Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pancakes anyone?

Growing up, we always had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. My mother is a non-practicing Italian Catholic. We didn't observe Lent and had no clue what "Shrove" meant. But we had pancakes. I suspect she'll be making them tonight for my sister and nephew.

I don't know if I've made pancakes each year or not. I don't recall. But I do try. And I will be tonight. Ideally with bacon, if we actually had any. But I digress. I have to say that the best "Pancake Tuesday" meal we had was with friends several years ago now. We had apple pancakes, with bacon, and washed it down with pear "icewine." It was fun to take something I'd grown up with and make it "grown up."

But what is "Shrove Tuesday" anyway? As it turns out, the name Shrove comes from the old word "shrive" which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to go to church to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began. Not something that we do as a non-Catholic family. We just do the pancakes.

And each year I look through recipes for the right one. I've made them thin, thick, with stuff (blueberries are my favourite), without, with whipped egg white, with whole wheat flour, from shredded potato... The possibilities are endless. Though I've never made crepes for Pancake Tuesday. I suppose I could consider that some year. This year I'm leaning towards the ones that use the whipped egg white. They tend to be light and fluffy and yummy! I don't do boxed mixes, though. It's simple enough to make pancakes from scratch. Not to use up the ingredients for Lent, but because it's just as easy.

Speaking of which, I can't believe that Lent begins tomorrow. Again, we don't officially observe Lent, though there is a Lenten devotional that I like to follow along with (https://www.mbseminary.edu/files/download/2010-lent%20devotional%202?file_id=13505557). There are several online to choose from. I like the idea of doing something to prepare for the holiness of Easter. Though I've never felt compelled to give up sugar, for example. Physical penitence isn't really my thing. LOL

Hmmm, I wonder if the kids want some "mapleberry" sauce for their pancakes tonight? Frozen organic wild blueberries and dark maple syrup, simmered until thick and then cooled slightly. Wonderful over pancakes and waffles.

Update - we got bacon and I settled on this recipe from Jamie Oliver, with a few teaspoons of sugar added. Yum, yum, yum! Happy Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday!

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