Sure, we know that most Canadians may associate February 2nd with Groundhog Day…but it is also La Chandeleur, or Candlemas, commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. As with most celebrations, this fourth Joyful Mystery of the rosary has its own special food traditions. In France it is “Crêpe Day”, something we also try to carry on here in our house.
Lots of sweet or savory accompaniments are possible, lemon and chocolate among them, but for today we chose peaches, cinnamon, and yogurt sweetened with maple syrup.
However you like them, enjoy some crêpes today. And lest you think we have completely pushed Groundhog Day from our minds, “ground hog” will feature prominently in the meatballs we’re planning for dinner.
The weather in Ontario this week hardly constitutes the kind of weather for “cold weather food”. But it’s a small sacrifice for something so delicious. We had two lovely local lamb shanks in the freezer. While those were browning in a Dutch oven on top of the stove, we chopped a carrot, a hot pepper, a leek, and a stalk of celery. When the shanks were browned we turned the oven to 350F. Then we added the veg and sautéed until they were softened a bit. After deglazing with a little beer, we added a stalk of thyme (the leaves will fall off and the stem can be fished out before serving). Other flavours included a few raisins, 3 chopped dried apricots, 6 pitted, chopped black olives, some oregano, chili powder, and ground cloves.
We poured over a pint of diced tomatoes (or half a large can), covered it, and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Then we turned the shanks, let it go for another 20 minutes. For the last 10 minutes we took the lid off, and in the meantime, made mashed potatoes. The lamb was fall-off-the-bone delicious. Happy Groundhog Day!