The Europe Post

Crepes with Creme Chantilly
Cousin Becky's advice to me regarding French pronunciation: "Say the word like you have marbles in your mouth." Open mouth. Insert marbles. Say it: "crepps," "crem," and "shontee-YAY." See? The marbles work. Crepes 2 beaten eggs 1 1/2 c. milk 1 c. flour 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil 2 Tbsp. sugar
Combine eggs, milk, flour, oil, and sugar; beat until well mixed. Lightly grease a small (6-inch) skillet, remove from heat. Spoon in 2 Tbsp. batter; lift and tilt skillet to spread batter. Return to heat; brown on one side only. Invert over paper towels; remove crepe. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet occasionally. Creme chantilly 2 c. heavy cream 2 Tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. vanilla
Beat ingredients in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Refrigerate any leftovers (like that's really going to happen in my kitchen).
To serve, fold two crepes in half and place on a plate. Top with creme chantilly. Serves 8-9.
About two weeks ago I returned from Cousin Kat and Cousin Becky's Awesome EuroAdventure, 2009 Edition, to find that I was so exhausted I couldn't blog. It's taken me a full 16 days to recoup my energy, get over jet lag, fight a nasty sinus infection/flu/cough, get the house back in order, and restock my refrigerator. So, I do apologize that it's been so long. Here's a short recap of the trip ... We stayed with friends in Madrid and got to see my best-friend-from-childhood on her way out of the country, spent one night in Basque country at the largest street festival I've ever been to (Fetes Bayonnes is a post-Running of the Bulls party that lasts five days. Frankly, I don't know how they do it for a whole five days), and then took a train to Paris, where we were picked up and given a midnight tour or the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysses, and the Arc du Triomphe by my mom's college friend Michelle. We decided to jump at all major sights/attractions, instead of taking regular snapshots of smiling faces like the other, more normal tourists were doing:
(word to the wise: hold your dress or skirt DOWN when you jump.)
We tried to look French (notice the baguette strategically placed under the arm) ...
After five days in Paris we flew to Barcelona and got our beach time in. We stayed with friends of friends there and were shown the old part of the city, treated to typical Catalonian and Spanish food (escalivada, pan con tomate, and some meat dish that was absolutely succulent but whose name I have forgotten), and given the most lovely welcome ever. After three days of that, we headed back to Madrid for a day of shopping at El Rastro (the world's loveliest flea market/ripoff center/home of $3 scarves, in my opinion) and lunch with the Madrid family. My Spanish "mother," Maria Jose, who had treated us to this lovely paella on our first day in Madridmade us a full five-course Sunday afternoon lunch (well ... we ate from 2 PM until 7 PM so I'm not sure what to call it) of three types of ham, Manchego cheese (my favorite), Spanish tortilla (egg and potato omelet), salad, steak, some type of fish (we couldn't figure out what to call it in English), the first dessert of fruit ("to help push the steak down," she said) and the second dessert of Rum Ice Cream Cake and coffee. We waddled to the Catedral de Vallecos to snap this very Spanish-looking picture (notice my scarf and Cousin Becky's snazzy $4.50 dress): We flew out the next day and barely made our connecting flight in Boston (by barely, I mean we ran through the terminals and asked security guards to let us jump forward, and made it to our gate after the door was already shut. Fortunately, the capitan was also late so they let us on.) It was awesome, that's all there is to it.