He pushed his hands against the table, and his chair slid backward, as if the growing space between him and the table would somehow create more room in his stomach. “I guess it didn’t help that we started the day with champagne,” he said, explaining the slowed pace of his Thanksgiving consumption.
“Why did you have champagne?” his older brother asked.
“Because we don’t have kids.”
“We should drink champagne more,” he said to me, and I couldn’t have agreed more.
Yeah, we are that Uncle and Aunt- the childless kind who can still relish simple luxuries like sleeping in and toasting champagne for breakfast… if you call “noon” breakfast, and on Thanksgiving, we do! (The Urban Farmer is also the kind of uncle who believes someone has to torture the youngins, a role he fills diligently.)
Our Thanksgiving morning was a very intentionally slow morning that eased into a brunch just for us… with champagne. Being that 2016 has kept me on my toes, when a sanctioned day-off hits me, I am all too happy to kick up my feet.
As the sort of basket case that leans toward the side of “do, do, do, make, make, make, go, go, go… stress, stress, stress,” doing nothing is not my best skill. The Urban Farmer, however, has a very healthy attitude toward “couch days.” During the season of gratitude, I found myself truly relishing those times when man, pup and I can nestle into nothing.
I try to push the bounds of my gratitude, to see beyond the obvious. Yes, I am grateful for the roof over my head, for creative work, for a family who loves me and an admirable partner, but I’m also grateful for hot showers at my fancy, for growing up routinely celebrating my birthday with parties, for having real options for my education even if money was tight. But sometimes, it’s really soul-warming just to sit on a couch, sip champagne, watch a creepy show and relish that guy who thinks I’m special, all while snuggling the furry bundle of love who holds no grudges and wants to please us all the time. Those little nothing moments are in fact everything moments.
So we relished the morning and its lack of responsibilities. I played with flowers to gift his grandmother, and we brunched in our pajamas. Then I gladly sat at a table for which I had to do zero work. I ate way too much, then refilled my plate because gravy overrides reason.
Then there was round two- another side of the family, more plates, more refills, still no responsibilities and in the end, a game of name-that-hummed-tune and charades that made my face hurt from laughing so hard. Have a grown man do a t-Rex impression and then hum “Ring My Bell” while you try to guess what on earth he could possibly be channeling. It makes for a night to remember!
Thanksgiving put me into such a mellow state. Between that lingering food coma and the subsequent gray rainy days, I’m having a hard time bouncing back in full force. These crepes are not only a good way to use leftover stores from Thanksgiving (extra cans of pumpkin and cranberries?), but they offer a way to indulge in a weekend morning and extend that Thanksgiving laziness feeling. Eat brunch in your pajamas. Watch a creepy show. Cuddle your significant other and/or furry companion(s), and be grateful for the nothingness of it all.
Pumpkin Crepes with Cranberry Sauce, Walnuts & Pumpkin Whipped Cream
Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings
About this Recipe: Holiday shopping surely left an extra scoop of pumpkin puree or a stockpile of cans of cranberries, so use them up in one seasonal inspired brunch. Add a dollop of the whipped cream to your coffee, and serve the whole brunch with a bottle of bubbly! It’s not pictured, but I also recommend a healthy slathering of Nocciolata on these crepes. Chocolate-hazelnut, pumpkin and cranberries are a seasonal match made in heaven.
2 cups white whole wheat flour (such as King Arthur)
1/2 cup organic brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs (cage-free/organic)
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 cup organic whole milk
3/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
organic whole berry cranberry sauce + fresh orange zest
pumpkin whipped cream (recipe below)
pure maple syrup
Nocciolata or organic chocolate-hazelnut spread
In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and spices.
In a separate, large bowl, lightly beat eggs, then whisk in pumpkin puree, milk, water, melted butter and vanilla extract until combined.
Whisk the dry mixture into the egg mixture until combined.
Heat a lightly buttered skillet over medium-high heat.
Pour batter using 1/4 measuring cup on the griddle/skillet and tilt pan in a circular motion to spread batter.
Note: If the batter is too thick, add more milk in small increments.
Cook crepes approximately 1 minute or until bottom is lightly golden, flip and cook another 30 seconds or until cooked through.
Repeat until all the batter is gone. Stack prepared crepes in a single layer on a sheet pan in a warm oven until all the crepes are prepared.
Pumpkin Whipped Cream
1 cup organic heavy cream, chilled
3 Tablespoons organic pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons whiskey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
Combine the cream, pumpkin, maple syrup, whiskey and vanilla in the chilled bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Sprinkle with a dash of spices.
Layer your crepes however you see fit, but my approach was a hearty spoonful of cranberry sauce, chopped walnuts and the whipped cream on top with more nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.