Nothing beats pancakes when it comes to filling a big appetite that’s been sharpened by the great outdoors. And nothing travels more easily in Ziploc bags than a homemade pancake mix (or, even better, two or three…) for a kayak camping trip. The only thing you have to consider is to make the best of it nutritionally. Which is very easy too: just add powdered milk, powdered eggs, good quality oil, nuts, a bit of salami or cheese, dry fruit, or even peanut butter; voilà! You end up with a nutritious and complete meal in no time. Pancakes are perfect for a paddler who travels on longer expeditions because they are lightweight and versatile. Whether you have a sweet tooth, love brunches or prefer a robust dinner, there’s a crepe that’s perfect for you!
In Medieval Brittany, crepes, or galettes, were loaded with religious significance, such as purity. They were also considered a solar symbol because of their flat and round shape. With that symbol also came the obligation of making them with the wheat harvested the previous fall, which was supposed to bring good luck for the next crop. People loved to eat them stacked on their plate as another symbol of the abundance to come, especially at the end of winter. Many religious celebrations throughout Europe and the Christian world have been associated with crepes to this day. Not to mention that no lumber jack meal would be complete without either a stack of pancakes loaded with maple syrup or buckwheat pancakes laced with molasses.
Today, there are many types of crepes: American pancakes, buckwheat galette, very thin and large crepes (called crêpes bretonnes in France) from Brittany, Russian blinis (tiny crepes served with smoked fish, a dollop of sour cream and caviar), Mexican corn crepes; even the latke (made with grated potatoes) can be considered a relative of crepes.
For a classic salted pancake (makes 12 pancakes)
Once at the campground, mix thoroughly with one egg and 1 1 ? 4 cup of water. Add 2 tablespoons of canola or olive oil. The mixture should not be too runny.
To make a sweet version that’s perfect for dessert or breakfast, just cut the salt by half in the basic recipe and add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
For a classic salted crepe (thin version, from France, makes 12-15 pancakes)
When ready to cook the crepes, add one cup of water, 3 large eggs, 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil and mix well. The mixture should be very runny and the crepes will be very thin once cooked. To cook them, proceed as you would for the pancakes.
To cook the crepes or the pancakes: put the griddle (or the pan) over medium heat. The pan is hot enough when a few drops of water dance 2 to 3 seconds before evaporating. Then, pour a bit of the pancake recipe (a ladle) into the pan and turn it to cover the pan evenly (if it’s not a non-stick pan, add a bit of oil with a paper towel to prevent the pancake from sticking to the pan before pouring the mixture. Cook on one side until it is bubbling. Flip over and cook 3 more minutes over medium heat.
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