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October 7, 2009

The Big Question: Golden Delicious edition

Filed under: Food,The Big Question — Miss Plumcake @ 12:00 pm

The other night, determined to make the most of our four rainy days of autumn –it’ll be back in the 90’s by the weekend– I decided to make crêpes.

Crêpes are my favorite lazy dinner. I’d been out late, inspecting a new market, after some unpleasantness in my OLD market when some balding but be-ponytailed guy (who may or may not have been the same dashiki-wearing bastard who spilled peach smoothie on my favorite Hermès scarf back in June of 2007) told me he could “sense a blockage of my sacral chakra“, and then offered to clear my blockage through –I swear– “Healing sensual touch”.

I know! Right there in front of God, the tangelos and everyone! I needed to find a new natural market.

“But Plummy, you live in Austin, home of Whole Foods. That’s like the promised land of organic, fair trade smuggery, why not just go there?” I hear you ask.  I smell what you’re stepping in, but Whole Foods creeps me out. Partially because I believe WF founder and fellow Austinite John Mackey to be a great big honking tool and partially because I am afraid of the Market of Babylon: The world’s biggest Whole Foods –complete with a rooftop ice-skating rink– in the middle of downtown Austin.

Funny story in no way related to the post:

One day while eating Ethiopian with a Boy I Rilly Rilly Liked who had a codependent relationship with the Whole Foods prepared meals section, I mentioned my Whole Foods Fear.  He asked me if it was because of the underground parking (a rarity in Texas because of our clay soil; we don’t have basements either.)

He said he  liked them because it reminded him of being in D.C. where he spent a year working for a congressman.

I said it wasn’t the parking that bothered me, growing up in D.C. meant underground parking was no novelty, and I actually like it too. What I meant to say is was “Yeah! It reminds me of being in All the President’s Men.”

What I actually said was:

“Yeah! It reminds me of being in Deep Throat!”


Anyhoodle, crêpes are one of my favorite lazy comfort foods because they’re dead easy and remind me of fall, and it’s one of those things you can make for other people so they’ll just marvel at your culinary genius.  I’ve been using Andre’s recipe for a year now which is the way his mother taught him.

a crêpe, ready to be flipped

Basic French Crêpes:

Beat 2 eggs, 3 tablespoons browned butter, a pinch of salt and a teacup of milk plus a splash of water or booze in a bowl.  Fill that same teacup with unbleached flour and sift over the liquid, mix, let sit an hour.

In a very hot crepe pan –mine is a 7″ cast iron job– pour about 1/3rd a teacup of batter, swirling the pan until a thin layer of batter covers the pan.  Remove from heat, let the edges get a bit dry looking and flip either using a spatula, turner or your fingers if you’re insane (I am).

At that point your crêpe is ready. I just usually brush it with a bit of liqueur and browned butter or  teensy drizzle of sweetened condensed milk (you can buy it in a squeeze bottle in Latin markets) then fold it into quarters and flip it onto a plate, but you can fill a crêpe with just about anything, sweet or savory.

Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:

What your favorite lazy fall comfort food? If it’s homemade, share the recipe.


What’s the most inappropriate thing someone’s ever said to you at the grocery store?


  1. When I pointed out to the fishmonger that he’d charged me twice the listed price for something, he invited me to “Keep my pants on, Lady”. Still causes me to wonder.

    Comment by Lise in NJ — October 7, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

  2. I feel your pain. I used to live in Tucson and I really miss Trader Joe’s. I find Whole Foods intimidating, plus it’s in Arlington, TX, which is 30 miles from where I live. I could go to Central Market, but that’s like going to Fantasyland.

    Comment by mdegraffen — October 7, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

  3. The first time I ever visited California I was about 19.
    Now, I was from a nice midwestern college town so CA was sort of this sparkly, slightly dangerous place I’d only read about or seen in movies.
    I had been in California **less than 24 hours** when a strange man in the market actually came up and told me he could get me into the movies.
    Being the nice midwestern girl, of course, I did not laugh in his face.
    But I wanted to.

    Comment by missm — October 7, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

  4. I’ve been making lazy microwave Apple Crisp – sliced up apples in a bowl, tossed with vanilla, and topped with a mixture of butter, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon.

    I also hate the downtown Whole Foods, as well as the WF up north (full of scary yuppies with death cars). I’m more of a Central Market fan, for my foofy grocery needs. I’m kind of excited about Sprouts, actually!

    Comment by Sarah — October 7, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

  5. I live in Florida, where there is no fall (or winter or spring for that matter. It’s just hot and even more hot, until I can’t stand it and go to Italy for the summer, where it is just beautiful without being season-specific because we have to go all through the whole damn country to visit friends/relatives because god forbid you skip one… but I digress).
    My favorite comfort food is yogurt, berries when they are in season, and granola. Now while I was in said Italy, I discovered granola with hazelnuts and belgian chocolate- it is awesome and I filled a suitcase with them. They are made by Kelloggs, but not in the US, which is totally unfair-they already have awesome food everywhere in Europe, why do they get totally awesome granola too but not us?
    just damn unfair, I say.
    As to part 2, a man once offered to squeeze my melons.

