Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – was traditionally a time of fasting and on Shrove Tuesday, Christians went to confession and were “shriven” (absolved from their sins). A bell would be rung to call people to confession, this came to be known as the “Pancake Bell” and is still rung today.

Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between the 3rd of February and the 9th of March. In 2018 Shrove Tuesday will fall on the 13th February. Shrove Tuesday was traditionally the last opportunity to use up the eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast; pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients.

A pancake is a thin, flat cake, made of batter and fried in a frying pan. A traditional English pancake is very thin and served immediately. The pancake has a very long history and featured in cookery books as far back as 1439! The tradition of tossing or flipping them is almost as old:

“And every man and maide doe take their turne,

And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne”

Pasquil’s Palin, 1619.

Make your own delicious pancakes

The ingredients for pancakes can be seen to symbolise four points of significance at this time of year:
Eggs: creation
Flour: the staff of life
Salt: wholesomeness
Milk: purity

To make 8 or so pancakes you will need: 8oz plain flour, 2 large eggs, 1 pint milk, salt.

Mix all the ingredients together and whisk well, then leave to stand for 30 minutes. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan and let it cook until the base of the pancake has browned. Then shake the pan to loosen the pancake and flip the pancake over to brown the other side – being careful not to drop it! Golden syrup or lemon juice and caster sugar are the usual toppings for pancakes.

Pancakes

Fresh fruit makes a healthy addition to any pancake

Are you particularly proud of your pancake flipping? Share some photos with us via email at community@cosyfeet.com and we’ll share it on social media.