I have never been a fan of small talk. I find it fake and awkward to talk about the weather, celebrities, and changes in bus schedules (oops, I forgot, they don't exist here). I wish I had kept count of how many people here ask me the following questions during their informal interview of me: Where are you from? What are you doing here? Why Costa Rica? Do you like it here? (If I didn't it would be hard to say no to such a charming question). The thing is, this "interview" used to bother me a little. But then I came across a ton of people who didn't ask me all about myself. Had I started to blend in enough or did they just not care? I decided the interview was OK.
The thing is, I've become awfully good at small talk. I talk about how much it has rained lately with Gustavo's aunts, I talk about the tremors and earthquakes with overly friendly taxi drivers, I chat up a storm about current events (which I'm not aware of due to forgetting to watch the news) with classmates, and I've even become the Curves instructors' personal psychologist. That's right, being a psych student is hard work. People use you as their free therapist. I'm now currently up to date on two heartbreak stories. And I would barely call my responses "small talk;" I can barely huff out answers as I diligently pump the machines and keep up with the aerobics.
So here's my small talk tidbit of the day: I'm procrastinating on working on my thesis by writing this blog post. I made the bruschetta-filled crêpes yesterday and it gave me the perfect excuse to share my best crêpe recipe that I've been wanting to post for a while!
Basic french crêpe recipe
This is my staple crêpe recipe; I use it with both sweet and savory fillings. If I'm making the crêpes for dessert, I usually add the optional vanilla. I like my crêpes to be thin and light golden.
Makes about twelve 10-inch crêpes, or more smaller ones
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups whole milk
2 TBSP butter (melted and cooled to room temperature)
Pinch of salt
A few drops of vanilla extract (optional)
Vegetable oil for the pan
Sift the flour and mix with a pinch of salt in a medium-large mixing bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the eggs. Mix well. Slowly pour in the milk while stirring batter until small bubbles form on the surface. Stir in the melted butter (and vanilla extract if using).
The batter does not need to stand; it's actually better to not let it stand, it makes thinner crêpes. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Pour a little vegetable oil in your nonstick skillet and spread all over the pan with a paper towel. I generally find if I grease the pan well the first time, I don't need to do it again. However, if you feel like the pan is not well-enough greased, grease as needed between crêpes.
Pour a few tablespoons of batter onto the pan and swirl around by quickly tilting the skillet and covering the entire surface with a thin layer. Let cook for about a minute or until golden on the bottom side. Flip with your fingers or a spatula (this is not hard if the crêpe is cooked on the bottom side). Cook on the second side for a little less, until golden.
Stack crêpes on a plate to keep their warmth.
Serves 2 for a light lunch, double or triple for more servings.
½ TBSP (1 ½ tsp) extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large tomato, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
A few tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese, crumbled
Heat the olive oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped tomato; sauté until cooked down just a little, a few minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Then add the fresh basil and crumbled feta.
Crêpe filling II: spanikopita
From Smitten Kitchen Blog
1 TBSP unsalted butter
½ cup sliced green onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb fresh spinach, stemmed
¾ lb feta, crumbled
1 TBSP lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat. Add green onions and garlic and sauté for a minute, then cook spinach, stirring, until wilted and tender, about 4 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the spinach.
Remove from heat and cool, about 10 minutes. Wring out as much excess liquid as possible by pressing in a colander or squeezing with a towel. Coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl and stir in feta and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Crêpe filling III: sweet
Filling ideas (Choose a base and toppings, or one or more of the following):
⁃ Your favorite preserves
⁃ Caramel apple filling
⁃ Fruit salad
⁃ Chopped nuts
⁃ Peanut butter
⁃ Almond butter
⁃ Top with powdered sugar