    Comment by klee — October 7, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

  6. I made crepes last night too! We ate them with basically the filling for a chicken pot pie: chicken, lots of veggies, and a white sauce/gravy. Like pot pie but healthier. We also had them with bananas and nuttella. Dessert on a weeknight is out of the ordinary at our house, but we made an exception for the crepes.

    Comment by Sarah J — October 7, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

  7. My favorite fall recipe is easy, but requires a couple of ingredients I don’t usually keep on hand. It’s Giada De Laurentiis’ pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter sauce, hazelnuts and crumbled amaretti. I only want it about once a year; it just screams Fall.

    Comment by Sarah Fowler — October 7, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

  8. Hmm…my fave fall food is a good pot of chili. Myself, I am not from Texas, so I do put beans in mine – all the different kinds that I can get my hands on. There is no set recipe but mine includes: green pepper, onion, garlic, dark red kidney beans, light red kidney beans, black beans and navy beans, ground beef, chili powder, cumin, a couple whole cloves for a bit of zing, and I like to make mine with V-8 juice instead of straight up tomato juice.

    I feel very left out! I don’t have a good grocery store story! LOL!

    Comment by Babs — October 7, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

  9. I also do lazy crepes! I usually make some kind of fruit filling with whatever I have on hand. Saute the fruit with a small pat of butter until it reaches the desired tenderness, then sprinkle a little sugar over and add a dash of liqueur and simmer til syrupy.

    Another dead easy thing is hacked scrambled eggs. Again, with whatever I have on hand. Saute some onions/shallots/whatever until soft, then add 2-3 eggs beaten with a little milk and scramble. When almost cooked, add cheese. I like feta best, since it adds a nice sharpness. You can use whatever herbs/cured meats/veggies you like too.

    Comment by Sarah — October 7, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

  10. Skipping the grocery store weirdness, going straight to the fall comfort food. My favorite is what could be described not too gently as white trash risotto.

    What you do is get a can of Campbells Cream of Chicken Soup and prepare according to instructions on can (as in, add a can’s worth of milk) and get it as close as you can to boiling without scalding the milk (if you use milk, I think it’s plenty tasty if you use water instead). Then add in 1.5-2 cups of Minute Rice (or your preferred brand of instant rice) depending on whether you want it soupier or more firm. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for ten minutes. The instant rice soaks up most of the liquid from the soup.

    Creamy, salty, starchy, warm…. Mmmmm. Only thing is, you really want to eat as much as you make in the one sitting, as it doesn’t keep well. I believe the applicable word is congeals. But when it’s “fresh”… ahhhh

    Comment by Sara Darling — October 7, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

  11. I saute onion and garlic, then add a cooked (usually microwaved) potato sprinkling the whole thing with herb d’ provence. Then add beaten eggs and cook until the eggs set up. Yum. Sometimes I add a sharp cheese.

    I like farmer’s markets– there’s always fresh apple cider, or someone painting henna tattoos. The atmosphere is more fun than whole foods/ trader joes/ PCC!

    Comment by zanthine — October 7, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

  12. My fall lazy day comfort food is Campbell’s Vegetable Soup (the alphabet soup) and peanut butter on saltines. You did say LAZY.

    My inappropriate moments do not involve grocery stores so I’ll skip that question.

    Comment by dcsurfergirl — October 7, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

  13. I love crepes as a comfort food – with a squeeze of lemon and some sugar.

    Alternately, mashed potatoes with fresh parmesan and cracked black pepper.

    Comment by A Random Claire — October 7, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

  14. YUUUUUUUUUUUM crepes.

    I don’t have a grocery store story, but there was a guy at the West Hollywood farmer’s market who used to specialize in melons, it’s fair to say that he was obsessed with mine, and I used to get the best deals on wonderful things like Isreali melons. My Homey was so torn; he was roiling with jealousy but he’s also cheap and loves to pinch pennies, so he struggled with choosing between moral dudgeon at having his wife ogled or paying at least 30 percent more himself than if he let me go buy the melons.

    Comment by Lisa — October 7, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

  15. The winter squash are getting ripe, so fall means butternuts! Roasted butternut with red onion, butternut soup, mashed butternut, butternut pie!

    Comment by Rayne of Terror — October 7, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

  16. “Watching you handle those bananas makes me feel. . . lewd.”

    Comment by Anon — October 7, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

  17. Oooh, I have a lot… Spaghetti in your favourite salad dressing (peanut sauce for me), my mom’s pancakes (five ingredients, hardly any waiting!), Kraft Dinner, Hungarian goulash (not as lazy, but very comforting), and tea.

    As for impropriety while shopping for food? There was an incident years ago that I don’t quite remember involving a friend, but more recently that I can remember involved shopping with a friend and lewd comments about cucumbers.

