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Written on the: February 9, 2016 by Helen Brenton
Pancake Day; Shrove Tuesday; The day before Lent; Confused? You’re not the only one! Whatever you call it, it is that flipping day again already! In France, Pancake Day is known as Mardi Gras, meaning Fat Tuesday – I like that!
Yup, this ‘fat day’ can fall anytime between 2nd Feb and 9th March, so we are in for a flipping treat early into the year this year as Easter falls early this year too!
So hands up who knows where the word ‘shrove’ in ‘Shrove Tuesday’ comes from? Well it is the past tense of the verb to shrive, meaning to confess – yep Shrove Tuesday is all about confessing sins before Lent! I’m keeping quiet!
And so what is Lent? Well Lent is what I did with a tenner to my son last week! But seriously, Lent is the 40-day period when many religions fast, abstain and do good works in preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. To be honest I am not into all that…. but Lent these days is also an opportunity for some to give up a few bad habits [a bit like those new years resolutions that you have probably already broken by now! c’mon you know who you are]
So where do pancakes come in to all this then? – Well it goes something like this: The idea being that you have to use up all those fatty foods in your cupboard before giving them up for Lent… and most people have all those fatty things like eggs, flour and milk to use up? Yeah! [am I the only one with e-numbered lazen frozen pizzas and the like still kicking around on Shrove Tuesday?] Right now I am trying to find that all important 8oz of plain flour ‘in my store cupboard essentials’ on a random Tuesday in February [sorry a ‘Fat Day’ in February – or was it the Day Before Lent] Pancake Day! That day again already! Great! I have no flour!!! Unfit mother status alert!
So yeah, the paradox in ‘our’ today’s western society, – most people actually have to buy the stuff in to make pancakes out of the ingredients they are meant to be using up! Paradox?…. or marketing genius!? Either way most of us love the things and the humble pancake now has now evolved into a big multicultural family! Scotch ones; creped ones; blini ones… to name but a few!
So we have eggs tick; flour tick; milk tick…. ready to throw it all into the mix? But be careful – depending how you throw it all together you could actually end up with pasta, or scrambled eggs…. or errr wallpaper paste! [note to self – google pancake recipes!] It won’t be the first time I have turned my non-stick frying pan into a non-fry sticking pan!
And then the big debate of what to put on them….. mmmm I will have to go away now and give that some thought – I’ll be back in a jiffy!
So whether you’re rushing out for a pot of nutella and a half a dozen free-range… or tossing and turning at the thought of giving something up for the next 40 days – have a flipping good day everyone!
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