Dear Barbara: I decided that I would surprise my family Sunday and make crepes. What a disaster! Any short-cuts you can tell me? — Kaitlynn from Lodi
Dear Kaitlynn: Crepes are more difficult to get the batter to the right consistency and they must be very thin, which also gives them another degree of difficulty.
I haven’t done crepes for a long time, but I used to buy them 10 to the package and keep them in the freezer.
What I liked most about crepes is that they are so versatile. You can use them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Roll them, fold them, and put the filling on top or inside. They can be sweet or savory; all your choice.
Dear Barbara: I sent my husband to the store to buy some peaches to make a pie. They were beautiful and very firm which is exactly what I was looking for. I set out all my ingredients and set a pan of water on the stove to boil. After cutting an “x” on the bottom of the peach, I dropped it into boiling water. After about a minute, I took the peach and immediately put it in ice water. When I went to peel and cut the fruit, they were all “cling” peaches, which means you can’t get the seed out and it takes three times longer to make a pie!
Is there anyway to tell by looking at it if it is a freestone or a cling peach? — Jen from Lodi
Dear Jen: I have much empathy for you! I think we’ve all done it. The peaches look just the same and taste the same, except for the peach pit.
If it doesn’t say on the sign or on the sticker, ask your produce person. I feel sure he will cut one open for you. Don’t settle for something different. If they don’t have “freestones,” try a different supermarket.
Dear Barbara: I wrapped my pie dough and put it in the refrigerator last night. Should I bring it to room temperature before I work with it? — Justin from Lockeford
Dear Justin: You should always work with pie dough when it is cold. If it is too cold to roll out, hit it with the rolling pin to flatten it out. You should be able to roll it at this point.
Barbara Spitzer is a Lodi home cook who also develops recipes for specific consumer products. Do you have a cooking question? Send it to Barbara Spitzer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and city.