I totally forgot about this until my Mom sent me an email reminding me, that today is La Chandeleur (Candlemas) or Crêpe Day.
The Catholic holiday of Candlemas, on 2 February, is a feast to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of baby Jesus. In France, this holiday is called la Chandeleur, Fête de la Lumière, or "jour des crêpes."
Not only do the French eat a lot of crêpes on Chandeleur, but they also do a bit of fortune telling while making them. It is traditional to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other, and flip the crêpe into the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year. So what is your favorite crêpe?
Note the similarities to the Groundhog Day predictions made in the US:
À la Chandeleur, l'hiver cesse ou reprend vigueur
On Candlemas, winter ends or strengthens
À la Chandeleur, le jour croît de deux heures
On Candlemas, the day grows by two hours
Chandeleur couverte, quarante jours de perte
Candlemas covered (in snow), forty days lost
Rosée à la Chandeleur, hiver à sa dernière heure
Dew on Candlemas, winter at its final hour
For the occasion, I would like to share one of my family's "crêpe" recipes that kids and big kids alike are sure to enjoy! (includes a French secret... shhh...)
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of light beer (yep!)
1 cup of flour
3 Tbsp of melted butter
1 Tbsp of sugar
Coconut oil or butter for coating the pan
How to make the crêpes:
In a mixing bowl, place the flour and make a little dome. Push your finger through the top to make a "hole" (we call it the well). Place the eggs, the sugar and the melted butter in the "well" and mix with a whisk. Add the milk little by little while whisking making sure you eliminate all the lumps (this could also be done in a blender by pulsing 10 seconds). Finally, add the beer. The beer will make your crêpes lighter... The batter shouldn't look too thick, nor too liquid. A good way to know if the consistency is the right one, is to take a ladle and spoon a little bit of the batter, then, slowly pour the batter back into the bowl. It should look like a ribbon when being poured.
Place the batter in the fridge for about an hour (to eliminate all the bubbles formed during mixing).
Heat a small non-stick pan (not too shallow), add a bit of butter or coconut oil (I put it on a folded paper towel and wipe the pan evenly), pour some batter in the pan but not too much so your crêpes aren't too thick and quickly move your pan around so the batter covers the whole surface with a thin layer.
Cook about 1 minute or until the edges of the crêpe start peeling off from the pan and some air bubbles appear at the surface (the entire crêpe is slowly peeling off).
Flip the crêpe and cook the other side for about 30 seconds.
Repeat these steps until you are out of the batter, stack the cooked crêpes on a plate and enjoy!
Top with granulated sugar, or powdered sugar, or your favorite jam, or your favorite chocolate paste, or honey, or anything you like!
You can then fold it in half and then fold in half again.
You can also roll it up like a tortilla (kids like that version a lot...)
Happy Chandeleur! Happy Crêpe Day!