Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Jour des Crepes & Candace's Crepe Recipe

The Tradition: Crepe Day, France
My friend Candace explains the lesser known Feb. 2 holiday

Upon meeting my friend Candace, you’ll immediately learn three things …

1.     She loves musicals — and knows more about them than Rachel Berry.
2.     Karen, Lisa, Catherine and Jessica are frankly just the best.
3.     Though Candace loves DC, her Lafayette home is where her heart (family) is.

My sister Julie and Candace getting brunch, they were roommates for a couple of years in DC. 

So when I asked Candace about a custom I thought was unique to her family, she was happy to share.   She told me the origin and tradition of eating crepes on Groundhog Day — which I now know stems from multiple French customs.

This family tradition originates with her maternal great-great-grandparents who emigrated from France in 1904 to Louisiana. Candace said her mother Jackie recalls eating crepes only on Feb. 2 at her Grandma’s house. And, little Jackie knew how to flip a crepe by second grade.

Candace remembers having the same experience with her great-grandmother (nicknamed Ms. Grandma by Candace’s generation), except flipping a crepe is something she jokes she still hasn't quite mastered.

She also had the treat more than just once a year. Crepes became a sleepover staple with Karen, Lisa and Catherine (Jessica came into the picture later). The girls would experiment with the antique recipe, adding nutella instead of plain sugar.

Jackie even gave each of the girls the famous recipe and a crepe pan as a graduation gift.  Tomorrow Candace and the girls will attempt to make crepes on Groundhog Day in DC … and they promise to send pictures.

But … why Groundhog Day?

Well, Candelaria or Candlemass is celebrated on Feb. 2, recognizing the light of God. In France, this holiday is known as Le Chandeleur, Fete de la Lumiere or Jour des Crepes … that’s right, Crepe Day.

Candace said the French celebrate by eating crepes and fortune telling — similar to how Americans spend Feb. 2.  Apparently, if you flip a crepe in the pan (no spilling) while holding a coin in the other hand, your family will be prosperous for the next year.

So World, best of luck tomorrow.  Let’s hope for less winter (hah! it’s 75 degrees in Baton Rouge), more money (yes, please) and a happy Crepe Day! 

*Found Online.

The Treat: Candace's Crepes 
Candace sent over a scanned copy of the recipe from a family cookbook 

Candace, Catherine and the girls celebrate Crepe Day at Candace and Lisa's pad in DC ... just like old times.

Candace has mastered the art flipping crepes. 

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