After spending lots of home-time with the Soriots, the girls and I finally made a trip out to the city to explore. Along with the beautiful red buildings, my favorite things about the city were the myth-inspired statues all over the place. (Penelope (my favorite) and a centaur are shown here). We wandered, we took photos by the river, and we enjoyed the afternoon in a cute little city. Montauban is a lovely place to spend an afternoon.
Along with welcoming me into her home, Therese taught me how to make crêpes! She seemed to have the recipe memorized since their family eats them pretty often (wouldn't you?). Of all the things I'd dreamed of doing in France, learning to make crêpes from a French woman was at the top of my list. I can hardly believe I was lucky enough for this opportunity and I can't wait to try these at home.
crêpes à la therese
Note: This recipe was for 8 people, each eating about 3-4 crepes. In most cases, you'll want to split the recipe in half... but I won't judge you if you don't.
500 grams (~ 4 1/2 cups) flour
pinch of salt
one tablespoon of oil
1-2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 liter (~2 cups) beer
1 liter (~4 1/4 cups) milk
Mix the flour, eggs, salt, oil, sugar and beer together. Once combined, add milk and mix for about two minutes. Place a greased pan onto the stove at high heat. Ladle the mixture onto the pan and let the batter smooth over so that the entire surface is covered. Use a crêpe or an offset spatula to partially lift and check the bottom of the crêpe as it's cooking. Once the edges begin to brown, flip the crêpe (try to stick the spatula underneath the middle when you flip it). Let it cook for another minute, or until the bottom is golden brown. Add more oil or butter before making each crêpe. Stack crêpes together on a plate to keep warm.
Serve with whatever your heart desires. (I'm sure it'll be delicious).
It was pretty clear that Therese was a crêpe expert, so she and Ty cooked the crêpes with two pans to cut the cooking time in half. In case you're feeling adventurous, here's how to cook crêpes at double-speed.
1. Use two stove burners- the first at high heat and the second at medium-high heat. Place greased pans on each burner.
2. Add batter to the first pan at high heat.
3. Allow the bottom to cook.
4. Flip the crêpe.
5. With one hand on each pan, return the first pan to the second burner at medium-high heat, then take the now-hot second pan and ladle batter in. Place on the high-heat burner.
6. While the new crêpe is still cooking, take the first (finished) crêpe off the pan and begin stacking the crêpes on a plate.
7. Repeat until you have no more batter left.
Somehow, everything seems to work out. It may not be the way you planned, but sometimes what happens is even better than what you planned.
Before coming to Coly, I was told that I'd have my own room in my au-pairing-family's house. Imagine my surprise when I found out that not only was I sharing a room, but I was living in the back of the hotel with the rest of "the staff."
This turned out to be the best part about being in Coly. My roommate, Oanh, was one of the nicest people I met in Coly. We'd stay up nibbling on chips, take walks during our time off, and even took a day trip to Terrasson.
Rooming with Oanh became an even bigger blessing when I found out that I wasn't staying in Coly anymore, and that I had to leave before the end of June. With no where to go, Oanh asked her French host parents in Montauban if I could stay with them, and they graciously welcomed me into their home.
I still can't believe there are people like this. I wasn't surprised that I was being overworked as an au pair, but I was shocked that a family could be so sweet as to welcome an almost complete stranger into their home for several days solely on the recommendation of their host daughter.
These are some bits and pieces from life at home in Montauban. The family had a beautiful garden with their own fruit (including fresh tomatoes that we ate every day). They taught me how to play Rumi in French, we took walks at the local park, and they introduced me to vanilla fromage blanc (one of my favorite French desserts to date).
I can't even begin to express how grateful I am.