Modern Languages meets Cuisine.
Ms Assemat, Modern Languages Department, has been leading Prep III through the wonders of making pancakes! She reports:
‘Prep III does not learn French but they thoroughly enjoy discovering languages and other cultures. As we lead up to Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) and the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday next week, they set about making a pancake mix.
However, making pancakes is not linked with Pancake Day but with the French tradition of ‘La Chandeleur’. La Chandeleur takes place on 2nd February, a feast we know as Candlemas Day – the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord at the Temple. La Chandeleur is a French holiday during which people traditionally eat crêpes.
Prep III learnt about La Chandeleur and took advantage of the lesson by learning some basic French words linked to the ingredients of the delicious pancakes. Words such as: la farine, les oeufs, and le lait.
We also talked about Brittany, in the north-west of France which is famous for its ‘crêperies’ (crêpes restaurants), as les crêpes is one of their traditions.
Before making the pancake mix, we reviewed some basic rules: hair was tied up, sleeves rolled up and hands washed. And – to avoid making lumps when cooking the pancake mix, we discussed that milk had to be added very gently. Most of the girls did exceptionally well and pancake mixes free of lumps resulted with a lot of fun added just for good measure!
There are many French proverbs and sayings about la Chandeleur; here are just a few:
À la Chandeleur, l’hiver cesse ou reprend vigueur
On Candlemas, winter ends or strengthens
À la Chandeleur, le jour croît de deux heures
On Candlemas, the day grows by two hours
Chandeleur couverte, quarante jours de perte
Candlemas covered (in snow), forty days lost
Rosée à la Chandeleur, hiver à sa dernière heure
Dew on Candlemas, winter at its final hour.’