La Marmite, Issue #6 -- Buckwheat Crepes Recipe
For a Chandeleur Celebration
January 15, 2009
Bonjour et bienvenue to the sixth issue of La Marmite!In this issue you will find featured:
Meilleurs VoeuxLet me start by wishing you a Happy New Year!The month of January in France is spent wishing all friends the best for the coming year. People send out cards (interesting to note that Christmas cards are not a big tradition in France), bosses, politicians, and other bigwigs give elaborate speeches, and you need to wish good luck for the coming year to any acquaintances you meet.Most times people do this by simply saying Meilleurs Voeux, or best wishes.
ChandeleurAfter the Fete de Roi on January 6th (sorry that I didn't get to this - next year I'll devote an issue to this celebration, including a recipe for the delicious frangipane filled galette), the next traditional celebration, called Chandeleur in France, falls on February 2nd, forty days after Christmas.As with many celebrations, the exact origins and meaning of Chandeleur are somewhat confused and lost in history. It is officially forty days after the birth of Christ and the day he was first presented in the temple, a day that is still commemorated by blessing and lighting candles, called chandelles in French.However, people were celebrating the near end of winter long before the Catholic Church took this celebration under its wing. Some say that the crepe became associated with Chandeleur as it represents the sun and its gradual victory over winter. Others believe that it was the Pope who long ago distributed crepes to pilgrims arriving in Rome to celebrate Chandeleur.Whatever the origins, and although for many people the primary activity of Chandeleur is blessing candles and participating in processions, February 2nd is definitely the day to eat crepes in France.Some fun traditions and superstitions accompany this feasting:
Buckwheat Crepes RecipeIf you decide to celebrate Chandeleur along with the French, you might like to do so with this buckwheat crepes recipe. These are the traditional crepes made in the Brittany region, and many people consider them to be the crepe for Chandeleur.(Did you know that buckwheat, which is called sarassin in French, is not wheat at all but is more closely related to rhubarb?)
Crêpes au sarrassin
Crepes Recipe FillingsAlthough you can certainly serve crepes as a sweet treat (for some ideas check out this breakfast crepe recipe), buckwheat crepes lend themselves naturally to savory interpretations. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started
Vegetable of the Month: The TurnipOK, I promised you one vegetable a month, but I didn't say I was going to be easy on you. I'm trying to get you to try something that perhaps you have been overlooking for years. And I suspect the turnip may be on your list of forgotten vegetables.I recently used them in this Lamb Stew Recipe and you are not going to believe how tasty they are when cooked this way. Turnips are great absorbers of flavors (maybe a bit like tofu in that way), and in this recipe, a touch of sugar and the robust taste of lamb, make them true star vegetables.And if you need nutritional motivation to pick up a few of these at the grocery store, have a look at this page all about turnips.
SurveyThanks to all who took the time to fill out the survey. Looks like you want it all: recipes, cultural and regional information. I better get to work!For starters, those of you who want more recipes, here's what's new on Easy French Food since last month:
Crockpot Lemon Chicken RecipeKir RoyaleVinaigrette RecipesNext IssueThanks so much for spending some time with me. In the next issue, due out on February 17th, you can learn about how Mardi Gras (February 24th) will be celebrated in France this year.If you're receiving this newsletter because a friend forwarded it to you, you can sign up for your own copy of La Marmite: Subscribe to La Marmite.A bientot and remember to enjoy your food!Your friend in France,Kim