Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day

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Sara Butler

Franchise owner at Cook Stars children's cookery school
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Why do we celebrate shrove Tuesday?

For Christians Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday!) is the day before lent starts on Ash Wednesday. Traditionally this was the last day to use up all the fats and eggs before you had to fast for 47 days-pancakes are the very recipe to use up these ingredients.

What is shrove Tuesday?

Now Shrove Tuesday is more commonly known as pancake day, it’s a day that everyone can get in the kitchen, make a simple pancake recipe and top them with all those naughty treats such as Nutella, bananas and cream or for the puritans a simple caster sugar and lemon juice. Pancakes are great for kids to get involved, weighing the ingredients, mixing them together and then marking you out of 10 for your pancake tossing abilities!

How is shrove Tuesday celebrated?

Did you know the pancake recipe originated as far back as 1440 with the tradition of flipping them going back just as long. In some places the day is celebrated with pancake tossing races, this originated way back in 1445, where legend has it a lady heard the church bell calling them for evening prayer, she was in the middle of making her Shrove Tuesday pancakes and ran up the road still clutching her frying pan! Still to this day in the same village they race that route, the contestants have some rules to follow (please don’t blame me for these rules!!) o All competitors have to be local women o They must wear a headscarf and an apron o Pancakes must be hot o They must be tossed at least 3 times o The winner is the first woman into the church and who has kissed the bell ringer! To be honest that sounds way too energetic and I prefer to make my pancakes in the comfort of my own kitchen, controversially my favourite pancakes are the American fluffy kind or the pancakes were often known as drop scones, smaller but a thicker texture than the traditional thin crepe kind of pancake. So on pancake day you will find me hosting some fabulous young cooks as we make a stack of delicious pancakes via Zoom, I can’t wait to eat them. The only down side to Shrove Tuesday is the next day I always give up chocolate for lent….47 days before I eat it again….so that must mean I HAVE to have chocolate somewhere on my pancakes tomorrow.

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