Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Change in the Menu...

At the Orange Moon Cafe*, one of the staples of the menu for holidays and special occasions (Father's Day, birthdays, graduations -- the only holiday not included is Mother's Day) is crepes. These crepes are filled with either chocolate ganache and whipped cream, or strawberries in a fruit sauce and whipped cream, then topped with more whipped cream. The "chef" has used the same crepe recipe for as long as could be remembered. I found the recipe in my mother's old Betty Crocker Cookbook when I first started making the crepes. I have used that recipe for so long it is one of the few I have committed to memory. The reason crepes are not on the menu for Mother's Day is primarily because the "chef" is the Mom and she shouldn't have to stand and make, what usually amounts to 12-15 crepes on Mother's Day. Another reason is because the chef "Je n'aime pas les crêpes, " she doesn't like crepes. But my family loves them. It is a ritual of our house.

A sweet crêpe.Image via Wikipedia

With Father's Day approaching, we all knew it would be another opportunity for us to have crepes together. My husband (who cooks far better than I ever hoped to - in fact my girls cook far better than I do as well), was looking in the "America's Test Kitchen Cookbook**". Curious, I looked up the recipe for crepes and it was quite different from the one I had been using for centuries. Melted butter instead of oil. Water instead of the greater amount of milk. Salt -- curious addition. I decided, since my husband is always taking a perfect recipe and trying to raise it to another level of perfection (my attitude is usually to leave perfection alone -- why mess up something that is wonderful?), I decided I would try this new recipe on Father's Day. After all, since Father's Day was his special day, he wouldn't be too upset if the crepes weren't as good if I was trying to perfect the recipe as he always does.

I made the batter exactly as the recipe stated. Well, not exactly. Since I knew my crepes would be filled with sweet ingredients, I went ahead and added the little bit of vanilla and sugar I thought they needed. The batter was thicker than I usually come up with. I was skeptical that this would create that thin crepe I wanted.

I poured the first crepe into the pan and at first it didn't seem to do well. I know you often hear that you have to throw out the first crepe, but I have learned that if you know your pan (and my crepe pan is only used for crepes, nothing else) and you know your heat source, you can produce a good crepe the first time. But as it cooked, I noticed the edges had a crispiness my old crepes had not attained consistently. Crepe after crepe came out thin and crispy. I was very pleased. My husband was very pleased. My oldest daughter was very pleased. My youngest daughter was not.

"I like the other ones better, " she lamented. Like her mother, she does not like change unless she implements it. She is a person who loves ritual, tradition and history. These were not the crepes of her history, not the crepes of her past traditions. I could have guessed this would have been her response.

Personally, I have to take their word about the taste and texture of the crepes, having not eaten one (I ate oatmeal), I don't know what they were like apart from the cooking of them. I do know they looked beautiful, they were a pleasure to cook and they had a perfect consistency.

So by now you may be wondering just how I am going to tie this story about crepes into some spiritual train of thought. Often times we have perceptions or thoughts, primarily about the Scriptures, but sometimes about the Lord Himself, that are more tradition than truth. For example, many people believe that "The Lord helps those who help themselves" is actually in the Bible, but search the Scriptures and you won't find it there. Sometimes, we even believe things about specific verses that upon closer examination, we realize just wasn't true. Were the wise men really at the manger? The Scripture says the wise men came to "the house" were they were and saw "the young child".

I thought my crepe recipe was how it was to be forever. My understanding of crepes was perfect. Until I saw what I knew to be a higher authority than myself (the America's Test Kitchen Cookbook) and knew that I could be taught more, if I would only lose my pre-conceived notions and look with fresh eyes at my crepes.

By the same token, before we open the pages of the Scriptures, we should ask the Lord to enlighten any areas of darkness in our understanding, any preconceived notions or traditions that are wrong or contrary to the truth of His Word. We should ask Him to create in us an open heart to be corrected and taught by His Spirit and by the leadership of other believers to the truth contained in Scriptures.

"Teach me thy way, O LORD,
and lead me in a plain path,
because of mine enemies."
Psalm 27:11


*If you are not familiar with the Orange Moon Cafe, the website through which our Powder Room operates, please visit us there:

**America's Test Kitchen has wonderful recipes. If you are a fan of apple pie, and you have a day to kill, look up their recipe online. (If you want apple pie in an hour, you should just buy a Mrs. Smith's pie, but if you want the absolutely perfect pie, look this one up) This pie is incredible. The crust is perfect and the apples inside are the most wonderful flavor and consistency. We enjoy baking it together and then sitting down and eating it together with some vanilla ice cream.

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