Monday, March 21, 2011

Red & White: Strawberry Crepe Rolls and Aid for Japan

This past week, me and darling hubby checked CNN and BBC on a daily basis to follow the crisis in Japan.  Sometimes we even checked the news a few times a day.  My mom asked me if I still kept our Japanese friend's contact information.  I managed to reach one of them in Yokohama and knew that he was fine.  It was then that I wished that I had kept in touch with every single one of them, that I updated their phone numbers.  I didn't and I wish that I did.  For days I felt helpless.  You know that feeling that you wish you could do more although you're so but one person?  

Spring is almost here and Japanese Cherry Blossoms will be flowering soon, but what will be in the people's thoughts this year, I wonder?

While we have enough to eat and drink,
In our hearts -
Are those who do not.
While we are surrounded by families and friends,
In our prayers -
Are those whom you have lost.

I would like to dedicate this post to my friends in Japan.  I'm not even sure if all of you are alright and safe, but here's to all of you, your friends, your families, and your fellow country men and women.  Most of us can't be there in person to help, but know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

There are plenty of ways in which many of us can lend a hand.  Times are tough for many of us, but I think right now, many Japanese who've lost their homes, work places, and most importantly, their families, are having a tougher time than we do.  I have given some, but through this blog, I am hoping that I can help even more.  Many groups and corporations have donation pages where you can donate to the charities that are currently helping in Japan.  Below are some links where you can help.

Some of the charities in the list:  American Humane Association, Doctors without Borders, International Medical Corps, The Salvation Army in Japan, IFRC, and UNICEF

Helene of Tartelette is selling her prints through her etsy's shop to help the effort in Japan.  Her photos are just wonderfully beautiful.  
"For each of my prints purchased through my etsy shop, I will donate $20 of its amount to the Red Cross for Japan.  ~ Tartelette"

For everyone who have clicked on the links or donated or helped in any forms, a big THANK YOU!!! from the bottom of my heart.  For everyone who have sent a little prayer to them, another big THANK YOU!!!  I have little to thank you but my words and my recipes, and I will do my best to keep posting and hoping that they're good enough.

1- When selecting strawberries, look for deeper colored ones with as little white areas around the top.
2- The crepe is made with a pancake recipe that's slightly modified from my grandmother's.
3- If you prefer, use half-and-half or whipped cream, instead of heavy cream.
4- Slice the strawberries as thinly as you can with a sharp knife, this will help the rolling part of the recipe.  Be careful when slicing, wear rubber gloves if you are new or not familiar to slicing food very thinly.
5- If you prefer, substitute cranberry jam with strawberry jam or raspberry jam.  I'm only using cranberry just because I have that on hand.
6- When pan-frying the crepe, do not worry about not having a perfect circle, it'll still look wonderful.

Strawberry Crepe Rolls
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
water (about 1-1/2 cup)
butter for pan frying (about 3 tbsp)
1 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cranberry jam

Combine flour, sugar, salt, and egg in a 2-cup measuring cup.
Then fill the measuring cup with water to the 2-cup line.
Whisk and combine well.
Heat up a frying pan over medium heat with a little butter.
When the butter has melted and started bubbling a little, pour some crepe batter into the pan (about 1/4 cup).
Tilt the pan around so that the batter forms a rough circle.
Fry until the edge is lightly browned and crisped.
Repeat the frying until all batter has been used up.
Smear a very thin layer of jam over half of the crepe.
Place the strawberries over the jam in a thin layer.
Drizzle over with about a teaspoon of heavy cream.
Fold the crepe into half along the jam line.
Smear another thin layer of jam on the crepe.
Place another thin layer of strawberries over the jam.
Drizzle another teaspoon of heavy cream over the strawberries.
Then, starting at one corner, slowly roll up the crepe.
Repeat until all strawberries and crepes have been used up.

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