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Candlemass and Pancakes?

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

copyrighr Bettina Network, inc., 2014

Leave it to the French to take a religious celebration and turn it into something to eat – something great to eat.

Candlemass is celebrated in France as Candelaria where candles are blessed, lit and borne in procession.  After which pancakes are eaten.

In the Mosaic Law, there is the requirement that a woman should purify herself for forty days after giving birth.  At the end of her purification, she should present herself to the priest at the temple and offer a sacrifice.  The Roman Catholic Churches celebrate their ritual of the Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin on Candlemass – 40 days after Christmas.  The Anglican Churches celebrate the Wives Feast, which is a time when women celebrate with feasting and socializing.  The Bettina Network, inc. just likes pancakes and an excuse to experiment with food!!!

This past Sunday we had a grand time eating pancakes all day long.  Testing different recipes and learning the cultural traditions relating to this holiday,  the middle point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  So we are half-way there and here’s hoping the weather takes that into consideration and starts slacking off on these storms.

Of all the pancakes we tried, the best were the French Banana Pancakes.  As they would say in France, it is all in the sauce.  The sauce made the difference and these are unbelievably good.  In fact, we would say these are astoundingly good.

For the Pancakes: – actually any good crepe recipe will serve the purpose.

1 cup organic whole wheat flour

1/4 cup organic Turbinado Sugar

1 cup organic whole milk.  PLEASE – no low fat milk.  In fact,  if you have the guts and haven’t been totally warped by the marketers and advertisers using fear to sell overprocessed foods,  you might use organic heavy cream instead.  Only you have to make sure it is not the ‘ultra pasteurized’ kind which is nothing but over-processed something or other designed to last 90 days on the grocers’ shelf.  Can you imagine what has been done to that ultra-pasteurized heavy cream to gain that kind of shelf life?

2 organic eggs (large)

3 tablespoons organic butter

1 teaspoon organic hazelnut oil – the kind you put on the table to add to coffee, when the spirit moves you!

1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine the dry ingredients and mix them a little with a spoon or whisk to incorporate air into the mixture

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.

On a lightly greased griddle or fry pan with very low sides pour enough pancake batter to make a fairly large sized pancake – turning when there are no bubbles and the bottom is lightly browned.

Remove the pancake to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.  This makes about 12 pancakes which will be flat and light instead of fat and fluffy.  More like a crepe – which you will need to be able to put a banana in the crepe and wrap.

For the Filling: – the really good part.

1/4 cup organic Turbinado sugar

1/4 cup organic butter

1/2 teaspoon  organic Ceylon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon organic nutmeg which you grate into the sauce – none of this powdery pre-grated stuff

1/2 cup or more organic heavy cream.  Use enough to get the consistency you need.

6 bananas, halved lengthwise and cut in half lengthwise yet again

The amount of seasonings you use depends upon your taste.  We tried a huge tablespoon organic Ceylon Cinnamon because we like its properties of dealing with sugar and its taste.  It is awesome.

I used to think cinnamon was put into pastries, pies, etc. because of its taste.  I am sure that is part of the reason, but the other part comes from the possibility that our forebears knew about the properties of cinnamon and used it with their sugary concoctions to mitigate the affects of sugar on the body.  Wouldn’t that be something!  Enjoyment, but with a conscience and a caring for others.

Melt butter in a large skillet.

Stir in the organic Turbinado sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and after a minute or two stir in the cream, cooking until slightly thickened.

Add the bananas a few at a time as they fit into the skillet.  Heat the sauce with bananas for several minutes while spooning the syrup over the bananas.  The longer you cook the bananas the fluffier they become.  So, if you want bananas to be substantial and dense heat them briefly.  If you want them to be light and fluffy cook them for several minutes in the sauce.

Place one of the banana pieces in the middle of a pancake/crepe, add a little sauce and roll the combination.

Put them on a pretty platter and when the platter fills, pour sauce over the banana pancake/crepes for a more intense taste and a prettier serving look

Serve the French Pancakes with a side gravy saucer containing any leftover sauce for people to help themselves.

Enjoy an incredibly good dish and celebrate whatever holiday, birthday or just any day during which you want something special.

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