Eating German Crepes Made by a Canadian in South Texas ... and more!

Our Adventures in Good Eating
Part 2 in a series of 3
“A Few Culinary Surprises in South Texas”
by Meta Newell West

            We expected lots of BBQ, Mexican and regional food on our month long stay in south Texas and we found it, but we were also treated to home cooked meals by fellow condo dwellers in New Braunfels, TX.
            After a long drive, we were in the process of unpacking our car when a neighbor stopped with an invitation to a supper party. Joe and Dorine are long-time winter Texans, part of a group that spends a lot of time socializing in their home away from home. Dorine’s Minnesota-style homemade chicken soup was the best welcome ever and a fun way to reacquaint ourselves with many of the people we met last year during a week long stay in the area.
             That was just the beginning. Wednesday morning was coffee and doughnut time in the clubhouse. If and when it was warm enough (it was unseasonable cold in south Texas in January), we met at the pool in late afternoons for drinks. There were football gatherings, with snacks of course, Bloody Mary Sunday following breakfast tacos at Los Gallos, and a Minnesota-style ham and scalloped potato dinner at the Reynolds. People in the area just enjoy getting together, and food and drink are usually involved.
            Another interesting get-together was a crepe party hosted by a Canadian couple. Rudy made stacks and stacks of crepes that guests filled with all kinds of fresh fruit, nuts, whipped cream and maple syrup. But, the crowning glory was Sandy’s vanilla sauce, a perfect accompaniment to a fun brunch, and they even shared the recipe!

CREPES — GERMAN PANCAKES    Makes 10 crepes.
Although we usually think of crepes as a French culinary delight, the Germans also prepare a very thin pancake as well. That's fitting since these crepes were served in New Braunsfels, TX, a community founded by German settlers in 1845.
Recipe courtesy of Rudy Froese, Winnipeg, Canada.

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour    
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 ½ cups whole or 2% milk, divided use
½ teaspoon white vanilla

1.  Make a well in the flour and add salt, unbeaten eggs, and 1 cup milk.
2.  Beat with mixer or by hand until free from lumps. Add remainder of milk and vanilla, continue beating to make a very thin batter. Do not over beat, no foam.
3.  Let batter rest in refrigerator over night. This removes the air bubbles.
4.  Next day, before using, stir batter and add an additional ½ cup of milk, stir.
5.  Bake in heavy iron skillet—heating until it begins to smoke when butter is brushed on; pour approximately ⅓ cup of batter into hot skillet, tilt the skillet so a thin layer covers entire bottom of pan. Bake on medium heat until dough is set and starts to curl on the edge, then flip the crepe. The second side only takes 20 seconds to brown.
Rudy stacks crepes on a plate and stores any leftovers in the refrigerator. They also freeze well but you might one to separate them with sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap for easy separation.
Rudy's pan of choice for making evenly browned crepes — a Lodge brand 10 1/2" low-sided skillet.

Note: While French crepes use a combination of equal parts milk and water (sometimes mineral water), crepes made in other European countries often use all milk for the liquid.
VANILLA WHITE SAUCE FOR CREPES  Makes enough sauce for 8 people 
Serve this warm over crepes, pancakes, waffles or even bread pudding for a real treat.
Recipe courtesy of Sandy Froese, Winnipeg, Canada.

⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups whole or 2% milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1.  In a 1-quart glass bowl, stir sugar and cornstarch together.
2.  Gradually add enough of the milk to make a smooth paste.
3.  Stir in the remainder of the milk.
4.  Microwave, uncovered on medium high for 5 to 6 minutes until sauce is bubbly and thickened. Stir in butter and vanilla.
5.  Serve warm or chilled. When making big batches of this sauce for a crepe party, Sandy keeps the sauce warm in a slow cooker set on low.

EATING GERMAN CREPES MADE BY A CANADIAN IN SOUTH TEXAS—Sandy's delicious vanilla sauce oozes out of Rudy's fruit & nut filled crepe topped with whipped cream. 

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