Captain Earth was a mecha show from 2014 by Studio Bones, hyped due to their past pedigree with other mecha series like Eureka Seven and Star Driver. It was gorgeous, it was a mess, good but not quite great, and I liked it overall. So its biggest contribution to my life was, of course, an episode with crepes.
It was the summer of 2014, while I lived with my mom and family, and I was spending one of those July days getting caught up on the show. The fourth episode involved main dude Daichi and one of his teammates, Akari, going over to the island’s secret military/research facility to check on two of their other friends, who were being held there for analysis or interrogation and other various things that military/research establishments do in anime.
On their way, they passed by a food truck serving crepes, who we know (but they don’t) is being manned by two of the antagonists for what we assume must be nefarious schemes. Akari is like “I’m hungry, let’s eat!” and Daichi responds “But we had watermelon earlier!” to which she retorts “So what??” At this point, the pink-haired chick in the truck goes “How about some crepes, then?”
They got some crepes.
As I’m watching this, the thought of eating some crepes, at this very particular moment, for some reason, was oh so tantalizing. I wanted some! I needed some!
Then it occurred to me: Would it be possible to try...making some myself??? I never thought before about putting in the work on my own—it had this aura of being intimidating or unapproachable to me, for who knows why—but maybe it could in fact be done?
A little search engine spelunking for crepe shell recipes later, and I found this one posted on Allrecipes for purportedly basic crepes. One look at the ingredients and instructions, and it sure did look simple! The list of ingredients was nice and basic—just flower, water, milk, eggs, butter, and a little salt—and the way to make the batter seemed easy as well.
Then, in my mom’s kitchen, with her approval, I gave it a shot. It went extremely well.
It’s been something that I’ve done for special occasions ever since, when the desire for them reaches feverish levels.
Which was, in fact, just a couple of days ago. My
girlfriend—nope, now my fiancée as of last week—called me while on her break from work, and she was getting herself some lunch from a paninis ‘n crepes spot nearby. As we talked about the crepes part of their whole deal, it dawned upon us: Shit, both of us want crepes now.
After I got out of work, I made a stop to the grocery store, and got a bunch of stuff for both sweet and savory fillings for dinner the day after. I had never done savory fillings before, so I looked up possible options, and came up with something basic that still sounded good. A couple of ham steaks for cubing, some baby spinach for sautéing, a pack of shredded cheeses, and one of those powder sauce packs for quick and easy hollandaise sauce.
As for the sweets? No skimping there whatsoever: A few bananas, a pack of strawberries, a pack of blueberries as they happened to be on sale, a can of peach slices, white chocolate chips for myself, a can of whipped cream, and a bottle of Ghirardelli chocolate sauce.
On Friday, once dinnertime hit, we got to work! I started by making up that Hollandaise sauce real quick according to the packet’s instructions, then covered the pot and set it aside. We also sliced up a banana and several strawberries, though those would end up being had later than at the current moment. Then we mixed the crepe batter according to the ever-easy ever-reliable Basic Crepes recipe, sans salt; the Country Crock stuff serving as our butter was salted enough already as is.
Our first order of business was the savory crepes, essentially serving as our main course. To make that filling, we first cubed up half a ham steak and fried it in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. After it started to get sufficiently browned on all sides, we shoved the ham to one half of the pan. On the empty half, we added a little bit of butter, put a couple of handfuls of baby spinach on top to sauté, and then mixed it in with the ham to cook altogether. Things were looking good!
While the ham and spinach filling was cooking, we also prepared the first two crepe shells, one each for our savory entrees.
Take a shell, sprinkle shredded cheese on the bottom, put some ham and spinach over it, then top it all with Hollandaise sauce to taste.
Wrap it all up, and it’s good to go!
This was a big hit with us both. Everything involved was salty and buttery in a way that played well with the slight sweetness of the crepe shell, while the earthiness of the spinach additionally helped to break up the decadence onslaught of ham and Hollandaise, and it was just a joy to eat!!
Even Little Miss was feeling her appetite rising.
After that, we refrained from crepes for a couple of hours, giving our stomachs time to get hungry for the dessert phase. In the meantime, motivated to look for some more Noah Baumbach films because we both saw and liked The Meyerowitz Stories, we watched The Squid and the Whale. It was also good.
Eventually, we ventured for them dessert crepes. Fire up the crepe pan once again, start making some shells, and then we went to town on some sweets creations. Sandra was up first, with a strawberry, banana, and white chocolate filling.
After wrapping it up, she then went all-out on the toppings and garnishes. Blueberries and chocolate sauce included. She made another of these bad boys a little later on as well. She was pleased with them both.
I went a slightly different route, as a white chocolate fan. Go a bit heavier on those, plop in some blueberries and strawberries, wrap it up, and then apparently make it look like a V-covered eclair.
As I neglected to take a shot of the filling before wrapping it all up, I figured a cut piece might be the next best thing.
Later on, I did a slight variation of this, with chocolate sauce as part of the filling in place of the white chocolate morsels. It was just as good, in a more chocolate-y vein.
There was one other combination of flavors that I did as well, which was slightly outside of my more conventional wheelbarrow for crepe flavorings. Peaches and white chocolate.
Upon taking the first bite, my tastebuds were left far from disappointed. My instincts were right: White chocolate and peaches go pretty well together, and even better when in the service of crepes!
All in all, it was a great night for the two of us to splurge. And to think how it’s something I might have never done—or, at the very least, might have tried learning years later instead of being fairly well-practiced by now—were it not for an anime providing the desire and inspiration. Captain Earth, in its unlikely way, has been enriching. Not necessarily by being amazing or mind-blowing, but by making me hungry.
Updated 7/28/2018 4:38 pm EDT to add to the series of pictures.