Is Homemade Always Best?

>> Monday, January 27, 2014

We don't live near many restaurants you'd classify as walkable. (Or much else you can stroll to, for that matter.) However, of the couple that are only a short trek, there's this little mom + pop crêperie. We'd go every other weekend during my pregnancy, which is when we truly discovered the place. Since we're creatures of habit, we'd usually order one sweet (Nutella or PBJ), one savory (something with eggs, veggies, and cheese), and always a huge mug of hot chocolate.

We haven't been back in a while for a variety of reasons -- money, time, toddler restaurant tantrums, etc. -- so, when the craving struck me, I figured:

How hard could this crêpe-making be?

I followed Alton Brown's recipe as well as I could, but had trouble getting my batter to the right -- super thin -- consistency. Probably because I used a 50:50 mix of white + whole wheat, which may have been was too heavy. Plus, the actual cooking method is rather delicate -- and I'm definitely more of a baker.

Obviously, I can refine and master with time and practice. But it got me thinking about those foods that are just better out versus in. The list is unique for everyone because we all have different strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen. For example, Stephen and I have perfected our home pizza recipe (by simmering various homemade sauces and following this genius baking method) to the point we much prefer it over takeout.

These crêpes?

They tasted alright (especially with a thick layer of homemade blueberry jam), though much egg-ier than I would have liked. More than that, the texture has a lonnng way to go, probably due to over-whisking. I think we'll have to pay our friends another visit to take care of this Nutella and hot chocolate craving. Otherwise, I'd say more exotic dishes, like Indian and Thai meals, are difficult for me to perfect at home because I'm too lazy/cheap to buy all the necessary spices. I'd like to work on that!

Is homemade always best?

For budget and health reasons, we choose to cook/bake/assemble the vast majority of our meals. Still, when it comes to flavor and texture, there are times we like to indulge. What foods/meals do you like better out versus in?

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