Here I am in Montreal, the first time I have been in a city with more than a century or so of history. A history in which the arts of battle I’ve spent years studying were actually practiced. True, rumours persist that in Victoria it is illegal to accompany a Lady after dark down Government Street without your sword, but here is different. Montreal has an actual sword history. There were battles and no doubt duels that happened in this area and perhaps on the very streets I now tread. I almost feel naked without a sword of my own. Sadly, however, despite being a pacifist by nature who would never draw a sword except in the most extreme cases of defence of myself or my honour I was not permitted to bring one. And I have to say, airport security was not very polite when I tried to explain it to them.
Still, here I am and I’m very excited to be. And naturally, being so near the site of battles where cannons blazed and cavalry rode with swords aloft, I’m going to be talking about the food. Being in a primarily french speaking place, much of the food is french inspired. As I am constantly on the search for the perfect baguette recipe, there was one Market Lunch in that involved a baguette, fresh cheese, veggies and berries. This is one of my favourite meals and this one had an extra special bonus because it was topped off with some of the best macarons I have had.
Macarons are big right now and there’s a lot of mysticism surrounding them. There’s various rituals that include “aging” your egg whites for three days, bringing them to room temperature before using and chanting magic spells. The truth is, though, most of the esoteric steps aren’t necessary. Admittedly though, the magic spells do seem to help a little.
There are a few methods of making them, and sometime soon we’ll be looking at doing a comparison. When last I made macarons I used the simplest and most basic of methods. While the results turned out fine I want to see if altering the recipe and adding a level of complexity improves the quality any.
Probably the thing I was most excited for though, was the ubiquity of crepes. I love crepes. I love making them especially. It’s dead easy too. This is a very simple and special recipe that comes to me from my grandmother.
1 1/3 Cup Flour
1 1/3 Cup Milk
6 Tbs Melted Butter (or Brown Butter if you’re feeling ambitious)
1/2 Tsp Salt
Using either a whisk or hand blender thoroughly mix the salt and wet ingredients, then slowly add in the flour, mixing vigorously all the while. Once the batter is smooth, heat a fry pan over medium high heat. Pour enough batter in the pan to cover the bottom. Cook until the bottom of the crepe is nicely golden then flip. A good measure of when the crepe is ready to turn over is that it will start to steam slightly. Same for when the second side is done. Fill your crepe with pretty much anything.