Pancake Day Shrove Tuesday
Pancake Day, or as it was known years ago Shrove Tuesday, is the typical feast day right before the beginning of Lent known as Ash Wednesday. Beginning the 40 days building up to Easter, it was typically a time of fasting as well as on Shrove Tuesday, Christians went to confession. Also, they were “shriven” (forgiven from their transgressions). A bell would be called to call people to confess. This became called the “Pancake Bell” and is still called that today.
Shrove Tuesday typically occurs 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date differs from year to year and also occurs between February 3rd as well as March 9th. In 2021 Shrove Tuesday will fall on February 16th.
Shrove Tuesday was your last opportunity to consume eggs and fats before starting the Lenten fast, and pancakes are the ideal means of using up these active ingredients.
A pancake is a slim, level cake made from batter and also fried in a frying pan. A standard English pancake is skinny and is served promptly. Golden syrup or lemon juice and even caster sugar are the typical garnishes for pancakes.
The pancake has a very long background and is featured in culinary publications as far back as 1439. The practice of throwing or flipping them is virtually as old:
“And every guy and also maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.” (Pasquil’s Palin, 1619).
The traditional British pancake, also known as a crepe, is sadly dying out and is being replaced by its much tastier and glamourous cousin the American pancake. Traditionally served with maple syrup, and just about any other topping, you can imagine. Chocolate spread, peanut butter, and any kind of fresh berry or fruit.
It looks like pancake day is changing. So here are two traditional recipes, one for old fashioned pancakes served with lemon and sugar. Or the American version, which I prefer.
The traditional ingredients for pancake day can be supposed to represent the following;
Eggs = Creation
Flour = The staff of life
Salt = Wholesomeness
Milk = Purity
To make 8 or so pancakes, you will need 8oz ordinary flour, 2 big eggs, 1-pint milk, salt.
Mix entirely and blend well. Leave to stand for 30 mins. Heat a small amount oil in a frying pan, not too much as you don’t need to get splashed with oil when you toss them. Pour in enough batter to cover the base of the frying pan and allow it to cook up until the bottom of the pancake has browned. After that, shake the pan to loosen the pancake and turn the pancake over to color the other side.
American Pancake Day Recipe for American Pancakes
I much prefer the American style pancake they are light and fluffy and you can add all sorts of goodies
1 cup (120g) plain flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 cup (240 ml) milk
2 Tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
1 large egg
Miscellaneous additions such as maple syrup, fresh berries, chocolate spread or peanut butter, etc.
How to make your pancakes
In a small bowl, beat together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat together milk, butter, and the egg.
Pour the dry ingredients onto the milk mixture, and stir (don’t overdo it).
Heat a large non-stick frying pan or griddle over medium heat, and coat generously with vegetable oil.
Drop, 2 or 3 tablespoons of batter onto the pan. Cook until the top of pancakes have some bubbles, about 1 minute. Turn over (do not toss) carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Enjoy adding whatever topping you like, even fresh cream.
In the United Kingdom, pancake day races developed as an essential part of the pancake day Tuesday celebrations an opportunity for multitudes of people, more often than not in fancy dress, to race down roads tossing pancakes. The point of the race is to run and toss the pancake as you run, without dropping it. As you can imagine, the fun and falls ensue.
One of the most popular pancake day races happens at Olney in Buckinghamshire. Where, According to tradition, in 1445, a woman of Olney heard the shriving bell. When she was cooking pancakes, and also went to the church still in her apron, holding her fry pan. The Olney pancake race is currently famous worldwide. Rivals have to be local, and they should use an apron and a hat or headscarf. Of course these days a lot of people from outside the area enter the race.
Each contestant has a frypan containing a hot pancake. She needs to toss it three times throughout the race. The winner is the first to reach the church. And offer her pancake to the bellringer as well as be kissed by him, is the winner.
At Westminster School in London, the annual Pancake day race is held. A verger from Westminster Abbey leads a procession of kids right into the playground where the college cook throws a massive pancake over a five-meter high bar. The children then race to order a portion of the pancake, and the one that winds up with the biggest piece gets a reward from the Dean.
In Scarborough, Yorkshire, on Shrove Tuesday, everybody sets up on the boardwalk to skip. Long ropes are stretched across the roadway, and there maybe be ten or even more people skipping on one rope. The origins of this are not known. It may be connected with the sowing and sprouting of seeds, which might have been used throughout the Middle Ages.
Many towns throughout England used to hold typical Shrove Tuesday football (‘Mob Football’) games dating back as far back as the 12th century. The practice mostly died out with the passing of the 1835 Highways Act, which outlawed the having fun of football on public highways. Still, a number of communities have taken care of to preserve the practice today including Alnwick in Northumberland, ( I live near this beautiful town) Ashbourne in Derbyshire (called the Royal Shrovetide Football Match), Atherstone in Warwickshire, Sedgefield (called the Ball Game) in County Durham, and also St Columb Major (called Hurling the Silver Ball) in Cornwall.