracted a bit and the fact that I am not a Patriots fan detracted a bit more. As for crepes, my wife does make them in order to make a dessert. She wraps them around a delicious filling. My wife agrees that the first one is sacrificed (same with pancakes).

    • Thank you, Dan. I don’t do it on purpose to walk the line, you know. I think most people who left their homeland after being really young straddle two cultures for a while. I have come to appreciate the best of both worlds. One think is sure: I would have a hard time to fit back in my home country. That is a compliment to my adoptive land. Your wife’s crepes look yummy. Like her I prefer them as dessert. But when I go to Brittany, they make the most amazing salty ones!

  2. Oh, I’m the bomb at sweet crepes. They might be too americanized, and definitely not up to par with a true french woman’s handed down recipe from maman, but I enjoy them!

    We actually made over 1000 crepes for a double wedding receptions my cousins had when I was 14 or 15. Ever since then, I have just the right wrist action down for an even coating on the pan 🙂

    • I’m not too surprised, Katie. Based on your latest novel filled with yummy food, I’m sure you are the queen of crepes. I didn’t want to add that but I always double the batter from my maman’s recipe! So we might not have 1000 but definitely more than 20! I also love to flip them high in the sky and catch them with the pan. See you soon, Katie.

  3. I’ll be translating the recipe heh! I absolutely love crepes, sounds like you enjoyed football too 😀

    • Originally I thought of passing the recipe, which I might do some day. Most people like crepes and more places offer them in Northern America. And who knows for football, maybe one day I will get a minimun to understand what’s going on. See you, Andy.

  4. LOL, Don’t worry Evelyne. American football is strange to me too — and I have never lived in any other country. 😀 Hugs.

  5. Behind the Story says:

    My dad made delicious crepes for breakfast. He called them “Swedish pancakes” because he learned to make them from a Swedish friend. They were loggers together in their youth, and loggers eat enormous breakfasts.

    Believe it or not, I was a cheerleader when I was in high school. I learned the rules of football, but I never learned to like being a sports spectator. I did watch this Super Bowl, though, since Seattle was playing.

    • Of course, you had to watch this year, Nicki. Makes sense to me. Actually I quite admire the cheerleaders. There is much more work behind the scene that we suspect. Gymnastic is hard and those girls are talented.
      As for the crepes I’m sure that your dad, doing the challenging job he did, had to make his crepes thicker than a traditional French crepe. Have you read Last Night in Twisted River from John Irving? A big part of the book is about the logging work up in New Hamsphire and Maine in the early 1950s and there is a cook preparing food for the loggers! Fabulous book that you would like if you haven’t already read it .

  6. I love crepes, sweet or savory 🙂
    I’m not a football fan, but since I am American, it’s part of the culture, so watching some of it is inevitable. We didn’t eat football food tho. We had salad, pasta and bread — if only we’d had crepes!

    • Like you I like all sorts of crepes, although the sweet ones are my favorites. I like it when you write that as an American you can only watch football. There are things that are so much part of our childhood that we can only feel part of them. I envy that in fact with a few American things which are stil foreign to me. You can always add crepes for the 2016 Super Bowl!

  7. cardamone5 says:

    Could you share your crepes recipe? I would love to try it.

    I know nothing about the Super Bowl other than that it is going on in the background while I laugh and talk with family and friends. I am sure football fans would disagree, but I think it is the gathering that appeals to most rather than the actual sport. And, the commercials, which were very sad this year. My husband thinks it is a reflection on the past year’s sadness.

    My family and I love the movie Groundhog Day. Classic. This year, at the real life event, the groundhog bit the mayor.

    Love,
    E

    • It’s funny that you mention the recipe, Elizabeth. Originally I had it on my post but it felt too long and I deleted the recipe. I promise I will post it! I’m sure that many Americans are like you: the Super Bowl is an occasion to meet with friends and family and have a good time. I didn’t watch so I don’t know about the adds. I should check them, considering your comment. Isn’t Groundhog Day a great movie? I also had no idea that the groundhog bit the mayor. So much is happening that I don’t know!!!!

  8. Prévues seulement ce WE, les crêpes, avec les confitures maison ( abricot, griotte, quetsche, framboise ou encore châtaignes…), je n’ai pas eu le temps pour la Chandeleur…Mais on les mange toute l’année, bien sûr ! Je note ta recette pour tester !

    • Tu me fais trop envie avec tes confitures! ici on a Bonne Maman mais pas avec tous ces fruits. Aux châtaignes, tu me fais mal! Je suis en manque de châtaignes depuis que je suis partie de France. Comme plusieurs de mes lecteurs américains m’ont demandé ma recette, je vais la poster un de ces jours. La feuille de papier est bien vieillie! A plus tard sur ton blog, Simone.

  9. I don’t have a clue about american football either. The superbowl was on a cable channel I think, but everybody here was talking about chelsea-man city, you know, soccer!
    We do have pancake day, and I usually make both pancakes and crepes.

    • You got the cricket, which is quite something too, right? Soccer is big with kids here, but not really after. I like pancakes too, but crepes remain my little corner of France. See you, Pomdepin.

