Mornings have changed so much over the years. The one constant that I can remember from when I was little to today is the smell of coffee.
My mom has never been a morning person, but whatever time her morning is, there has to be coffee before all else. I have vague memories of shuffling down the stairs in my footie pajamas to a warm kitchen and the smell of coffee brewing. In college, we had a little drip coffee maker in our kitchen in Montreal. Nights were later and so were mornings especially in the cold, dark Montreal mornings of winter. When my daughter was first born, mornings began at 4 a.m. and coffee was made as soon as this little human that we were all of a sudden in charge of raising allowed. Several years later, along came her brother and regular morning strolls to the local coffee shop allowed us to start of the day on a happy caffeinated note. Several years later, the children are sleeping past 4 a.m. and are pretty self-sufficient in the mornings. The hustle and bustle of elementary school and middle school mornings have replaced our strolls to the local coffee shop and 4 a.m. stumbles into the kitchen to make coffee, but we slow down and all come together whenever somebody says, “Mom can we have crêpes this morning?”
Crêpes seem complicated and maybe a bit fancy, but we cheat a little, which makes it possible to indulge even on a school morning. Crêpe batter is simple to make in a blender and only takes a few minutes. As for making the crêpes themselves, if you have the electric crêpe maker , like the one we have, you don’t actually need to have any crêpe making talent whatsoever.
Crêpe mornings bring us together and slow us down. There is a lot of passing of plates and sharing of toppings. We all have different jobs. While the batter is resting, letting the air bubbles settle, I can brew my precious cup of coffee. Isabelle, my 11 year old, makes her famous raspberry sauce and Henry, my 9 year old, is in charge of getting the vanilla sugar out in bowls to later be sprinkled over lemon juice. The first crêpe has the most bubbles and it goes to whoever is making the crêpes (usually me). After that, we start a stack and it becomes a game of trying to keep the production pace up with the eager little fingers peeling off their “blank slate” to fill with raspberry compote and whipped cream, or our favourite classic lemon juice and sugar.
Our favourite, is a classic lemon and sugar. I keep vanilla sugar in my pantry (it’s just a bin of sugar with a few vanilla pods thrown in) so we spoon a little of that in a bowl. The key for the sugar is to use cute little spoons so that the sugar is sprinkled on as opposed to piled onto the crêpe. Squeeze 1/2 a lemon for the lemon juice and put that in little bowls as well. Sometimes the kids share and other times everyone gets their own individual lemon and sugar set up.
What I love about crêpe mornings in addition to the slower pace and everyone coming together for a slightly more relaxed breakfast than the usual grab and go morning routine is setting out all the little dishes and spoons. I love to collect vintage dishes and buy new as well. Choosing just the right cup for the chocolate spread and just the right bowl for the lemon juice is a simple pleasure. The other day we used a vintage milk glass bowl for the lemon juice and a new acrylic spoon with a pretty floral pattern. Our sugar spoons are little pewter spoons my mom’s friend gave to me when I was about to go to college. These Wayfair spoons would be perfect for a spring crêpe morning. It doesn’t matter that they’re actually measuring spoons.
I love this little bowl for sugar too. The options are endless when it comes to setting the table. Even when the children were little I had them help pull out bowls or choose a favourite dish. Not making setting the table a chore, but rather just working together for a common goal. The common goal of gathering around the table to enjoy a meal together that we all worked on together.
You don’t have to make crêpes but finding a way, at least on occasion, to slow down your morning and gather all together at the table is definitely a dream worth making a reality. Of course, having a cup of coffee in hand, makes pulling it all together much more manageable.