Pancake day falls on the 12th February this year. It is an interesting day.
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent starts. Tradition was that the high fat foods such as eggs and dairy were used up before the fasting/abstinence period of 40 days. In the British Isles, pancakes were traditionally cooked to use up these ingredients before you weren’t allowed to eat them.
These days it’s morphed into a bit of a festival, where communities get together to do things like pancake races, or in the case of Atherstone, have a nice friendly ball game…
I think it’s a great example of a festival to think about for if you are building a fantasy world. It just goes to show that not all the traditions have to be solemn or current rituals or celebrations. There could be a day where people race each other while throwing food up and down!
To join in with this tasty festival, here is a recipe to make some traditional yummy yummy pancakes!
240g/8oz plain white flour
½ litre / 1pt milk
Small pinch of salt
Butter for frying
1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing.
2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it.
3. Whisk the eggs into the flour
4. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking it in, until you get a smooth batter
5. Melt a little butter in the frying pan, try to get an even coat across the surface.
6. Pour some of the batter into the middle of the pan, and then swirl it around until you coat it evenly. Remember, the pancake shouldn’t be too thick, else it will go stodgy!
7. Cook over a medium high heat. It won’t take very long! Once the bottom has turned golden, and the liquid has dried on the top, turn it over using a spatula, or if you are very skilled, flip it!
8. Cook the other side until golden.
9. Sprinkle a little sugar over a plate, and slide the pancake out onto it.
10. Sprinkle a little sugar on top, and squeeze lemon juice on, then roll it up and eat! J
The first pancake tends to go wrong. Don’t worry; the second one will be great!
If you are going to flip it over, try not to stick it to your ceiling.
If you don’t like the traditional filling of lemon and sugar, try out orange and sugar, or cooked apples and cream!