Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Shrove Tuesday

More commonly known as Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday"), this is the last day of Carnevale. Lent begins tomorrow. Tonight, while everyone else is out drinking beer, we're going to be eating pancakes.

Back in the day, Lent was a strictly vegan affair. The faithful had to rid their houses of all meat and dairy products before Ash Wednesday. And how else to better use up eggs, milk and butter than by whippin' up a big ol' batch of pancakes? My favorite bit of Shrove Tuesday lore is that in some European countries and most notably in England, housewives would hold pancake races on Shrove Tuesday, runnning a course through town, flipping hotcakes from skillets. I don't know how prominent an event it is still but I would love to revive it. I'd have to get The Neighbor to go along. Fun indeed, but it would, undoubtedly, convince our Orthodox neighbors once and for all that the goyim are completely meshuggina.

Oh, and the meaning of the word "shrove"? "To confess one's sins". One would traditionally make his or her pre-Lenten confession on this day. Then go home and eat pancakes. I just love being Catholic.

Dutch Babies

Beat 2 eggs.

Mix together: ½ c. flour
½ t. salt

Alternatively mix dry ingredients with egg and ½ c. milk

Beat until smooth.

Stir in 2 T. melted butter

Pour batter into skillet (which, if the same one used to melt the butter, will already be greased)

Back on bottom shelf of oven at 450 for 20 minutes.

Prick shell, reduce heat to 350 and bake another 10 minutes.

To serve:

Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Serve fresh fruit salad on the side and add spoonfuls of salad to pancake as desired.

(This recipe makes one pancake, which isn't near enough for our appetites so I'll be tripling the recipe. And serving sausages. Yum. Breakfast for dinner.)

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Blogger Hina opined...

I learned so much from that post! Breakfast is always fun at dinner time!!

February 28, 2006 9:00 AM  
Blogger jacqui opined...

Pancakes are still the tradition in England and Pancake races. Most of your recipe is right but instead of putting on the rack of the oven, fry them in a skillet on your stove.

heres a link to a video sent in by BBC viewer


under "flipping great"

That should give you a good idea of what aim for.

My family are looking forward to their pancakes tonight after dinner. I normally make up huge batch in a large bowl and normally end up with about 4-5 for each person. Favourite topping is lemon, sugar and cream. We will also put on maple syrup instead of the sugar.

The pancakes in the USA are actually very similar to Scots Pancakes. Pancakes above are traditonally only served in England and Wales.

February 28, 2006 9:45 AM  
Anonymous The Spouse opined...

MMM Van Der Waaa (Dutch Babies)

February 28, 2006 10:15 AM  
Blogger Viola opined...

Adding my tuppence worth to what Jacqui had to say:

I'd say that US pancakes are similar to what I would call "drop scones" (which are actually nothing like scones at all). English pancakes are sort of half way between French crepes and US pancakes.

In England, we only ever had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Here in the US, they're an everyday breakfast item.

February 28, 2006 12:23 PM  
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