Is it Pancake Day?
mum, is it Pancake Day?
... asks many children in the UK, Ireland and many of the former British colonies where this tradition has set into the hearts and tummies who pop the question almost every Tuesday after Christmas.
The excitement of the mix of flour, eggs, milk and butter cloaked with choices of more butters, sugars, golden syrup, maple syrup, lemon juice, lime juice, imported fresh fruit for those who attempt to make this healthy rather than tradition.
Pancakes can be heaven :-)
How about the adult connoisseur transforming their pancakes into a savoury dish of maybe just gravy and onions or stuffed and baked with grilled vegetables and exotic sauces which are really tomatoes, garlic and basil to somehow satisfy pizza addictions.
The picture here is of Olney, Buckinhamshire Pancake Racers. I'm not sure if they are at the start or the end of the race, but a huge thank you to Deck The Holidays for the pic.
yes it's Pancake Day :-)
Crepe pancakes and USA style pancakes really use the same batter mix.
CrÃ©pe batter is thinner and spread thinner in a pan.
USA pancakes are known as "drop scones" in the UK and parts of Ireland.
- 9 oz or 25 grams all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder - or 1 teaspoon for crepe style pancakes
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sugar or 2 tablespoons of honey
- 16 fl oz or 470 ml milk buttermilk even soya rice or other favourite milk even some yoghurt
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz or 50 grams melted butter
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter;
- then mix very well until smooth.
- If you wish to have a USA or drop scone type pancakes
- this is what the above will give, the batter being like a thick soup.
- If you wish to make thin crepe style pancakes add more milk liquid
- to give a consistency just a little thicker than single cream.
- Put in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- If making for Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday,
- make batter and place in fridge during Monday evening.
- Its amazing how this mix matures and bonds
- and makes a far better, far easier to manage
- pancake making the following morning or lunch time.
- On Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day,
- Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.
- Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle,
- using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.
- You can start with a small amount of batter
- and see how it works in the pan
- to establish if you want to make the batter thinner or thicker.
- Oh, make sure you heat up your frying pan, pancake pan or griddle pan
- well before starting to cook pancakes.
- If you have one of those crÃ©pe making heated mushrooms shaped griddles,
- you are in heaven
- Brown on both sides and serve hot.
- That's all there is to it :-)
- With a stack of pancakes made,
- now what are you going to do with them, to serve?
- Many people indulge with covering them with
- more butter,
- lemon juice
- lime juice
- golden syrup
- maple syrup
- fruit syrups
- chocolate syrup
- favourite jam or jelly
- crushed bananas
- berries ....
- chooped nuts
- chocolate chips
- Then other people go for the savoury
- and may even add pepper, oinion and garlic in the batter
- and smother with cooked onions and gravy.
- Another savoury is to grill vegetables,
- wrap them in your crÃ©pe pancakes,
- cover in a tomato sauce with garlic, olive oil,
- basil, oregano, maybe some chilli
- sprinkle parmesan on the whole dish
- and maybe some grated cheese.
- Happy Pancake Day :-)
who embraces this day as Shrove Tuesday?
In the Christian faith world, especially the Catholic faith world, this is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of fasting and prayer called Lent.
In the New Orleans World, it is Mardi Gras, including the emergence of the mystery of the Mardi Gras Indians and their Krewes.
Shrove, the time to "shrive", to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of confession and doing penance, but we may think about that on Wednesday instead.
Tuesday, this last day of Epiphany, and somehow
became a tradition brought to Britain and Eire
by the monastic settlements with the Normans.
This Tuesday, whether it is called, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day or Mardi Gras has a strong association with releasing high spirits before the somber season of Lent.
Today, in Uk, Erin and the past English speaking colonies its a day of making those crepe style, rather than USA style, pancakes with flour, eggs, millk and fat, though recipes can, of course, add more wonderful things and use buttermilk instead of regular milk.
I think in some parts of Canada this is doughnut day or donut day.
