Friday, February 10, 2012


February 2nd is “La Chandeleur”, a day when Southern France celebrates “Candlemas” a traditional candle lit procession started in 492 commemorating the day Christ was presented to the church at the age of 40 days.  To encourage the many pilgrims to Rome, Pope Gelasius rewarded them with pancakes, giving rise to this tradition. In the farming world, February 2 also symbolizes the end of winter and the return to farm work. The blessed candles were kept by the superstitious peasants to protect future crops. Over time, the pancakes also became a testimony of allegiance to their lords or farmers, who offered them each year.
However it started, the tradition of eating a meal of crêpes is always fun. The French traditionally make sarrasin (buckwheat) crêpes to fill with savory stuffing for the main course and sugared crêpes with fruit, chocolate or jams for dessert. Then I found this recipe which is neutral and can be used for either. My family loves it. (It is much easier to succeed with a special Crêpe pan). 

Enough for 2-3 people – I usually double it for my family of 4-5. 

¾ cup of all purpose flour (sifted)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup of milk
1/3 cup of water
½ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 200F.
Resift the flour with the dry ingredients (salt, baking powder, sugar)
Beat the eggs and add the milk, water and vanilla, mix well.
Combine all the ingredients with a few swift strokes, (Lumps will work themselves out)
Heat a flat round pan, grease it with a few drops of butter. Add a ladle of batter, tipping the pan to allow it to spread. Cook over moderate heat. When brown underneath, flip to cook the other side. When done place on an ovenproof dish and keep warm in the oven. Pile new cr
êpes on top.

For the main course you can fill the center of the cr
êpe with any warm precooked meat or vegetables
in a cream sauce (ham, chicken, mushrooms, etc) and roll them up. For dessert, I like to place sugar, lemon,
Nutella and a selection of jams on the table and let each one roll their own.

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