February has arrived and we can be happy about it! It’s time for pancake day also known as Shrove Tuesday (for the British) and la Chandeleur (for the French)! Even though, it is not exactly the same thing, Pancake day is closer to Mardi Gras than La Chandeleur. One common point though, is that it’s time to stuff our face with delicious crêpes !
But before the fun (or recipe, call it what you like), a little bit of history (because it’s cool to be a geek!).
La Chandeleur : La Chandeleur finds its origin in pagan celebrations. According to different sources (Well, Wikipedia but it sounds more serious if you say you have several), it can be found in ancient roman celebrations (the cult of Lupercus) or in Celtic one (The cult of the Goddess Brigid). The common point between those two culture is: LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT (i’m getting carried away), or more accurately the darkness going away, purification, spring coming back, fertility, and the first sowing of the year, after a dark, dark, dark winter. The crêpes or Pancake by it’s round shape and golden color is a strong symbol of the sun. People were then making some as a sign a celebration and to bring prosperity for the year.
Mardi Gras/ Pancake day: Is as you know the day before Ash Wednesday, the last day you can enjoy greasy, tasty, buttery food before the painful period of lent (never tried it myself, but I’m sure it is). It is a tradition to eat pancake which are made from rich ingredients such as Milk, eggs and Flour.
- In France it is (or used to be) the day when children are wearing costumes and are going around the neighbourhood to get sweets, eggs, and crêpes. We also toss our pancake with a golden coin in the hand that holds the pan for good luck.
- In the UK, there is a pancake race where the contestants have to cross a certain distance with a pan in their hand while tossing pancakes.
Well, now that the history bit is done, here is the recipe (for 8 to 10 people)
- 250 g of plain flour
- 4 eggs
- 500 ml of milk (I use full fat, it’s more creamy)
- one pinch of salt
- 50g of melted butter
- a big spoonful of vanilla sugar
*for the gluten free readers, replace the plain flour with gluten free and 1/2 a tea spoon of Guar or Xantham Gum.
- Put the flour, the salt, the vanilla sugar, and the melted butter in a pot
- Add progressively the milk while whisking
- Add the eggs and carry on whisking (painful but you have to deserve your pancake)
- You can add some Grand Marnier or Rum in the mix if you like it.
- One of my favourite ways of eating pancakes is to squeeze half a lemon on it with a generous spoonful of sugar.
- There are many, many ways of making pancakes, do not hesitate to experiment!
Hope you’ll all have a tasty pancake day.
L (who is seriously turning into Maïté).