Cooking the Books: A Wrinkle in Thyme by Sarah Fox
By Doreen SheridanAugust 25, 2021
Marley Collins is settling into newly married life in Wildwood Cove, Washington, and thinking about expansion—especially with springtime bringing an influx of customers to her pancake house, The Flip Side. It isn’t just the nice weather that’s providing so much extra business, though: the town is also throwing a Wild West Days festival that coincides with the move of the Wildwood Cove Museum to new, better quarters. Marley has volunteered to assist in setting up the museum, so between being busy with that and the pancake house welcoming more customers, she could definitely use a few more hands on deck at The Flip Side.
Marley’s need to hire more staff takes an unexpectedly awful turn when her assistant chef, Tommy Park, is seriously injured in a hit-and-run while walking home from photographing a Wild West Days charity ball. But even worse happens that very same night to Jane Fassbender, the museum’s interim curator, who is bludgeoned to death in the new building. Could these two violent crimes possibly be related? And could either have anything to do with the discovery of centuries-old love letters between a long-dead outlaw and one of the town’s former luminaries?
This was another absorbing installment of the Pancake House Mystery series, written with Sarah Fox’s trademark style and empathy. It’s always a pleasure to read how Marley and her now-husband, Brett, team up to solve mysteries together; I really love how they have each other’s backs. A Wrinkle in Thyme also includes a lot more of The Flip Side staff’s personal lives, with several delightful surprises to offset the murder and mayhem that rack the town otherwise.
As always, delicious breakfast recipes were included. Of the three here, I decided to try out this one:
Strawberry Rhubarb Crepes
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Butter or oil for greasing pan
Sift flour and sugar into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in half the liquid ingredients. Whisk until smooth. Add the remaining liquid ingredients. Whisk until smooth again.
Optional: Refrigerate batter for up to six hours.
Heat crepe pan or small skillet over low heat for several minutes. Grease lightly. Increase heat to medium and leave for 1-2 minutes. Pour ¼ cup batter into the pan. Tilt and swirl to coat the pan. Cook until lightly browned. Remove from pan.
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large saucepan, combine the rhubarb, water, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Add the lemon juice and strawberries. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is tender, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract and remove from heat.
Spoon filling onto crepe, roll, and top with whipped cream.
First of all, I want to say that these were extremely delicious, and I’m 100% glad I made them (as was my family, who gobbled up the 15 or so crepes I made from this recipe in record time). That said, how do other people make crepes so quickly? The entire process for me took upwards of three hours, and I was exhausted by the end of it. Perhaps that is my own fault for waiting for the pan and butter to heat for two minutes between each pouring of batter?
One way in which I’m glad to take my time with this recipe, though, is in letting the batter rest before cooking. In general, setting the covered batter aside for an hour is good for letting out any bubbles, as that makes for a smoother crepe. It also gives you time to whip up the filling, in this case, the strawberry-rhubarb compote. I’d never worked with fresh rhubarb before, and I honestly really enjoyed the tart scent that came with prepping the stalks. The rhubarb cooked down with the strawberries so beautifully, too. My kids actually sneaked small bowls of just the filling to enjoy when they’d had enough of crepes!
Next week, we head back cross-country to try out some delicious soup while investigating the death of a shady lawyer. Do join me!