Can any Canadians add information to this?
In England it was once a half day holiday. Schools and business used to close down at 11:00 am to get ready for Pancake Races in the afternoon.
This half day was taken during my first days of school in Yorkshire.
A Pancake Race involved participants running and racing through some streets whilst tossing pancakes into the air and catching them in the pan whilst running.
This tradition is said to have started at Olney, Buckinghamshire, in 1445.
It is said that a woman in Olney got carried away with pancake making, heard the church bells at 11:00 am calling her to church, and she ran out of her home with pan and pancake tossing it on the way to church.
Though Pancake Day and especially Pancake Races are not known in the USA there is one exception, Liberal in Kansas. In fact the winner of the Pancake race there is compared to the time of the Pancake race winner in Olney, England. Times are compared and an overall winner is announced by the town crier of each village.
fixin' To Mardi Gras
More people probably know this day more as the Mardi Gras day than the Pancake Day.
Mardi Gras is something I do not need to write about, known so well and enjoyed so much by the people of New Orleans, of course, Birmingham Alabama who actually kick this off with a series of events after Thanksgiving Day up until now, Rio de Janeiro, Barranquilla in Colombia, Sydney in Australia, Trinidad, Tobago, Quebec City, and Sinaloa in Mexico.
will you fast for Lent?
Fasting for 40 days and nights? hmmm ...
40 is a significant number in Jewish-Christian scripture:
In Genesis, the flood which destroyed the earth
was brought about by
40 days and nights of rain.
The Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness
before reaching the land promised to them by God.
Moses fasted for 40 days before receiving
the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.
Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness
in preparation for his ministry.
Since Norman age Christian times there has been an expectation of Christians
to ponder through the scoffing of pancakes to consider a thorough self-examination,
to consider what wrongs need to repented, and what amendments need to be made
to ensure God's forgiveness.
That previous fasting and repentant 40-day period is a build up to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a story that inspired me considerably as a very young child, when I first read it. Its a story told in so many ways by all faiths even if the outcome is not the resurrection of a person named Jesus in every faith.
As with all of these traditions there was surely a nature based ancient celebration that was morphed into Christianity and Judaism faiths. This one does not take much working out.
I believe Shrove Tuesday is a seperation from Imbolc. Though today we celebrate Imbolc according to calendars and astronomical alignments the ancient people must have diverted such celebrations to match when climate and weather made the transition from Winter to Spring most practical.
We have a hint of this on Groundhog Day when Punxsutawney Phil gives us a folklore decision about if there is more winter to come or not, in the Northern Hemisphere.
I believe that when a chieftain declared that it was time to rejoice Spring after winter, the remaining winter stores of food were then mixed together for indulgent feasting, merriment and celebration.
However, with all the winter supplies eaten at such a feast,
where does the new fresh food come from?
Its too early for supplies of new crops from the ground, though ancient people do appear to have used some systems of hydroponics to sprout grains to provide nutritious fresh food.
Fishing would have been important at this time and especially the fishing of shellfish from shores, which at this time are their very best.
Therefore ancient people would have also been forced into some kind of fasting until about 40 days later when the first of edible green crops may have been available from the soil as well as the possible culling of their farm animals once they knew that their new born would be healthy replacements.
making some pancakes in 5 minutes
some folks make doughnuts instead
I did not find time to include some words about the doughnut traditions in some cultures on this day, as a way to use up their batter. The Paczki doughnuts are very popular with the Polish and Hungarian people around the world - and with the people they serve some too.
I will include something about this next year.
Meanwhile, all you Shrove/Fat Tuesday doughnut/donut makers out there, please write something about what you make and eat today with the comments bellow :-).
lets finish with a Shrove Tuesday tune ...
I believe Thomas Hardy learned this tune on fiddle from a French seaman,
forgot to ask the title or memorize it and called it Shrove Tuesday.
I wonder if that is the day he learned it?
... and that's how it spread to other musicians?