Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Pancake Day!

Shrove Tuesday in the UK (and other places) is called Pancake Day. It's the day you use up all your milk, butter, and eggs before Lent begins, and what better way to do that than to make pancakes? And by pancake, they don't mean big ol' fluffy flapjack. It's more crepe-like, and served with lemon juice and sugar, or jam, or sometimes syrup or chocolate spread. As far as I can tell, pancakes are not a regular breakfast item or menu item here.

"Other old customs include the annual pancake grease at London's Westminster school (schoolboys fighting for pancakes in return for a monetary reward); Mischief Night (breaking into people's houses in disguise and demanding pancakes); Lent Crocking or Lensharding (throwing old crockery at people's doors and asking for pancakes to be tossed back), and shroving - a visiting custom in which children sang or recited poetry in exchange for food or money." (from http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/news_and_events/events_pancakes.shtml)

Another article:
Flipping silly
Pancakes are so tasty and versatile that it's a bit odd we tend only to eat them on Shrove Tuesday. Add drop scones and blinis to the equation, and it's plain daft.

Recipes at UKTV Food: http://uktv.co.uk/index.cfm/uktv/Food.homepage/sid/521

And let's not overlook pancake races: http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/pancake_day_london_races_index.html

So happy Pancake Day to all!


Kathryn Brown said...

Have you guys tried the scones with clotted cream yet? OH MY GOD. It's like eating clouds. Has London finally discovered good coffee? I am loving your blog and living vicariously as I sit here in the ice-shellacked anxiety vortex that is metro Washington. Post more veggie pics! I can't wait to see the Cambridge garden. I love it. I hate it. (See above.) --Kathryn

John Travis said...

Well, i don't drink coffee, but our new home is a block from a Stabucks--amusingly, stores only carry a few drip coffee-makers. Costa Coffee is the other big coffee chain. By the way, crocuses just popped up here in town--we have plenty for room if you want to visit :) I noticed the Post has a story sunday on scottish botanic garden. Here's a good link: http://gardens.visitscotland.com/