In case you still need some good luck this year, may I suggest making some Crepes on February 2 with a piece of gold in hand for La Chandeleur, aka Crepe Day, aka Candlemas.
February 2nd is a celebration of the presentation of the child Jesus in the Christian faith. It is celebrated differently in many places, but today’s food lesson is on France.
You’d think I would have learned this tradition from the Lalanne side of my family, but the first time I heard of the Crepe tradition was in French IV avec Madame Adams. She brought in crepe batter and an electric skillet and made each of us make a crepe with one hand while we held a piece of gold in the other. Of course we had to “parlez en Francais” while we enjoyed our hard work.
You are supposed to hold the pan in your dominant hand and the gold in the other and after cooking the first side of the crepe, flip the crepe by flicking your wrist and tossing it in the air. If you are successful you will have prosperity throughout the year. A few tips, make sure you use plenty of spray or oil and loosen the crepe before attempting to flip. I freely admit I have never been able to do this, even with a buttermilk pancake.
Interestingly, About.com had several French quotes about La Chandeleur that sound vaguely like the superstitions we have here in the US surrounding Groundhog day
À la Chandeleur, l’hiver cesse ou reprend vigueur
On Candlemas, winter ends or strengthens
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
Regardless of the superstitions surrounding the day, Crepes are simple to make and great for breakfast, dinner or dessert any day. You can add almost anything to them from strawberries and Nutella (my son’s favorite) to chicken and gravy for a quick and delicious weeknight meal.
Just know the French also say “The first crepe is for the dogs”. No matter how often you make them, the first one almost never comes out right.
Since, we don’t have a dog, I usually nibble on it while I make the rest.
Until next time, happy eating.