After the Storm: Crepes and Marie Antoinette
Over the last two days, we had power, but the two schools I am involved with did not. This means that my son and our exchange student spent two days at home with me. My son wanted to lie on the couch and do nothing. My exchange student wanted to make crepes and watch Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. So we made crepes. It was like being a participant in my friend Heather’s food blog where beautiful food is made by food geniuses. But I can’t give you a recipe; when I asked Pierre how much flour he used, he shrugged, and I am not Heather so I cannot translate shrugs into cups. Obviously you use only as much as you need.
To make crepes a la Pierre:
— Carefully pour lots of flour into a huge American bowl (after the owner of the bowl grabs it and washes the grime that has accumulated in it from months of no use)
— Separate a bunch of eggs.
— Mix egg yolks with huge amounts of butter and pour into a hole that you have made in the flour. Add splashes of milk; I can’t remember when, and some sugar — I have no idea how much.
— Slowly whisk flour and egg/butter stuff together. This is very hard work. (Do not complain and smile while your American hostess takes pictures of you).
— Right before serving, whip the egg whites and fold them into the flour mixture and then fuss with the pan (which is inadequate and not like what you have at home) for a very long time until it is the right heat and has just the right amount of butter.
— Make a ton of crepes for everyone but yourself. When everyone is stuffed, make some butter and sugar crepes and top with ice cream; these are for you.
Then turn on Marie Atoinette and admire Coppola’s techniques, the sophistication of the film’s mise-en-scene and use this term with accuracy, as it was once used in the famous Cahier de Cinema when the French New Wave sought to revolutionize movie making, when what mattered most was how you made a film, how you placed your actors and objects, how you captured movements, a moment, a look.