  10. Sisyphus47 says:

    Je suis ébahi! Vous ne fêtez pas le 14 Février aux USA?! 😉

    • Oh si! Et en grand! C’est moi qui ne fête pas. Je vous en dirai plus vers le 14!!!
      Je fête mais avec des événements différents de la Saint Valentin traditionelle. A plus sur votre blog.

  11. Hi Evelyne, I noticed that your posts are not loading into my Reader so I un-followed and re-followed to reset and hopefully they’ll start populating again. Fun game football if you watch at home, went to a Cowboys game once and was bored out of my mind – a lot of lag time between plays. A bunch of grown men throwing, catching, running, jumping and rolling around on the ground after a pig-skinned ball! There you have it – everyone chases one thing, a ball ~ more about the eats.

    • I hope you are receiving my posts on a regular basis, Mary. Things like that can happen.
      Football is strange to me, probably because of my total ignorance of the rules but also because I find it rather static in comparison to soccer. Again, probably a cultural thing, since soccer that we can football in France is so big there. See you on your beautiful blog.

  12. You’ve just opened my eyes about the perfect combination of crepes and groundhog!

    • Isn’t it interesting that different countries pick a total different way to celebrate the day that falls halway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox? Personally I prefer the crepes to the groundhog, but the shadow thing is quite intriguing too. Thank you for visiting me, Lily.

  13. I LOVE that combination though! And being back in Boston, I’m seriously craving some Breton crepes right now..

  14. Ah the crepes from Brittany are the best. I agree with you, Reyyan. They are as good with the two different flours they use, for salty or sweet crepes. Now you’ve made me really homesick!!! See you.

  15. I’d rather eat crepes than watch groundhogs any day! (As for the Super Bowl, we actually used to host parties. Now, I think we wait to see if we’re invited to any!)

    • Crepes are fun because you can really have them with different accompaniments. Also I’ve never a chid who doesn’t like them, so it’s easy when you host kids. I’m with you about Super Bowl! Having guests is fun. Being invited is more relaxing. See you, Jennifer.

  16. I’m sure your crepes are tastier and a better predictor of when spring will come than poor Phil, the groundhog. As for football, I was born here, but it took me a VERY long time to understand what was going on and care one way or the other. This particular superbowl was an excellent game. Far better than most games and much more interesting. I completely understand where it might not grab you.

    It only very recently (finally) grabbed me … and soccer (football non-USA) has never been able to hold my interest at all. But I have only recently started to understand what sports (including football) are really about … I’ve been thinking about this a lot and am planning to write about it. It took me my whole life to “get it.” I totally LOVE crepes. I used to make pretty good ones myself. I bet yours are better!

    • My mother’s recipe is very simple and the trick is really to make sure that the batter is smooth and the pan at the good temperature. Then it’s a piece of cake. As for sports I’ve always preferred playing than watching, so I guess one of the reasons I don’t really get into them is that I feel a little too static when I sit on the bleachers or a sofa. Soccer of course is easier for me because it has always been part of the European culture. See you, Marilyn.

  17. Oh you know how much I relate to this post Evelyne! My ex played American Football in high school and over here in the UK when we lived here in the 80s. I watched the Superbowl with him, but I don’t think he ever forgave me for our wedding anniversary falling on 30th Jan 🙂 But, like you, I still don’t understand the game and never will! Must be something you have to grow up with to really ‘get’. I never felt truly ‘American’ because I just couldn’t understand the whole thing with football and baseball. Valentine’s Day is very different here too, growing up it was purely a romantic thing. I learnt how things were done over there when my kids were at school,spending many a year helping them write out all those little Valentine’s card 🙂 And as for crepes, yes, we make our British crepe-like pancakes every Shrove Tuesday, it’s the 17th February this year, tied up with Ash Wednesday. And Groundog Day…something else I knew nothing about until I moved there. Thank you for bringing back so many fun, shared memories of my years living in California when my children were small 🙂

    • I agree that it takes time for a foreigner to adopt different cultural traditions and adapt to them. Some are harder and perhaps almost impossible to grasp. I’m glad we can relate on such topics. Valentine’s Day is a bit different too from the French romantic celebration. I’ll write about it later… Now I’m curious about Shrove Tuesday. I expect you to post something about it, right? See you, Sherri.

      • Looking forward to your Valentine’s post Evelyne, and now that you ask, I will have a think about a Shrove Tuesday post too!

  18. Well Evelyne we don’t do American football over here – it’s soccer of course and rugby which, it’s often said, is American football but without all the padding! But I’m not interested in either, personally – the only sport I really like to watch is ice skating 🙂 And like Sherri, we’ll be having pancakes on Shrove Tuesday – the only time of year we really tend to eat them.

  19. We have also rugby in France, but it’s still different from the American football, although I agree closer than it is to soccer. Above I wrote that I prefer playing sports than watching them. Ice skating would be the exception. Sherri and you have to tell me about Shrove Tuesday! Is it like Mardi Gras?

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