Recipe: Crêpes de la Chandeleur (Candlemas Pancakes) for Candlemas Day

Recipe: Crêpes de la Chandeleur (Candlemas Pancakes) for Candlemas Day

Crêpes de la Chandeleur (Candlemas Pancakes) for Candlemas Day

Recipe:

Crêpes de la Chandeleur (Candlemas Pancakes) for Candlemas Day

Recipe: Crêpes de la Chandeleur (Candlemas Pancakes) for Candlemas Day

Crêpes de la Chandeleur (Candlemas Pancakes) for Candlemas Day

The 2nd of February is Candlemas Day – this ancient festival marks the midpoint of winter (the half way point between the shortest day and the spring equinox) and also the end of Epiphany. The day is named after the practice of bringing all the future year’s supply of candles in to church, whereupon they were blessed, hence Candle and Mass, although the word has been compounded into “Candlemas” (with one “s”) now. Candles were very important and a potent symbol of light and hope – many people thought that they protected them against the plague, hunger and many other diseases and illnesses. In Scotland, children used to bring candles into school on this day, to light the dark and gloomy day with flickering lights. The children were also supposed to raise money, which they gave to the teachers who would buy sweets for the class, and then the ritual of choosing a “Candlemas King and Queen”was decided, and awarded to the girl and boy who had brought the most money into school! Apart from it being a day of light and candles, it is also a day of pancakes, goddesses, poems, weather predictions and proverbs. (http://french.about.com/od/culture/a/chandeleur.htm)

Imbloc

Imbolc

Also known as Imbolc, (the old Celtic name) or Brigid’s (pronounced BREED) Day, this day is one of the four Celtic “Fire Festivals, commemorating the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden and it celebrates the first signs of Spring. This is the seasonal change where the first signs of spring and the return of the sun are noted, such as the first sprouting of leaves and  flowers. In other words, it is the festival commemorating the successful passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year. (http://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk/the_wheel_of_the_year/imbolc.asp)  Believe it or not, it was also the day when all the Christmas decorations were taken down too -  the holly,  ivy and mistletoe that they’d brought into the house at Christmas, which were then replaced with other greenery that suggested the coming of spring.  Robert Herrick devotes a poem to this practice, in a very eloquent way.

CEREMONIES FOR CANDLEMAS EVE

Down with the rosemary and bays,
Down with the misletoe;
Instead of holly, now up-raise
The greener box, for show.

The holly hitherto did sway;
Let box now domineer,
Until the dancing Easter-day,
Or Easter’s eve appear.

Then youthful box, which now hath grace
Your houses to renew,
Grown old, surrender must his place
Unto the crisped yew.

When yew is out, then birch comes in,
And many flowers beside,
Both of a fresh and fragrant kin,
To honour Whitsuntide.

Green rushes then, and sweetest bents,
With cooler oaken boughs,
Come in for comely ornaments,
To re-adorn the house.
Thus times do shift; each thing his turn does hold;
New things succeed, as former things grow old.

Robert Herrick

Spring Greenery

Spring Greenery

But as I mentioned before, it is also a day of pancakes! In France they call it Chandeleur and many piles of crepes are eaten. 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. My French friend Karine, whose family are from Breton, also add a good glug of Calvados to their pancake batter too!

La Chandeleur - Crêpe Day

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

French Candlemas - La Chandeleur - Crêpe Day

I will be partaking in a stack or two of pancakes, well, maybe three or four, and I will leave you with a selection of pancake recipes that I have already posted on the bog, the most suitable ones for Candlemas day  being my Quire of Paper Pancakes with Lemon & Sugar.  See you later, and have a flipping good Saturday! Karen 

A Quire of Pancakes

A Quire of Pancakes

Basic Pancake Batter

Serves 6 to 8 pancakes
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Region British
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
Basic pancake batter recipe

Ingredients

  • 125g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 300ml milk
  • 25g melted butter

Directions

Step 1 Mix flour and salt in a basin, make a hollow in the centre and drop in the egg.
Stir with a wooden spoon and add the milk gradually, until all the flour is worked in.

Step 2 Beat well and add remaining milk and the melted butter.
Step 3 The consistency should be like single cream.
Step 4 Cooking: For each pancake, heat a small amount of butter in a frying pan. When it begins to smoke, stir the batter and pour approximately 3 tablespoons into the frying pan.
When golden brown underneath, turn and cook other side.
Step 5 Serving: Turn out on greaseproof paper, sprinkle with sugar and roll up or fold into quarters. Place on a hot dish and serve immediately with honey, jam, syrup, lemon or orange juice.
Step 6 Pancakes keep well in the refrigerator and can be frozen.

Blueberry & Oat Pancakes with Cinnamon Recipe

5:2 Diet Fast Day: Pancakes for Breakfast - Blueberry & Oat Pancakes with Cinnamon Recipe

Fluffy Porridge Pancakes

Celebrate Better Breakfast Week with New Zealand Honey and my Fluffy Porridge Pancakes Recipe!

Scotch Griddle Cakes with Heather Honey 

Scotch Griddle Cakes with Heather Honey for Scotland and Best of British

 Be-Ro Dropped Scones for Breakfast (Griddle Cakes)

Dropped Scones (Griddle Pancakes, Scotch Pancakes)

Quire of Paper – a Stack of Pancakes with Lemon & Sugar

A Quire of Paper

Buttermilk Pancakes with Banoffee Bananas & Cream

Buttermilk Pancakes with Banoffee Bananas & Cream

Bobby’s Home-Style Pancakes

Bobby's Home-Style American Pancakes

Comments

  1. HelenD says

    I like it when you write about the history and customs that lie behind a certain type of food.
    Very interesting post today!
    Thank you!

  2. says

    Happy Candlemas Day to you too!! What a lovely post packed full of interesting information about lovely old time traditions – very enjoyable – and I could eat a whole quire of those pancakes right now – thanks!!

  3. says

    What a lovely post, I think Chandaleur sounds much better than Candlemas! Well there was no snow today, but a piercing cold wind, so what does that mean?

  4. eric says

    “Merci, merci” for this beautiful site. I had a great time making crepes with my family today (we live in North Carolina, despite my French origins). My 5-year old even sang a song in Breton while my 8-year old was making crepes with my spouse. So good to feel connected with the old but bright lights from the past. Kenavo!

  5. smellslikesalad says

    I prepared these crepes yesterday for breakfast. They are the most delicious crepes I’ve ever tasted. Thanks, Karen!

  6. says

    Thank you for this information about pancakes day, since I moved to the UK I always wondered what it was all about. I need to get busy and prepare some pancakes (so many good recipes here!).

  7. Rachel says

    Loved the haddock recipe. My first after discovering your blog. Shall be a faithful follower now I think; thank you Karen.

  8. shelley jessup says

    I never knew about Candlemas day, learn something new every day :) I do re4ally enjoy pancakes & crepes, thanks for the post.

  9. Darlene T. says

    Wow what an interesting post!! Love the background behind the occasion. Can’t imagine leaving the Christmas decorations up till February although people in general may stay happier in the festive mood if we still did it. Have saved to my favourites, pancakes are awesome :)

  10. Maya Russell says

    I can’t wait for Candlemas day! I really look forward to lighter days. It’s nice to have a celebration at this point. Shared with G+

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