Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day

Ever wonder why we eat pancakes just before Lent? The tradition dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, when Christians spent Lent in repentance and severe fasting.

So on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the church bell would summon them to confession, where they would be ‘shriven’, or absolved from their sins, which gives us Shrove Tuesday. At home, they would then eat up their last eggs and fat, and making a pancake was the easiest way to do this. For the next 47 days, they pretty well starved themselves.

Flipping pancakes is also centuries old. A poem from Pasquil’s Palin in 1619 runs: “And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.”

Some people have noted that the ingredients of pancakes can be used to highlight four significant things about this time of year: eggs stand for creation, flour is the staff of life, salt keeps things wholesome, and milk stands for purity.

Shrove Tuesday is always 47 days before Easter Sunday and falls between 3rd February and 9th March.

From The Parish Pump



What a versatile and delicious food!

Of course they are great with lemon and sugar we all know that, but have you tried them with other fillings? There’s always jam or honey and we mustn’t forget the wonder of chocolate hazelnut spread.

Have you ever wrapped one around a banana, or stewed fruit such as apples, plums or pears?

Enough of this sweet stuff what about savoury fillings? Roll them around peanut butter with fried onions, sausage either meaty or veggie, anything cheesy and use them like cannelloni.

Have you ever come across a pancake cake? It can of course have sweet fillings but savoury makes a different sort of main meal. Layer pancakes with mince ,veggie mince ,cooked lentil mixes, spinach and cheese. The choices are only limited by your imagination.

Put pancakes and fillings in alternating layers in an ovenproof dish, put a sauce such as tomato around, top with grated cheese and bake until lightly browned. Cut into cake style slices to serve.

Pancakes also freeze very well, just separated by baking paper or cling film.


Sue Whelan