by Jonathan Foster
Several years ago, back when my family lived in Ethiopia, we were asked to host a Swiss YWAM (Youth With A Mission) team for two weeks. There were fifteen people on this team and they did various jobs on our helicopter base; we needed to prepare supper for this hungry team every night.
Our Swiss/German co-workers gave us a recipe for Omeletten to prepare for this large group. Omeletten are not omelettes. They are actually German pancakes, similar to a crêpe, and we had no experience making this type of food. The local grain mill provided freshly ground flour, we collected eggs from our hen house and the neighbor’s cow provided the milk.
I remember for supper that evening, we made two tall stacks of crêpes; there were close to 200 in total. We topped the crêpes with fresh slices of mango and strawberries, which were imported from the strawberry farm the hours away; a big treat for sure. My mother even saved the cream from the cow’s milk for three days so we could have whipped cream too.
We used this recipe many times after this event; it worked well to serve a big crowd. I remember once flying by helicopter to a very remote area in the south. My mother packed crêpes for us to share with another missionary family who lived there. This family didn’t get visitors very often as the roads washed out every rainy season. We had a great evening together, telling stories, playing games and eating crêpes. We used homemade soft cheese to fill our crêpes that evening, but I always prefer chocolate hazelnut spread when it’s available.
Now that we’ve moved back to the United States, we still prepare crêpes on a regular basis. Our ingredients are much easier to find now, especially the whipping cream. I will always remember my childhood years spent living in rural Ethiopia with the wild monkeys sitting in the acacia trees in the backyard and the grunting hippos splashing in the nearby lake. I also remember the joy and excitement when our missionary friends translated chronological Bible stories, and we literally flew the Word of God into remote tribal villages. I am privileged to have spent several years living in a different country, but I never thought I would learn so much about German cuisine while living in Africa.
2 and 2/3 cups white flour (400gm)
2 tsp salt
8 – 10 eggs
400 ml milk
Mix the all the ingredients well, use a wire whisk to remove as many lumps as possible. Adding the flour slowing will reduce the chances of lumps. Let the batter rest 30 minutes, then whisk again. The batter will be very runny, not thick like American pancakes (add more milk if needed). Use a non-stick frying pan and med-high temperature (this temp. may need to be adjusted as time progresses). Use a small amount of butter at the beginning if you don’t have a non-stick pan. Measure 1/3 cup of batter and pour into the frying pan. Pick up the pan quickly, rotating the pan so the batter covers the bottom of the surface. Having a small-medium size pan is best. Flip the crêpe when it starts to puff. Stack on a large plate in the oven while you cook more.
This post was written by Jesse Conrad