Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pancake Day!

Today is Pancake Day in the UK otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday, which is the day before Ash Wednesday and therefore the day before Lent begins. In other parts of the world—for example, in historically Catholic and French-speaking parts of the US and elsewhere—this day is called Mardi Gras.

The reason that pancakes are traditionally eaten is that the 40 days of Lent form a period of fasting, during which only the plainest foodstuffs may be eaten. Therefore, rich ingredients such as eggs, milk, sugar and flour are eaten immediately prior to the commencement of the fast. Pancakes and doughnuts were a great way of using up these things prior to fasting. The word shrove is a past tense of the English verb "shrive," which means to confess and therefore Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the shriving (confession) that took place immediately before Lent.

All over the UK people will be eating pancakes to mark this day before giving up something for Lent. I like my pancakes with lemon juice and sugar and I promise faithfully that I will then give them up for Lent. They are just too yummy!

15 comments:

Shephard said...

Oh, I have a question. When my friend from Wolverhampton 1st visited us, she wanted to taste real "American" pancakes, and she said they are different from those in the U.K. I think I remember her saying yours are more crepey?
Have you ever had pancakes from The Colonies? ;)

You asked about The Medicine Cards. Borders Books, Barnes & Noble Books (not sure how close you are to a major city there in the U.K.), and even easier and less expensive, Amazon dot com. :)

~S :)

Claire said...

Shrove Tuesday really is my favourite day of the year...I just love pancakes! YUM YUM!!

I'm giving up wheat...I've just joined the gym and think this will help me get into the swing of things!...then again it might not!

Dachsies Rule said...

Hmmm, we wish we could get some pancakes to give up for Lent. Everyone else gets such yummy stuff and we are stuck with kibble and canned dog food and cottage cheese and treats ... sigh ... heavy sigh ...

Roxie, Sammy & Andy

Janejill said...

Damn! I forgot again... next year I will make pancakes. likewise the lemon juice and sugar - mmm

Irish Church Lady :) said...

O I love lemon pancakes! That's what we call them. They are actually crepes sprinkled with sugar and rolled up like a blanket / carpet with lemon squeezed on them. My kids love them too! It's what me Mum used to make for us as kids and I have carried on the recipe in my family.

Happy Shrove Tuesday - Fat Tuesday as they say for Mardi Gras!

Sarch said...

Ok, I'm showing my oafishness here. I have never even HEARD of lemon on pancakes. This would be a completely unique flavor to these taste buds of mine.

Your picture makes me want to go bury myself into a pile of them right now. However mine would have peanut butter and maple syrup slathered on them :)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Those pancakes look very yummy and sound VERY Yummy, too....
I don't think I ever heard the explanation of why one gives up certain foods for lent before in such a thorough way...Hope whatever you give up will come back into your diet once lent is over, especially if it is these pancakes!

Zeus said...

What an interesting tradition. I had no idea that this was the case in the UK; however, I like this idea more than Mardi Gras. In the states, the idea of Mardi Gras has become synonmous with "do whatever your heart desires" day. I really find it to be repulsive.

Eating pancakes seems like a much simpler solution to celebrating! ;)

Ps said...

Have never tasted pancakes, but have heard of them.We have an Indian version of it (again predominantly in South India) called "dosas".(made out of ground rice and lentil)I love my Dosas.
The picture you posted makes it look yummy.

kross-eyed kitty said...

I had no idea how Pancake Tuesday came to be!
Your lemony-sugary ones look delish!

Bob-kat said...

UK pancakes are much different to US ones BTW :-) Basically they are more of a crepe and very thin. They are prepared by making a batter from flour, eggs and milk and then frying a thin layer of this mix in a very hot pan with a little oil.

utenzi said...

I love pancakes. I do make the thicker type though not the thin ones. I want to soak up a lot of syrup.

diyadear said...

hey we celebrated mardi gras at san antonio.. hope u had a nice day with yummy pan cakes :)

mar said...

I happen to have shepard's comment right on the left and yes, American pancakes are different. I like them too, I love everything flour-milk-eggs...perfect for the waist-line.

Katherine said...

Pancakes are one of my most favorite foods-seriously! Love them. Must be a carb thing. Like them with bananas, walnuts, real butter and slathered in thick syrup. Lemon?? I don't get that, doesn't it just make it soggy?