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Crepes with the University of Maine Augusta French Club

Friday November 15, 2013 | 09:47 AM

Posted by Juliana L'Heureux

A crepe fundraiser was a delicious success at University of Maine Augusta!

A group of hungry students, joined faculty and a few Maine Franco-American community members to support the UMA French Club’s "Crepe Night", on November 14th, in Jewett Hall.

Along with crepes, they viewed an educational film titled, “Intimites Francophones”. 

Guests included two UMA French students: Caroline Fauvel, 28, from Normandy and Lisa Blanchard, 19, from Bretagne, France.

French students with Andre Breault French Club President UMA

Two UMA students from France (left) Lisa Blanchard and Caroline Fauvel with French    Club President Andre Breault

Students enjoyed the opportunity to converse in French while observing the preparation of delightfully prepared crepes. Chelsea Ray, the UMA French professor, provided her personal crepe cooking machine to the preparation table. (I’ve never seen an electric crepe maker, but it certainly worked well on a buffet table). Anne Young, secretary of the UMA French Club and Peggy Breault created the deliciously thin crepes while the prospective diners watched. Hungry participants were invited to create either a main course or dessert crepes, depending on their selection of assorted fillings. At a reasonable cost of two crepes for $5, most diners opted for one of each.

Anne Young and Peggy Breault at UMA crepe chefs

Crepe chefs (left) Anne Young, French Club secretary from Hallowell and Peggy Breault, from China, ME at UMA

Included in the fillings were main course offerings like thinly sliced “saumon, ou jambon et fromage swisse” (salmon, or ham and Swiss cheese); or “fruit frais” (fresh fruit) offerings featured “des fraises et des bananas” (strawberries and bananas). Of course, some crepe purists prefer them simply served with “sirop d'érable et crème fraîche” (maple syrup and fresh cream).

“These social and educational gatherings help demonstrate how enthusiastically our supporters value French at UMA,” said Ray.

French club crepe night at UMA

Crepe Night fund raiser dinner guests included (left seated) Peg Tapley, Christine Arbour, Rolande Giguere, Margot Stiassni Sieracki (standing) Jueanne Fournier Hedrick, Shirley Duplesis, Pat Theriault (seated right) Christian Sieracki, Blackie Bechard, Chelsea Ray and Lance Tapley

In fact, the crepe fund raiser was so enjoyable that it make me wonder why the idea isn’t more widespread, especially at Franco-American festivals.

Crepes are a family favorite in our house. My mother in law, Rose Morin L’Heureux, was an expert at creating nearly miraculously thin crepes. It’s been difficult to compete with her excellent legacy as a maternal crepe chef. Crepe cookery is so popular in my husband’s family that we even enjoyed eating them while visiting Singapore, with our nephew Marc L’Heureux, who lives and works there. Every weekend, he and his family enjoy the cultural tradition of eating home made crepes for breakfast.

  Preparing crepes isn’t difficult, but the thinner they are, the more people will share “ohh-lala!”, about the outcome.There’re only 6 common ingredients in a basic crepe batter. Here’s a simple recipe including a video from www.allrecipes.com:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs

½ cup milk

½ cup water

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted

(Some people like to add some sugar, to taste, to their crepe batter)

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Basic-Crepes/?evt19=1&prop24=hn_slide2_Basic-Crepes

Preparation:  Whisk together the flour and the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter, beat until very smooth. Pour or scoop the thin batter onto a pre-heated griddle or crepe pan, using approximately ¼ cup for each crepe. Tilt the crepe pan with a circular motion so the batter coats the surface evenly. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes until the bottom is just lightly brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. 

Crepes can be kept warm for up to one hour by wrapping them in a warm towel or putting them in an oven set on very low heat. 

Franco-Americans: Cultural Identity in Context, new course at UMA:

During the Crepe Night, the students promoted a new course starting in the spring 2014 (beginning in January) titled “Franco-Americans: Cultural Identity in Context”, taught by Chelsea Ray. This course will teach the history and culture of Franco-Americans in New England. The program includes visits from members of the Franco-American community, who will share their work and memoirs about their cultural background and identity.

Contact Chelsea.d.ray@maine.edu or call 621-3487 for information. Students do not need any background in French to take this course.