    Comment by Jelly — October 7, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

  18. I love soups and stews when the weather turns cold. Toss everything in the pot, set it to simmer, check once in a while to make sure there’s still plenty of liquid, and you’ve got dinner…and lunch…and maybe another lunch or dinner.

    Jelly, your comment about the grocery store is making me think of Animal House: “Are you sure you want to show me your cucumber?”

    Comment by Twistie — October 7, 2009 @ 8:41 pm

  19. Grilled cheese sandwiches – made with white or sourdough bread buttered and sprinkle a little garlic salt on it. And American cheese of course.

    Add some form of soup and I’m good to go.

    Comment by jen209 — October 7, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

  20. Plumcake, what did the boy say after the Deep Throat remark? Did you get anywhere with him?

    A “gentleman” in the grocery store did offer to host a barbecue at which we could grill hot dogs. I do not know if he meant a double-entendre by it, but I declined. (If it had been steak, or maybe swordfish, well…)

    Comment by Jane — October 7, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

  21. homemade mac and cheese made with whatever pasta I have and a sauce made with extra sharp cheddar cheese. Aaaaaahhhhhh I can feel my arteries clogging as I think about it.

    and having worked at a natural food store for three years, the inappropriate moments are endless … one favorite – the time I caught a guy stealing by stuffing an ENTIRE RAW CHICKEN down the front of his pants.

    I really hope you kicked that loser in his sacral chakra.

    Comment by monkeyparts — October 8, 2009 @ 12:49 am

  22. Pasta. Hot, buttered pasta with parmesan. The green can stuff (shaky cheese) will do in a pinch. I know it’s not parmesan. But it has its place. As does the real thing.

    Once long ago, I dated a chef. Sunday mornings he’d take the leftover rice, add it to sauteed garlic and fry. He’d do eggs to your liking (two, over medium), then serve them over the rice with a good helping of pickled jalapenos and the sauce from their jar. He said it was Phillippine eggs, or something. Heaven.

    Comfort food to me now is almost anything my kids won’t eat.

    Comment by slownews — October 8, 2009 @ 10:57 am

  23. My favorite lazy day chicken stew/soup:

    Boil about 8 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on) until they are done

    Take out the chicken thighs and let cool. In the chicken water, add a couple of cans of diced Italian seasoned tomatoes, a small can of chopped jalapenos, a small can of fire roasted chopped green chilis, two drained cans of hominy, and a teaspoon of Thai chili paste – bring to a boil

    Shred the chicken, and add it to the pot. Let simmer until you can’t stand it any longer and dive in! I serve it with cheese on top, sometimes shredded lettuce as well if I remember.

    I used to live across the street from a seedy grocery store in Kansas City called Apple Market. I had to go in and get like one ingredient that I had forgotten – and I was searching for it when a guy slapped me on the butt, then as he was groping my posterier, asked me if that was for sale too!

    Comment by HurricaneDeck — October 8, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

  24. Jane, that was our formerly beloved Pongo and BOY is there a story behind why he’s formerly beloved. He understood what I meant and said he was fairly sure I wasn’t doing 1970’s skin flicks.

    Comment by Plumcake — October 8, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

  25. Peas and/or board beans with cottage cheese and black pepper. Maybe a lick of sweet chilli sauce, too.

    We had an inadvertent inappropriate remark at the bookstore today, when this jetlagged lady wanted to ask my colleague if we had Sarah Dunant’s book, The Birth of Venus. She said, “Do you have that…Blood of penis?”

    Comment by Margo — October 8, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

  26. Two words. Beef Stew.

    Peel and chop an onion. Coat the bottom of your large stew pot with olive oil and turn your stove to high. Drop in the onion, let it go for a little bit and add 2 cloves of chopped garlic or one heaping spoonful of the minced jar.

    Drop in 1-1.5 lbs of stew beef and brown them.

    Once the meat has browned, add two cans of crushed tomatoes with basil. Add whatever spices strike your fancy that day. I usually add a bay leaf, some oregano, and some rosemary.

    Add veggies. I tend to go with carrots, parsnips, and turnips. Potatoes work. Radishes work if you want to be fancy, plus they’re really pretty.

    Let cook until everything is acquainted and the vegetable that was hardest going in is fork tender.


    Add bell peppers in with the onions and garlic.

    Mushrooms of all kinds sauteed with the onions. To make the beef taste extra beefy sweat the onions, garlic and mushrooms until the mushrooms have given up all their liquid and then turn up the heat and cook the beef in that.

    Add in a pound or two of spinach chopped or a chopped head of cabbage.

    Switch out the beef and do chicken thighs with bell peppers instead for chicken cacciatore. Serve with spaghetti.

    Switch out the beef for veal or lamb to dress it up a bit and stretch a more expensive meat.

    Skip the meat entirely in favor of squash, eggplant, or some other large veggie chopped in chunks with beans. This is my secret weapon for having a mixed group of vegetarians, vegans and omnivores over and happy. The omnivores will not notice the lack of meat as long as there’s one vegetable cut into large chunks. The chunks replace meat texturally

    Comment by Sara A. — October 12, 2009 @ 6:17 pm

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