By Mariana Shtukina ‘11Guest Writer
Twenty-four years ago my mother was working on a potato plantation in rural Russia, when a group of American exchange students paid a visit to the farm. Animated with the prospect of making foreign acquaintances, the students tuned their guitars and my mother volunteered to make the crepes, blini in
Russian. Hours later, as my mother was slaving by oil-burning stove, a young woman came into the kitchen inquiring about the identity of the talented chef. From that day, the two became friends and exchanged letters for four years until my mother paid her a visit in San Francisco. After this visit, she decided to fight for her citizenship in hopes providing me with a successful life and opportunities which I would not be privy to back in Saint Petersburg. I emigrated when I was eight years old, about three years after her, and ever since then, I’ve spent hours practicing on my special crepe pan and exploring new techniques and recipes. The crepe has become integral to my interpersonal relationships, family rituals and, most recently, to my new club at Scripps College, Crepes for Cause. To me, the interactive versatility of the crepe reflects on influence of food on our daily interactions and its ability to accommodate every social situation—sweet, savory or plain. I have found a connection to the crepe and a passion for providing people with delight from the flavorful dishes I love to create.
Crepes for a Cause was born almost a year ago when I was in Paris with two Scripps students after my semester in Spain. For a week we strolled the picturesque city and indulged in five meals a day consisting of baguettes, wine and, of course, crepes on Rou Mouftard. It was during one of our daily walks that I decided that I wanted to bring crepes to the Scripps campus and share my love of this delectable French staple. Thus, the deliberation began in the spring of this year and we had the CLORG officially approved by summer time.
After working with MEDLIFE—a medical non-profit in Peru—all summer, it wasn’t hard to decide where out first few months of revenue would go. We are currently working towards raising money for my friends of Pamplona, an urban slum in Lima, Peru of about 20,000 destitute individuals devoid of basic human necessities such as water accessibility, any medical care and electricity. Crepes for a Cause is also looking to collaborate with Cultivating Dreams and MoneyThink at the Claremont Colleges.
Currently we are selling crepes almost every Sunday (look out for announcements in the Student-L and the SAS weekend update) at 9 p.m. in the first floor GJW kitchen. We offer delicious fillings such as Nutella, Honey & Pecans, Jams, Melted Sugar, Whipped Cream and Chocolate Sauce. We encourage you to B.Y.O.B.—bring your own banana—or other fruit if so desired and we’ll be more than happy to add that to the mix as well. Come home hungry and support some great organizations! FMI: MShtukin@scrippscollege.edu