On weekends, like all downtown Toronto hipsters, I actively participate in the -ever so popular- brunch culture. Going out for breakfast during the lunching hours is a luxury that I truly enjoy. [Perhaps this is the result of several years of waking up too late to enjoy McDonald breakfasts.] However, on long weekends, I like to capitalize on the extra day off, stay in, and make brunch. Though this past weekend included Family Day [a holiday celebrated in most provinces], to us Manitobans, it’s better knows as Louis Riel Day; a day to celebrate one of the most controversial figures in Canadian history -politician + rebel + founder of Manitoba.
Louis Riel Day in Winnipeg falls during the Festival du Voyageur; an annual winter festival that celebrates our province and country’s unique French heritage. During these 10 days, amazingly detailed snow and ice sculptures decorate the city and people don their toques + ceinture fléchées [a bright coloured traditional French-Canadian wool sash] as heritage is celebrated through entrainment, traditions, food and art. Since I was missing out and wanting to keep things French in honour of LRD, to celebrate from 1 province over, I rallied up some fellow Winnipeg expats to prepare the most french brunch dish we could think of; crêpes!
C R E P E S | recipe from the book How to be Parisian Wherever You Are
[makes about 8 crêpes using a 12″ pan]
1tbsp vegetable oil
pinch of salt
sift flour into mixing bowl
make a well in the centre of the flour with your hand | add the eggs + water + oil + sugar + salt + water
mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon
add milk while stirring | continue to stir until batter is smooth
add beer | stir
cover batter with dishtowel | leave to rest for 1hr
grease a large sauté pan with an oil soaked paper towel | heat pan over med heat
with a ladle, pour enough batter into the pan so it spreads evenly | no thicker than a pin head or quarter
cook for about 2mins then flip
repeat until all the bater has been used
What’s brunch without cocktails?! Instead of the usual OJ mimosas, we spiced things up with freshly juiced honeydew.
M I M O S A
2 parts sparkling to 1 part fresh fruit juice of choice!
Like most meals I make, the preparation + cooking occupies way more time than the eating and the coordinating of when to make what is beyond overwhelming. Though there were 3 cooks in the kitchen for brunch, my friends Shereen + Morgan and me, the prep/cooking wasn’t any faster. In our defence, the crêpe batter did need that hour to sit and I kept interrupting to take pics. We joked that we would be eating brunch by dinner. Though these were the rants of 3 starved gals running on mimosas, at one point, we actually thought that we wouldn’t be eating until sundown.
Our L R D B R U N C H M E N U included the following:
SAVOURY CREPES | filled with grated smoked cheddar, tomato + cucumber + garlic + onion salsa, avocado, bacon, scrambled eggs, and Valentina hot sauce
HASH BROWN POTATOES
SWEET CREPES | filled with flambé bananas + strawberries, whipped cream, Nutella, and fresh mint
B A N A N A + S T R A W B E R R Y F L A M B E
3 large bananas
5-6 large strawberries
2tbsp brown sugar
juice of 1/2 lime
3-4tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
over med. heat melt butter
add brown sugar + bananas + strawberries | sauté for 2mins
remove fr heat | add Grand Marnier | ignite with a match
the alcohol should burn off + extinguish in a few seconds
add lime juice
instead of sweetening the whipped cream with sugar, we used honey
Contrary to our dramatic exaggerations, and though some dishes were warmer than others, we were eating by 1:30pm -a proper brunch time! I’d say, our LRD brunch was a success! Both crêpes were delicious and, hands down, a great way to change up the usual bacon + eggs.
Happy Louis Riel/Family Day!
hand cameos by Shereen + Morgan -TEAMWORK!