La Chandeleur – French Crepes Day

French Crepes

French crepes - Tartine & Maple

Bonjour! Today in France, everyone is celebrating La Chandeleur!

La Chandeleur (Candlemas in English) , is observed every year on February 2nd, just like Groundhog day in North America, and both celebrations share some similarities. They both mark a time when winter comes to a turning point, and both celebrations have this folklore belief based on the weather of that day or the shadow of the groundhog, which are supposed to indicate if the winter will either end or goes on. Here is a bit of history on the French Candlemas tradition:

The origins of the Chandeleur in France date back to a pagan feast: according to local customs, candles had to be lit at midnight as a symbol of purification. Chandeleur comes from the latin “candelarum” as does the English word ‘candle’.

The Church adapted the tradition into the blessing of the candles, which were to repel Evil, thus reminding all that Christ is the light of the world. Christians would then come back to their homes with the blessed candles in order to protect them.

It was also at that time of the year that the winter seed-time started. The surplus flour was then used without too much risk of shortage and crêpes were made as a symbol of prosperity for the coming year.

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.

There are all kinds of French proverbs and sayings for Chandeleur; here are just a few. Note the similarities to the Groundhog Day predictions made in the US and Canada:

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

But for the French, the best part of Candlemas is obviously the crepes!!! In France  we have different recipes whether you want to to enjoy them with a sweet or savory filling. Today we have done sweet crepes, and I’ll share with you my favorite recipe, it’s a rule of 3; infallible, easy to remember and delicious! We haven’t done savory crepes in a while, but you’ll find the recipe below. Savory crepes are made with buckwheat flour, and usually filled with whatever you like, folded and served with a green lettuce salad and apple cider (the kind with alcohol in it…). My favorites savory, are filled with an egg, ham, mushrooms and cheese! For the sweet, although I love Nutella filled crepes, my favorite has to be with fresh lemon juice and sugar ;-).

What is your favorite filling??? I would love to know!

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Last gourmet adventures from France!

That’s it, that will be the last post about France! On this last one, I am just sharing some of the best treats savoured on our trip. Whether at home, in a restaurant, or on our perfect day trip to La Rochelle, this beautiful sea side rampart city on the Atlantic.  Food is always here, and never disappointing!!! And no, we did not make it to Paris this time, but honestly, no regrets! There is so much more than Paris! On the Atlantic coast, anywhere on the coast, are so many delicacies and delicious seafood to enjoy! Satisfaction at every corner… Enjoy through the pics!!!

Party is an art, my family has mastered!!!

Sorry I’m so late in giving you the news from the french trip, but I was too busy enjoying it 😉 !!! Again, here is a load of pictures, bigger than words, to show you the great times that we had! My dad being a caterer and having is own reception hall, of course, it’s easy to throw a great delicious party anytime, but the best are the people, always ready to party!!!

Lunch BBQ with friends, the casual Sunday buffet and Mum’s 60th birthday, Retro theme, the party to be at!!!

Champagne, foie gras & caviar; just a preview of our 1st days in France!!!

I will just tell through he pictures, no much comments needed… we have been treated as royalties!!!! It just happened my dad has some high profile receptions coming up, so there is a lot of good stuff around the kitchen!!!

My parents have been renovating their 200 years old barn into a reception hall, it looks amazing! there was the 1st wedding taking place this past weekend, so we saw it full trottle, I think they going to get famous really quick with such a beautiful place!

And of course, went crazy on food shopping too, went visiting the biggest supermarket of the region, like it was a museum!!!

Will we ever want to go back home????