Family Holidays. Memories. Crêpes.

April 28, 2012
I’m feeling a touch nostalgic today, just letting you know up front… So maybe settle in with a cup of tea and indulge me a while. There are crêpes at the end of it all, I promise.



Recently I stumbled across some coconut palm sugar, which got me thinking about family holidays…true story. And more on that coconut palm sugar later. As soon as the eldest child in your family reaches the age of independence, the chances of everyone coming together for a getaway slim down quite dramatically. It gets harder and harder to gather the troops. I find that a little sad, as when I was younger there were few things I loved more than family holidays. And now that I’m all grown up, there are few memories more special to me.

I will forever cherish the memories of our yearly camping trips at Depot Beach with family friends. Days spent boogie boarding and keenly waiting for the “lolly man” to come around with his truck (when killer pythons and nerds reigned supreme). Showers cost twenty cents. We’d spend our nights playing spotlight and singing creative camp songs, often involving rude words which none of us fully understood. Occasionally we’d have fish and chips in town at Batemans Bay. Too many packets of instant noodles were consumed. And a few books were read. But mostly we ran and swam and played. Special times.

Memories of our holidays to Noosa in September are also very dear to me. The five of us (plus a friend or two) would road trip up to Queensland and rent a holiday apartment in Noosaville, just outside of Noosa. Those 2-3 weeks were complete and utter perfection, and were my absolute favourite time of year. Hours spent in the salty sea and reading books on our towels, burying my brother’s feet in the sand and devouring $1 Betty’s Burgers for lunch, frantically asking mum and dad for coins so we could purchase a snow cone from “Hey Bill! on the beach” before his little cart drove away (blue was my favourite flavour). We’d save then spend our birthday money on new board shorts or bathers from the surf shops on Hastings St (and feel incredibly cool afterwards), and delight in an afternoon Massimo’s Ice-cream before heading back to our little apartment in the evening to barbecue and swim in the pool. We’d get sandy and sun-kissed and I’d cry when it came time to leave.

I recall one Noosa holiday with my family…we were on our yearly pilgrimage to Eumundi Market where, surrounded by earthy creations and kooky characters, we’d wander the stalls, shielded from the harsh September sun by towering trees. After spending my pennies on some wooden nicknack I’d never use again, I stumbled across one culinary concoction that has forever stuck with me: Balinese crêpes with coconut and palm sugar. My ripe fifteen-year-old mind was completely blown. And I’ve been, well, a little obsessed with palm sugar ever since…

It’s taken me 11 years to recreate this heavenly dish, but the belatedness of my delicious deed was forgiven as soon as Ben and I took our first bites. And after the second and third bites, I was a little bit in love with myself. Just quietly.


I might never be able to go back to those beloved family holidays, but I’ll always have the beautiful memories…long drives, mintie wrappers, bad pub meals and brilliant barbecues, the sea, the sand, endless days and ice-cream cones.

Happiness.

Now I also have these crêpes. And that’s pretty wonderful too.

 


Crêpes with Toasted Coconut, Grilled Banana and Coconut, Palm Sugar Syrup

This recipe requires you make the crêpe batter 2 hours ahead of time (or overnight).

Serves 2-3. I made a half batch of Clotilde‘s crêpe recipe, which yielded 7 crêpes.

Ingredients

1/3 cup Coconut Palm Sugar – From Health Food Shops. You can use regular palm sugar with a handful of shredded coconut added if you wish. Or simply omit the coconut component all together.
1/4 cup water
1/2 Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped out
1/3 cup Shredded Coconut
Spray Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 bananas, peeled and cut lengthwise down the middle then cut into thirds.

Coconut Yoghurt or Vanilla Ice-Cream to serve.



Crêpes ala Clotilde (recipe link) – halve the recipe.

Method

1. Make your crêpe batter and put in the fridge as per instructions for 2 hours or overnight.
2. To make your coconut palm sugar syrup, place the sugar, water and vanilla seeds in a small pot and heat over low-medium heat until bubbling and the sugar dissolves. Cook for a few minutes until it reduces slightly and thickens. Turn off the heat and allow to cool, before pouring into a serving jug.
3. In a non-stick pan, toast your shredded coconut over low heat for a few minutes until very lightly toasty (not too golden). Place in a little cute bowl for serving.
4. Heat a non-stick pan over low heat, add some spray oil and add your banana pieces. Allow to caramelise, cooking for ~10 minutes. Turn them over half way through so both sides turn golden brown. Start cooking your crêpes while the banana is cooking.
5. Using a good crêpe pan (non-stick with a low rim), cook your crêpes using Clotilde’s brilliant instructions (follow them closely). Keep your cooked crêpes warm on a plate covered with foil (and do the same on a smaller plate with your cooked banana).
6. To serve, place one crêpe on your plate. Add a couple of banana pieces, scatter the toasted coconut and then drizzle with coconut palm sugar syrup. Roll the crêpe and serve with a dollop of coconut yoghurt (or ice-cream) and an extra cheeky drizzle of syrup if you’re keen. Repeat with remaining crêpes and goodies until you’re satisfied.

 





Heidi xo
  • Miss T April 28, 2012 at 7:54 am

    yum. nuff said.

  • Leah April 28, 2012 at 8:33 am

    COCONUT YOGHURT!!! I've never seen it. I have to try this with pancakes!

