Tuesday, February 12, 2008

La Chandeleur - Another French Holiday

The first time I heard of La Chandeleur was when I invited Regine to my Boxing Day Brunch where I was planning on serving crepes. She just laughed at me because, sort of like wearing white after Labor Day is considered uncouth in the United States, making crepes this side of La Chandeleur is apparently unheard of in France.

La Chandeleur is celebrated the second day of February and marks the day that the baby Jesus was taken before Simeon and declared " the light of the world." Here is the part of the story where I declare, yet again, that I love the French and their ability to take any boring religious holiday and turn it into a celebration that artfully intertwines slapstick ritual and pastry.

You see, the French don't celebrate this religious milestone by spending the entire day in church. No way! Instead they make crepes because La Chandeleur also marks the kick-off of the crepe making season and is sort of a French equivalent of Ground Hogs Day. How exactly is it done? Just follow these easy steps and you'll soon be partying it up and stuffing down crepes like a wild Frenchman.

1.) Find a gold coin, a franc, a Euro (which is what I used), or even a quarter.
2.) Light lots of candles because, how could it be a hokey holiday without candles...
3.) Be careful not to burn your place down with all those dangerous candles.
4.)Make crepe batter.

Crepe Batter Recipe
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
1/2 cup of water
dash of sugar/salt/orange blossom water

Blend all ingredients in blender until the suction whole
in the center of the mixture is roughly the size of a quarter

5.) Pour batter into a properly greased crepe pan and spread batter evenly across pan. If the batter is too thick, add more water. When the crepe is ready to flip, hold your chosen coin in your left hand while attempting to flip the crepe with your right. If you manage to flip the crepe perfectly you will be blessed with good luck and an early Spring. If the crepe lands badly hold on, its gonna be a long and luckless winter.

As you can see, after a bit of practice my crepe flipping skills have earned me good luck and an early Spring. Hopefully my tardiness in celebrating - its already February 11th- won't get me expelled from the program. Even though the winter has only just now decided to show her icy face at the party, I would not be at all upset to see her duck out early.

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