Every year in the early part of February, Chandeleur is celebrated. Chandeleur (coming from a Latin word meaning candle) celebrates the presentation of the baby Jesus to the elders at the temple. Most French people would be hard-pressed to explain the origin of this crêpe-eating festival. The holiday originated much, much earlier as it's the celebration of light and the sun as we head towards the end of winter.
Why crêpes? This tradition comes from the 5th century, Pope Gélius handed out flat bread to the poor during the end of winter. The Catholic church converted the pagan sun festival into a more acceptable church festival. Also, one can extrapolate that the crêpes represent the sun.
Crêpes, for those of you who don't know, are very thin pancakes that are very eggy. You can eat them sweet with jam, honey, chocolate or Grand Marnier. Most French children put Nutella on theirs. I can't stand Nutella! Crêpes can be made from buckwheat flour (sarasin) and be eaten with cheese, ham, eggs and any other savory item you might want.
A half-liter of milk (500ml or about 2 cups)
1 pinch of salt
50 g. butter, melted
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large bowl, put the flour and eggs. Then progressively add the milk while contstantly mixing with a wire whisk.
Add the sugar, vanilla and the salt. Let the mixture rest for about 1 hour before cooking.
Heat a crêpière (pan), when hot add a little butter. Pour in about 1/2 of a ladle of the mixture and cook it gently for 1-2 minutes on each side.
You can keep the crêpes warm in a dishtowel in the oven (slightly heated). Eat with jam, chocolate, or try flaming it with Grand Marnier.