Monday, 3 March 2014


Shrove Tuesday, the eve of Lent — also known as Mardi Gras (literally "fat Tuesday" in French), Carnival (from the Latin for "farewell to the flesh"), and Fasnacht (the Germanic "night of the fast") and it is celebrated across the world with riotous merrymaking and feasting.

So, Shrove Tuesday marks the eve of the start of Lent.  This is an important religious festival in the Christian Calendar.  Lent was originally a time of strict religious fast when people gave up all rich food; today people do not fast as much, but tend to give up luxuries and practise self-discipline.  Quite often people 'give things up' for Lent.  In the past I have given up Chocolate.  Given up Alcohol.  Just to see if I can do it.  I can.  I didn't like it.  I think it is true; abstinence is something that should be practised in moderation.  Lent is also a period of remembrance, a remembrance of the time, the 40 days and 40 nights that Jesus spent alone in the desert without food being tempted by the Devil.

So, my thoughts turn to Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day. I love Pancake Day.  I love Pancakes.  And it is odd because I never ever ever even think to make them any other day of the year. I'm a once a year kinda girl.  I always think of the most elaborate toppings for my pancakes.  Toppings that involve: Chocolate.  Ice-cream.  Toffee Sauce. Banana.  Peanut Butter.  Nutella. Marshmallow.  Cream.  And then, I always have my pancakes with Orange, Lemon and Sugar.  That is it.  Orange, Lemon and Sugar.  Nothing else.  For all my strange little foibles and quirks and unconventionalities, I am such a conventional traditionalist at times, and definitely when it comes to pancakes.

They really are so simple to make.  I use the recipe in the tried and tested, handed down through the generations since my Great Grandma (my little Nan) recipe from her Be-Ro Recipe Book. But these days you could buy a 'just add water' Aunt BESSIE packet.

The simple Ingredients that you mix together into a smooth batter are (this should make about 8 pancakes):
1 Medium Egg
10 fl oz (½pint) Milk
4 oz Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt

Then all you need is a little butter for frying and a frying pan.  And of course you need a good wrist action if you are planning on 'tossing' your pancakes.  I also love that the same batter recipe you use for pancakes, is the same batter you also use for Toad in the Hole and Yorkshire Puddings.

If I am being posh, or exotic or want to impress, and to be fair that really isn't likely to happen too often, I might decide to make American Style Pancakes.  I use Jamie OLIVER's recipe for these, and have since shared it with friends, with great success, as they are great and lovely (I mean the pancakes are great and lovely not my friends... although... I do love my friends, and actually, yes they are great and lovely too) and feel like a real treat, even though they are still rather easy to make.  I first had these for breakfast made for me by my Geordie Cousin, the really rather splendid Stephen, when I'd been visiting him in Cramlington, Northumberland.  He made enough pancakes for about eight people and there were only the two of us.  We didn't complain.  We ate the lot.  These pancakes are thicker and fluffier than traditional pancakes, which are thin like 'crepes'.  With American Pancakes it seems rude not to have Maple Syrup and Blueberries, you could also have some bacon too.  Why not?  We did.

The Ingredients you require for these are (this should make about 8 pancakes):
3 Large Eggs
5 fl oz (¼pint) Milk
1 heaped teaspoon of Baking Powder
4oz Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt

Again, you need a little butter for frying and a frying pan.

So, are you feeling hungry yet?  What are you waiting for?  Go.  Go Make Pancakes.  Enjoy.





  1. I don't think I have eaten a pancake since I was a kid - I have certainly never made any. For some reason, I now feel inspired to have a go. It can only be your fault!

  2. Never liked pancakes thought they were so much trouble for such much return.

  3. Should read too much trouble for such small return.