What is Pancake Day and why Pancakes?
Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day as you possibly know it, always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday. It is the day before the Christian time of Lent which traditionally was a time of fasting in the run up to the festival of Easter.
Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before starting a period of abstinence, or fasting, for Lent. Hence pancakes were a great way of using up these ingredients, being a batter mix.
Easy pancake recipe
To make 8 or so traditional pancakes (crêpes) you will need: 8oz plain flour, 2 large eggs, 1 pint milk, salt.
Mix all together in a bowl and whisk well. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Heat a little butter or oil in a frying pan, pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan. Let it cook until the base of the pancake has browned - this only takes a few minutes.
Then shake the pan to loosen your pancake and flip it over to brown the other side.
Pancake tossing as a sport
In the UK, pancake races are still part of Shrove Tuesday celebrations in some towns. Gathering often in fancy dress, people race down streets tossing, or flipping, pancakes. The object of the race is to get to the finishing line first, carrying a frying pan with a cooked pancake in it and flipping the pancake as you run.
The internet is full of sites that will tell you where and how these races take place each year, and you will find lots of ideas online for recipes.
Below are just a few ideas to whet your appetite.
Eating your pancakes
In the UK, pancakes were traditionally eaten just with a squeeze of lemon and some sugar.
Not just for Lent, many cultures have their own pancake or crêpe recipes, and favourite ways of adding other ingredients. You are probably familiar with such combinations as bacon and maple syrup (a great favourite of Americans and Canadians), fresh fruits and cream, honey and nuts, and savoury options too like fish roe, eggs or savoury mince.
The vital equipment
Whether made thin or thick, sweet or savoury, the one thing that you cannot manage without is a frying pan or skillet to cook your pancakes in.
Check yours is up to the job, and if it isn't we have a selection to buy in store at Colour Supplies or online.
But hurry, Pancake Day 2024 is Tuesday 13th February, so get prepared and get your frying pan ready!