An open letter to the women at the rink last night.

Fuck you all for cowards.

No, really.

We demand equal treatment, we cry foul when our strength is called into question. We want the same things the men have. The same rights, the same respect, the same privileges.

You know what?

You can’t have something for nothing. You can’t show up at the rink, skate in a little knot at the far end, you can’t fail to integrate and expect to be somehow, magically integrated. You can’t fail to talk to anyone and then expect this to be your community. You can’t bunch together in a silent, exclusive knot and expect that you’ll be included and welcomed.

But most of all?  Most of all, you ladies at the rink?

You don’t fucking leave when scrimmage starts.

You don’t leave. Do you hear me? You don’t leave when it gets rough, you don’t leave when the physical contest starts, you don’t leave when you might be embarrassed or humiliated or hurt. You don’t leave when the yelling starts. You don’t leave when they watch, and judge, and measure. You don’t leave when it counts… you stay and be fucking counted.

I was the only woman left, and we started with six. Six of us, and I was fucking over the moon to walk into a skills and drills and have so many women there, skating. Representing.

Then drills ended and we got sorted out for scrimmage, and it was just me and the goalie and I looked around at all the men and thought what just happened here?

Why was it just me and the goalie and no other women left?

I was furious. I don’t care how novice you are. Guys out there could barely stand up. They waved their sticks and fell down and one guy shot on his own net. One guy got his bells rung and went off the ice listing and weaving. I took a wrister to the ankle and I’ve got a glorious puck hickey there today and do you think I care? Do you think any of us cared? Not a bit.

So how dare you.

How dare you show up only to bail when it’s most important to stay. You want to play hockey?  You want to fucking play hockey? Then play.

This is the proving ground.

No one’s going to hand you women anything. If that’s what you expect then fuck you, you put on your skates and came to the wrong place. 

Lace it up. Suck it up.

Prove yourself.

Play.

Crêpes!

Image

As most of you know, I live with a professional chef.

In terms of cooking, it’s a bit like painting around Michelangelo. Yes, I could, but why? My attempts are laughable, in comparison. Still, there are one or two things I manage at, and this fool-proof (you see what I did there?) crepe recipe is one.

I thought I’d share it, because crepes are one of those foods that are impressive and awesome when you pull them off, and this recipe all but guarantees that you can. I have tried a lot of recipes. Some are finicky, some are relentlessly lumpy, some wind up rubbery and some I just can’t get consistent results on. This one is the weirdest.  And the best. So if you’ve never done it before, come along with me on this little adventure.

(Warnings for language because this is me in the kitchen, after all.)

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk (I use whole)

1/2 cup water (room temp, not sure it matters)

Some melted butter (couple of tablespoons, volume doesn’t matter much)

pinch of salt if your butter is unsalted (I find the batter more than salty enough if I used salted butter).

Some more milk (bear with me, padawan)

Put the flour (unsifted) in a mixing bowl. Crack two eggs in.

Get a stiff wire whisk and beat the SHIT out of that.

“KATE!” you cry, “NOW I HAVE A HUGE GLOP OF EGGY FLOUR ON MY WHISK WHAT THE FUCK”

I know. Calm, calm. For some reason, this is the secret part. Somehow this is the Strange Glop of Crepe Success. Do not panic. Try to make sure that the egg is evenly distributed through the glop and breathe in a bag if you have to.

Now, slowly add the milk.  I add a few tablespoons at a time then beat. It is arm-numbingly difficult at first, but you will see what happens to the batter as you add more, and more.  It will smooth out, and thin, and by the time you get to the water (which you add the same way),  you will start realizing you’ve got a batter that is yellow, and smooth and lump free. I KNOW, RIGHT? Magic.

When you’ve got a nice smooth batter, go ahead and add in the melted butter and salt if you need it.

Then go ahead and let that sit for a bit and go heat up your pan.

I really recommend nonstick, and after using Becca’s cast iron, I’m a fan of that over any other pan.  It holds the heat really well, it’s predictable and maybe how porous it is absorbs the butter?  I don’t know. More magic. She’s reading this and shaking her head right now.

Anyway, here’s our high tech stove.

ImageIf Becca is Michelangelo, we have just handed her a crayon. Maybe a stick, to draw in the mud outside the Sistine Chapel with. Yes, I know.

I go back and forth between 3 and LO. I know what LO stands for.

“LO, THIS IS A SHITTY STOVE.”

I start on 3, generally, and put some butter in there and swoosh it around. Then I use a paper towel and get most of it back out again. You don’t need much, and the cast iron seems to soak it in and that surface is perfect. You may need to experiment, with your pan.

It’s going to take longer to warm up properly than you think. This will make your first crepe an automatic kid-dog-cat crepe, because inevitably you will be impatient and say “screw Kate, I’m going for it” and do it too early anyway.

But before you do that! Wait!

Thin out your batter a whole bunch.  A lot. I add more milk until the batter is pretty much runny. You will think “that is too thin! Ack!” and I’m telling you it isn’t. A thin crepe is really good. A thick crepe is rubbery and weird-tasting.  Trust me.

Whisk hard, then spoon some of your batter into the pan, pouring out of a measuring cup or something with one hand tilting the pan around with the other. This is best done with an audience who can truly appreciate the swearing and cursing and general comedic effect. For those of you on Fitocracy, if you do this part with a large cast iron skillet, this counts as “other.” Log it. Your general plan here is to get a small amount of crepe batter over the entire bottom of the pan. See why I made you make it so runny, now?  Swirl.  The last of it should go around the edges.  Keep swirling until the last is used up. With any luck, it might look a bit like this:

ImageNow, you let it cook. Watch the middle for wee bubbles.  Watch the edges: they will curl and pull away.

Image  Image

When this happens, loosen the edges of the crepe with a spatula. I like rubber best.  Then get it  under your crepe, slide it back and forth until the whole thing’s loosened and you can flip it over.

NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF.

Image  Image

That’s some microplaned Jarlsberg Swiss (microplaning is what you do if you’re a pro chef, instead of a cheese grater. Or if you’re not the pro chef but can’t find the cheese grater), and random brown mushrooms. Put those on half the crepe and when the other side’s cooked, fold in half. I got that crepe in the picture a little browner than you probably want (oops, better switch to LO, THIS IS THE OTHER SETTING now).

Let it cook just enough to melt the cheese, shouldn’t take long particularly if you used the microplane.

Image

You can slide it straight out of the pan onto the plate. I mention this because when you start goofing around with lemon juice and sugar in the pan, you notice quickly that using the spatula results in Bendy-Crepe-Craziness which then results in crap all over your nice skillet.

We eat crepes with granulated sugar and lemon juice and a bit of butter, or cheese and shrooms, or Nutella or goat cheese and Greek olives, or Nutella and bananas.

Mmmmmmm.

Image

Lili likes sugary lemon crepes best.