Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Pancake Day

It's Shrove Tuesday today, the traditional feast day to use all the eggs and fats in the larder before the penitential season of Lent starts on the following day... Ash Wednesday.  Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter.

When I was growing up in England, Mum always made pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day. I don't mean the thick fluffy flapjack style that are eaten in North America with bacon and sausage and maple syrup. When I first arrived in Canada, I always thought that particular taste combination was very strange, however I quite like it now. Perhaps I'm used to it.


The pancakes that Mum made were very thin and light and lacy, just a little bit crinkled and browned on both sides. Once on the plate, the pancake was sprinkled with caster sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and then rolled up, and always eaten in rolled slices. So good, I remember licking the plate!


The pancake has a very long history and featured in cookery books as far back as 1439. The tradition of tossing or flipping them is almost as old: “And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.” (Pasquil’s Palin, 1619).

In Britain, pancake races form an important part of the Shrove Tuesday celebrations – an opportunity for large numbers of people, often in fancy dress, to race down streets tossing pancakes. The object of the race is to get to the finishing line first, carrying a frying pan with a cooked pancake in it and flipping the pancake as you run. Possibly Mr. Covid will put a stop to the pancake races in 2021!

24 comments:

  1. Despite growing up without religion we always had thin pancakes with lemon juice and a little sugar too on Shrove Tuesday. And of course they were rolled. Yum.

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    1. My lemony pancakes yesterday were SO good, so I wonder why I only think about making them once a year.

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  2. I had some today via take out. That's pretty much the same way my mom made pancakes.

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  3. The lacy, thin pancake is “crepe”, isn’t it? All my family love the sweet, savory rolled crepes and I have a crepe pan to cook. Yours look so delicious. Pancake race sounds so much fun.

    Yoko

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    1. Yes, it can be a "crepe" or a pancake. When I was growing up, the word "crepe" was considered sophisticated and rather posh!

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  4. Tanya makes (crepes) bliny quite often. They can be eaten with jam or syrup or stuffed and rolled with mushrooms and potatoes or anything else you like. Pancake day is any time we have milk go sour.

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    1. I've made them with an apple cinnamon centre too, really good.

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  5. I am glad that you have called it Shrove Tuesday, which I preferred name although I came to it late and don't know anyone else who uses it. With an early Easter this year, the day snuck up on me, and I didn't have pancakes. And I didn't get shriven either.

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    1. It's been a whirlwind of special days in a row.... Chinese New Year, St. Valentine's Day, Family Day, and Shrove Tuesday, and today is Ash Wednesday! No wonder you missed it. Never mind, it's never too late to have pancakes.

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  6. Thank you for the history of Shrove Tuesday..I never knew the meaning behind it.
    The thin pancakes look delicious..sugar and lemon is a delightful combination.
    Sue

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    1. The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "absolve". It was the day that Christians were forgiven their sins, and they prepared for Lent.

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  7. Pancake races must be fun. I’d never heard of them.

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    1. I remember a pancake race in the village where I grew up in UK.

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  8. I love love love thin pancakes with lemon juice and icing sugar - and I lick the plate too :))

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    1. The main problem is that your chin can get sticky if you're not careful....

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  9. We had our pancakes last night, a day late as we wanted to include our Granddaughter in the pancake tossing. You can't beat the thin pancake with sugar and lemon. I ended up eating 3.

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    1. Only 3? I'm sure you could have managed a couple more.

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  10. This is not something with which I have any familiarity at all, but I would gladly eat the pancakes!

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    1. You should definitely try them, especially good with a squeeze of lemon and a little sprinkle of sugar. Very lick-the-plateish!

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  11. I'm not familiar with these, just the tradition American pancakes made in a variety of ways, and sizes with maple syrup and nothing else. Those you describe sound like they would be very tasty.

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  12. Thank you for posting!
    I remember that I read about the history of pancake day a few years ago.
    Yes," I can not forget this word" Shrove Tuesday"! It was fun. I still keep the book, so I try to read it again. Your pancake looks delicious!

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    1. Hello Tomoko, nice to see you! I hope you are able to eat some "Shrove Tuesday" pancakes, so delicious with a squeeze of lemon. Tell me if you try them.

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