A few months ago, we met with a young couple interested in having their wedding rehearsal dinner here in the Quiet Creek herb garden. Many locally-grown entrée items were presented as possibilities for the upcoming meal. The soon-to-be newlyweds stewed over vegetable lasagna and chicken salad, but nothing quite sparked their taste buds. Rusty foolishly suggested his chicken crepes. The bride-to-be eagerly bit on his ambitious task and tightened plans for the remaining menu with Claire.
The evening began at the earthen oven with ninety-second pizza appetizers topped with fresh basil. Iced lemon verbena sweetened with stevia quenched their thirst after a stroll through the garden vibrant with pinks and blue salvia. Next guests found a dish of pickled and fermented vegetables resting under the kiwi arbor. Once seated, the wedding party enjoyed fresh salad greens topped with sugar peas and pansies with a balsamic vinaigrette and/or Quiet Creek ranch dressing. The segue was set for the piece de resistance – Chicken Crepes ala Rusty. He added extra flavor and color with morel mushrooms and spinach. As the last touch, the raspberry strawberry ice cream ended the crystal clear and stress free evening elegantly.
A day before the extravagant meal, Rusty found his culinary role didn’t quite flow as smoothly. Once he consulted Food for Fifty cook book and realized the crepe batter needed to chill overnight. Seeing that he was half a dozen shy of a gross of eggs, Rusty called sister Melora who delivered neighbor Rick’s eggs on the spot. It was whipped together with spelt flour in honor of the bride’s sensitivities to wheat.
At ten the next morning, Rusty heated the cast iron skillet and tested out the crepe flavor and texture – it seemed perfect. An hour later with a few interruptions, he had ten crepes cooked, cooled, and stacked between wax paper. By noon, there were fifteen. Somewhere around two o’clock Rusty realized he better ramp up production and focus on French flapjacks, if they were going to be ready by six that evening.
Knowing so well that he filled his famous saying -- “ there are people who can multi-task and there are men,” Rusty shifted into female mode. Chopping chicken, reconstituting the morels in warm milk, and barking orders to passers-by for fresh cut spinach and grated cheese, Rusty continued to crank out a total of eighty crepes.
By four thirty he could see the light at the end of the tunnel and hoped it wasn’t an oncoming train. The thunderstorm had passed, the seating arrangements were installed, the earthen oven was fired – all responsibilities delegated to very important people and a Higher being. With ten minutes to spare before the guests arrived, “the last little piggy” was stuffed, rolled and “sent to market.”
Pearl has remarked more than once, she never wants to cook another crepe in her life. Rusty now understands her sentiment. If they ever go into restaurant business together, they plan to call it Holy Crepe.