RSS Feed

Tag Archives: breakfast

INTERNATIONAL PANCAKE DAY!!!

 

Yes! There really is a Pancake Day!
Exciting, isn’t it?!
In honor of this day, which falls on Tuesday February 24th in 2009, I have collected bits of information on the history of Pancake Day and lots of links and a few fun pancake poems.

Pancake Day is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday which is the day before Lent. Lent is a Christian holiday that was established in the 4th century as 40 days and is generally a period of fasting or other forms of self-denial. People generally eat a lot and have fun the day before Lent begins. Shrove Tuesday is often referred to as Pancake Day because fats, which were generally prohibited during Lent, had to be used up. People would take all the eggs and dairy products that they had left in their kitchens and use them to make delicious pancakes. 

In the United Kingdom of Great Britian, Northern Ireland and several other countries around the world, Pancake Day is celebrated with fun, games, and of course a lot of eating. However, the most well known activity on this day is the Pancake Day race at Olney in Buckinghamshire, England which has been held since 1445. It all began when a woman was cooking pancakes on Shrove Tuesday to use up all of her perishables before Lent. While she was still cooking she heard the chiming of the bells summoning her to church. Not wanting to be late, the woman ran to church with her apron on and the frying pan still in her hand. Little did she know that this would start a tradition that would be around for over 500 years! 

Only women are allowed to participate in this race. They must run a designated path with a frying pan and end up at the church. They must have a hot pancake in the frying pan which they must flip at least three times before they complete the race. The first woman to complete the race and arrive at church with the pancake is declared the winner. She then serves the pancake to the bellringer and is rewarded with a kiss from the bellringer called the “Kiss of peace”. This race still occurs in England and in several other cities.

Here are a few poems about pancakes:

The Pancake Collector
by Jack Prelutsky

Come visit my pancake collection
It’s unique in the civilized world
I have pancakes in every description,
Pancakes flaky and fluffy and curled

I have pancakes of various sizes
Pancakes regular, heavy and light
Underdone pancakes and overdone pancakes
And pancakes so perfectly right

I have pancakes locked up in the closets
have pancakes on hangers and hooks
There are bags in boxes and bureaus
And pressed in the pages of books

There are pretty ones sewn to the cushions 
And tastefully pinned to the drapes.
The ceilings are coated with pancakes
And pressed in the pages with crepes.

I have pancakes in most of my pockets
And concealed in the lining of suites 
There are tiny ones stuffed in my mittens
And large one packed in my boots

I have extra of most of my pancakes,
I maintain them in rows on these shelves
And if you say nice things about them
You may take a few home for yourself

I see that you’ve got to be going
Won’t you let yourselves out by the door?
It is time that I pour out he batter
And bake up a few hundred more

Pancake Song
by Christina Rossetti

Mix a pancake,
Stir a pancake,
Pop it in the pan.
Fry the pancake,
Toss the pancake,
Catch it if you can.

Pancake Poem
by Shel Silverstein

Who wants a pancake,
Sweet and piping hot?
Good little Grace looks up and says,
“I’ll take the one on top.”
Who else wants a pancake,
Fresh off the griddle?
Terrible Teresa smiles and says,
“I’ll take the one in the middle.”

PANCAKE DAY SHOVE TUESDAY

PANCAKE777

Pancake Day also known as Shrove Tuesday in Britain. Pancake day is the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. ‘Shrove’ – as in Shrove Tuesday – stems from old English word ‘shrive’, meaning ‘confess all sins’. It is called Pancake Day because it is the day traditionally for eating pancakes as pancake recipes were a way to use up any stocks of milk, butter and eggs which were forbidden during the abstinence of Lent.
Pancake Day, Pancake Recipe 
Pancakes Recipes from Around the World 

History

The earliest records of pancakes and pancake tossing appeared in the fifteenth century when the pancakes were a little thicker than the modern pancake; they would also often have added spices for a little decadence. It wasn’t until the eighteenth century and the influence of French cooking and their thin crepes that pancakes more as we know them now.

Pancake Customs in the UK and Ireland

‘Shroving’ was a custom in which children sang or recited poetry in exchange for food or money. ‘Lent Crocking’ was one of the many customs of the day when children would pass from house to house asking for pancakes. If they weren’t given any broken crockery would be thrown at the door!

Other customs and superstitions included the belief that the first three pancakes cooked were sacred. Each would be marked with a cross, then sprinkled with salt to ward off evil spirits, then set aside.

In Ireland, Irish girls were given an afternoon off to make their batter and the eldest, unmarried girl would toss the first pancake. Success meant she would be married within the year.

In Scotland, special oatcakes called Bannocks were made using oatmeal, eggs and salt and cooked on a griddle. A charm would be added to the dough and if an unmarried person found it, would be married within the year.

Wales also had their own customs where people would pass from door to door begging for flour, lard or butter. In some parts of Wales children would kick tin cans up and down the streets, believed to be commemorate the putting away the pots and pans for Lent.

Today, Pancake Races are a popular event throughout the UK and Laura Porter, About’s Guide to London has some fun pictures of races in London .

%d bloggers like this: