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Pancake day history: Why do we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?




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Pancake Tuesday or better known to Christians as “Shrove Tuesday” is the Tuesday (today) before Ash Wednesday (tomorrow) and marks the beginning of the Christian period of Lent. To understand why we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, it’s important to understand one thing about Lent: Lent has traditionally been a period marked by abstaining from certain foods. There were different variations of the fasting custom but one of the most popular ones was abstaining from animal products, such as meat, lard, eggs, and dairy. Sometimes sugar was also removed. Christian households wanted to finish off all the products they would not be unable to use over Lent and because pancakes required many of these “soon to be forbidden” foods, a pancake feast became common on the Tuesday before Lent began.The great pancake feast is all to do with using up foods which are forbidden during Lent. But why aren’t you allowed to eat these foods during Lent in the first place?The 40 day self-denial of selected pleasures (like animal products) is the countdown to Easter and is meant to be a spiritual experience in which Christians empathize with Jesus in the story of “The Temptation of Christ“. This story is described in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, and they speak of Jesus fasting in the desert for 40 days and nights after being baptized. During his time in the wilderness, he was subjected to temptations by the devil, but Jesus held strong and didn’t give into temptation. Fasting from certain foods during Lent is a symbol of self-control against temptation, and the idea is that by imitating Jesus, you draw closer to him so that you can learn to think and act like him, to live a better life.Some believe that you don’t need to fast to demonstrate self-control nor to learn Jesus teachings or live a better life. As one article put it, “Fasting, of and by itself, cannot produce godly self-control.”In any case, the tradition of fasting during Lent is far less common today than it was in the past.The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday however is still going strong. And in some places, it has even lead to offshoot traditions like the “Pancake Day Race” in which contestants must run while tossing a pancake in a frying pan. Now, that is my kind of sport!With all this talk of pancakes, I am sure I have made you hungry for this traditional morning favorite, however make plans tonight to have pancakes for dinner by attending the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at Christ Episcopal Church. SHROVE TUESDAY PANCAKE SUPPER Shrove Tuesday Festive Pancake Supper at Christ Episcopal Church, 1115 Main Street. Pancakes and sausage will be served in the church Parish House from 5 to 8 p.m. This event has been occurring for over 100 years. Tickets for the dinner are $6 for adults and $3 for children. For more information contact Clara Coleman at 601-638-5899, via email at All proceeds to Outreach.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________Good Old Fashioned Pancakes     “This is a great recipe that I found amongst my Mother’s recipes. Judging from the weathered look of this recipe card, this was a family favorite.”Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon white sugar 1 1/4 cups milk 1 egg 3 tablespoons butter, meltedDirections: 1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth. 2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot with your favorite topping.Favorite Pancake Toppings: Bananas, Brown Sugar and Walnuts Blackberry Sauce Blintzes With Fruit Topping Butter Chocolate Chips Confectioner’s sugar Honey Butter Hot Fudge Sauce Maple Butter Maple Syrup Orange Marmalade Peanut Butter and Honey Raspberry Jam Rum Glazed Bananas Strawberry Jam Whipped CreamAnd my PERSONAL favorite Fried chicken over a bed of homemade pancakes topped with molasses syrup]]]]> ]]>

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