Pick of the Season

Looking for something fun to do this summer? Why not spend an afternoon picking produce at a local farm?

Upick farms often feature berries (or pumpkins, depending on the season). The fruit is usually about the same price as the grocery store, but you are paid for your labour in the amount you sample as you pick. Little kids are particularly good at sampling more than they put into their bucket, but that’s part of the fun!

Visiting farm stands and Upick farms has benefits beyond the buckets of blueberries that you’ll get to take home. It’s a way of connecting what you eat with land it is grown on. Farm fresh produce is often fresher, tastes better and is the best way to support our local food systems.

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You can find your local Upicks at bcfarmfresh.com.

One of my favourite ways to feature farm-fresh produce is by serving it with crepes. Crepes are very fun and easy to make. Perfect for getting your children into the kitchen.

• Younger children can help decided what fillings to make. They can wash fruit and vegetables, grate cheese and mix the batter.

• Older children can make crepes all on their own. Depending on their age, they can follow the recipe, and even cook the crepes themselves, leaving you free to get the fillings organized.

Though traditional crepes are larger than a dinner plate, I recommend making small crepes which are easier to flip. A smaller-sized crepe means that you get to eat more than one, which is perfect for sampling a few different fillings!

Crepe Fillings

Crepes are perfect for both savoury and sweet fillings. When serving crepes for breakfast, brunch or dinner, why not have a variety of fillings so everyone can mix and match the flavours.

Here are a few of our favourite crepe fillings. However, feel free to serve whatever you have in your kitchen that inspires you. Experimenting with flavour is a fun way for kids to learn about cooking.

Sweet: fresh picked berries, vanilla yogurt, whipped cream

Savoury: cheese, fresh tomatoes, fresh salad greens, sauteed kale and chard, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon

Traditional French Crepes

This traditional crepe batter is perfect for savoury or sweet flavours. For a sweeter dessert crepe, add 2 tbsp of sugar to the batter.

2 tbsp butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

11⁄2 cup milk

2 eggs

1. Melt the butter. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl.

2. Add in the melted butter, milk and eggs. Stir to combine. The crepe batter will be very liquidy.

3. Let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes to fully hydrate the flour. You can make it up to two days in advance. Just store the batter in the fridge if it’s going to sit for longer than 30 minutes.

4. Stir the crepe batter before cooking. Pour a 1⁄4 cup of the batter onto a hot griddle. Flip it over when the edges have started to dry out and the centre of the crepe is bubbling, about 2 minutes. Cook for 1 more minute.

5. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven.

Chickpea Flour Crepes

Chickpea flour crepes (called socca) are traditional in the South of France. They are more filling that white flour crepes. Typically served with savoury fillings, this is a fun option for dinner. The addition of cumin and rosemary is what really makes these crepes stand out. However, if you think that is too savoury for your children, then simply omit them.

1 cup chickpea flour (or garfava flour)

1 cup of water

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 egg

3⁄4 tsp salt

1 tbsp minced rosemary

1 tsp cumin

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or measuring cup. The crepe batter will be quite wet.

2. Let the batter sit for at least an hour to fully hydrate the flour. If you want to mix it up the day before, just pop it into the fridge.

3. Give the batter a good stir before cooking as the herbs will float and the chickpea flour will settle. Pour a 1⁄4 cup of the batter onto a hot griddle. Flip it over when the edges have started to dry out and the centre of the crepe is bubbling, about 2 minutes. Cook for 1 minute on the second side.

4. Serve immediately or place them on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. I like topping chickpea flour crepes with cheese before popping them in the oven. That way the cheese will melt before serving, yum!

Emillie Parrish
Emillie Parrishhttp://emillieparrish.com/
Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog fermentingforfoodies.com.