    Love this nostalgic post Heidi, thanks so much for sharing your treasured family memories xo

  • Michelle Chin April 28, 2012 at 9:38 am

    If you add some pandan flavoring to the crepes, they will resemble this:

    http://www.mykitchensnippets.com/2009/04/kuih-ketayapcrepes-with-coconut-filling.html

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    what a lovely reflection. thankyou for sharing xx

  • Kari April 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    What a beautiful story and set of memories. I have some fond crepe memories myself as I had one that blew my slightly older (mid-20's!) mind in Solvenia a few years back. The crepe was amazing and the scenery just as much. I've never tried to recreate it though!

  • KittyCate April 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    What a gorgeous post. I have similarly fond memories of family holidays and time spent together during my childhood. I love that we are all still so close (geographically as well as emotionally!) and can continue this tradition today – we have a family trip planned down the coast mid-year, can't wait!
    These pancakes look absolutely divine xx

  • Hannah April 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Oh, to think while you were having fish and chips at Batemans Bay, my family (brother, parents, grandparents) were likely doing the same in the sunshine at Merimbula, were we went every year at the end of January.

    Nerds and Warheads, two scoops of ice cream because it was allowed, sandwiches with my grandmother's brawn followed by endless games of Canasta and Five Hundred with the women while the men played pitch and putt…

    Thank you for bringing back my own gorgeous memories of family holidays. They do become so important to cherish, even as we build out own new "grown-up" and independent holiday memories.

    xoxo

  • The InTolerant Chef April 29, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Such lovely memories indeed! The tingle of sunburn on your shoulders, the rasp of sand in all your creases, hair made sticky from sea water….
    Love this recipe, coconut and palm sugar are sublime! Great job 🙂

  • Heidi April 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Miss T – hehe

    Leah – you're so welcome. LOVE that yoghurt, go get some!! Health food shops.

    Michelle – yes! have had those before, SO good, love that flavour. v sweet & rich though!

    Lisa – thank you 🙂

    Kari – oooh Slovenia, would love to go one day!

    Cate – thanks, lovely. So nice that you're still able to go on trips together. Gosh how fun! Have a ball 🙂

    Hannah – what a beautiful comment, thank you for sharing your memories too, lady. So much loveliness 🙂

    InTolerant Chef – oh thanks, lovely! I love salty skin & hair 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Lisa April 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Because we lived far away from our extended family, most holidays were spent being ferried around Sydney for endless relative visits so our actual holidays are such special memories. So many are similar to yours, there was always something special about holiday food wasn't there? Recipe looks lovely, expect that I think I will replace banana with apple. I still can't do the banana thing.

  • Nic@diningwithastud April 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Def my ideal crepe 🙂

  • Heidi April 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Lisa – that's ok, apple would be really yummy too, as would strawberries! v happy you had such lovely family holidays too 🙂

    Nic – me too 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • msihua April 30, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Oh what a lovely story… and funnily enough I've got similar holiday treasures (memories) that revolve around Banana Pancakes.. the best exist in Penang, and my mum has recreated it.. and now I have too! Yum!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    I adore crepes and recreating recipes from holidays past! 😀

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet May 1, 2012 at 12:53 am

    it's like you've read my mind 🙂 i've been craving for crepes lately hehe ~ thanks for sharing this story… I understand what you mean about family holidays and memories…recently I'm feel a little nostalgic too because my sister's in HK and i miss her so much…i miss going out with her as a kid and all the holidays we've gone on 😀 but like what you said…we will always have the memories and i'm sure you will be able to create new memories with your family ~

  • Heidi May 1, 2012 at 6:45 am

    msiahu – high five!!

    Lorraine – so much fun, isn't it? 🙂

    Daisy – oh, it's tough with family overseas! cheers to new memories 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Hannah May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Beautiful memories 🙂 I love that food is so much more than the nutrients it gives you! I'm a big fan of the coconut yoghurt, but have never added it to pancakes- great idea 🙂 Bought me some coconut flour the other day too, I'm excited (I think I'll make the macaroons!) x

  • Heidi May 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    oooh good! Have fun playing with the flour! Yes thanks for introducing me to that yoghurt, it's true love, I'm obsessed 🙂
    Heidi xo

  • Martyna@WholesomeCook May 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    How delightful are these crepes Heidi? Everything I love in one little parcel = haen't had coconut yoghurt yet, must try!

  • Heidi May 4, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Thanks!! & yes you must try, I think you'll like it 🙂 xo

  • Katie March 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Heidi,

    These look delicious. Out of curiosity what are your thought on Coconut Yogurt is it healthy for you or should Natural/Greek Yogurt still be the go too?

    • Heidi March 10, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks, Katie 🙂 I do love this recipe. For people who can tolerate dairy, hands down I’d go natural or greek yoghurt – a really good quality one with active cultures and very few ingredients (i.e. only milk, cream and cultures) x

      • Heidi March 10, 2015 at 4:55 pm

        ps it’s outrageously cheaper than coconut yoghurt, too 😉

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    […] One of my favourite blogs is Chocolate and Zucchini. Do you know the site I’m talking about? It’s written by Parisian food-writer Clotidle Dusoulier, and was one of the first food blogs on the scene. My mum introduced me to Clotidle’s books and recipes, which are wonderful (I recommend you check them out if you’re not already a fan). A couple of years ago I bought her French Market Cookbook for a friend and Clotilde’s crêpe recipe is my go-to, allowing me to make the most divine parcels. […]