Maple syrup is essential for Mark Ohashi’s Montreal crépes — only the Canadian kind.
“We mix it up with pancakes, but I like the crépes. When I moved, I knew this would be something for my kids,” Ohashi said. “This is my unique serving food. So when the kids have sleepovers, or family comes to stay over, it’s a feel good sweet that’s something different. My family grew up with this.”
For Ohashi, the crépes are comfort food that reminds him of home. As the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County, home is very important to him.
He has fond childhood memories of sitting on the kitchen counter while his mother, Léonne Ohashi, used to make crepes for Sunday breakfast, which is what he generally does for his family.
Ohashi is French Canadian, from Montreal, Canada, so he said the addition of maple syrup on the top of a breakfast is a delicious requirement.
“Oh, for sure. Being Canadian, we just keep refilling this small jar,” Ohashi said.
They make an effort to get real Canadian maple syrup and get large cans of syrup, which can be unwieldy for the table.
“When we go to Montreal — and I go once a year to visit family — I’ll stop and pick up eight cans. We inevitably end up giving a bunch away, like to whoever is watching the house while we’re gone,” Ohashi said. “It’s a unique thing, there’s nothing like Canadian maple syrup.”
He met his wife, Martha, who is not Canadian, while they were both involved in a church conference. While she is originally from Texas, she was studying at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. She is a nurse.
They had a long distance relationship that ended up with his moving to Northwest Ohio.
Today, their son, Immanuel, 11, has also started making crépes for the family.
They have three kids. Two are in high school and mostly enjoy eating the crépes.
Ohashi rarely uses the recipe card his mother wrote out for him. He does point out that his mother did not have the ½ cup of water in her recipe. He adds it in order to keep the batter consistency thin enough to pour and spread properly on the pan.
Ohashi likes his crépes to have a more solid consistency, that’s not too fluffy. The flipping of crépes can be “hazardous,” but the thinner batter helps. He also uses a 10-inch non-stick frying pan with a spatula that has rounded edges.
He also laughs about using olive oil, instead of butter, for health reasons. He doesn’t laugh about using an erythritol sugar substitute, as there are sugar allergies in the family. However, that’s not the recipe he grew up with.
His advice for the strawberries is heat them up, as a type of reduction.
The construction of the crépes is pretty specific. He arranges two sausages, length-wise, in the middle. Then he drizzles the strawberry reduction all over the sausages, followed by the spray can whipped cream. He then folds the crépe in thirds, almost like an open-ended burrito. The maple syrup goes on the outside.
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup water
1 cup strawberries
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix the flour, egg, sugar, salt, milk, water and baking powder into a batter that’s thinner than what would be made for pancakes. Pour evenly into a 10-inch non-stick frying pan. Use either butter or olive oil to keep the crépes from sticking to the pan. Carefully flip the crépe so that both sides are a light golden brown.
The crépe is then placed with two sausages, end-to-end. Drizzle the strawberry reduction along the length, and do the same with the whipped cream. Fold crepe in thirds, then liberally add maple syrup over the entire thing.
Makes three to four crepes.