So today is pancake day, or as it’s otherwise known – Shrove Tuesday!
Most of us will be enjoying making, tossing and eating our pancakes later, but how did it come about?
Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent, which is on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter and was traditionally a time of fasting. Many Catholics especially, will give something up for Lent.
Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday. This means it varies each year.
On Shrove Tuesday, Anglo Saxon Christians went to confession and were shriven, which means ‘absolved from their sins’. A bell would be ring to call people to confession. This came to be called the ‘Pancake Bell’ and is still rung today.
Shrove Tuesday was the last chance to use up eggs and fats before starting the Lenten fast. Pancakes were the best way of using up these ingredients.
The pancake has been in cookery books as far back as 1439.
The ingredients for pancakes can be seen to symbolise four points of significance at this time of year:
Eggs – Creation
Flour – The staff of life
Salt – Wholesomeness
Milk – Purity
How to make a traditional pancake
To make 8 perfect pancakes
8oz plain flour,
2 large eggs,
1 pint milk,
quick pinch of salt.
Mix all together and whisk well. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan and let it cook until the base of the pancake has browned. Then shake the pan to loosen the pancake and flip the pancake over to brown the other side. Trying not to get it stuck to your ceiling!
Traditionally we used lemon or honey for our toppings, but nowadays we get me exotic. Toppings now include fresh fruit, chocolate or even savoury!
For me it has to he just lemon with a little bit of a sugar!
What ever your favourite topping, have a great day!