I always anticipate the 2nd of February. It’s crêpe day!
This wonderful day is called La Chandeleur and it was on this day that Baby Jesus was presented in the temple, 40 days after his birth. ‘Chandeleur’ comes from the Latin ‘candelarum’ as does ‘candle’. Since the 7th century the church began the tradition of lighting the candles at midnight as a symbol of purification and to remind all that Christ is the light of the world. Churchgoers would then carry their blessed candle home with them and if they made it there without the flame dying then this meant good harvest and property for the year.
This celebration also represents the winter season coming to an end and the return of the sun. This is where they believe the crêpe may have made its way in as it is the same colour and shape.
There are a number of rules and traditions to follow on Monday :
No crêpes before 8pm (Ahhh hard one for me!)
If the cook can hold a gold coin in one hand and flip the crêpe in the other and catch it, the household will enjoy health and prosperity for the year.
If you’re really into traditions you can keep the first cooked crêpe in your wardrobe to ensure the abundance of the next harvest!
My personal tradition is to make sure at least one crêpe is a chocolate and banana one! Below is our crêpe batter recipe.
8 to 10 persons
250g of flour
1/2 litre of milk
50g of butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla-sugar sachet
(1 tablespoon (5cl) of Rhum can be added if desired)
Suggested condiments: Sugar (+ lemon), jam, nutella… Just no vegemite please
In a large mixing bowl, put together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk, stirring to combine. Add the salt, melted butter and vanilla sugar; beat until smooth.
Let the batter rest for about 1 hour.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Once hot, pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crêpe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crêpe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.