It might be Martes de Carnaval for our Canarian friends and neighbours and even our kids, but for many of us today is really Shrove Tuesday, or pancake Tuesday.
Growing up in Ireland in the 1960s this was one of the only days of the year that I remember my mother making pancakes (‘crepes’ was in the far distant future, along with bottled water and tapas, how exotic), and the kitchen would smell of hot oil and cooking pancakes, and we would stuff our faces till we were fit to burst.
Of course that also meant that the next day was the first day of Lent, when we, as good Irish Roman Catholics, were facing into 40 days of a chosen deprivation. Usually sweets and chocolates in our household for the kids, but being Irish you were allowed break that fast on St Patrick’s Day. And so it continues. We will be making pancakes in our household today and we will also observe Lent, as I still tend to believe a little self-control is no bad thing. So yes, some things change, but other customs don’t have to be abandoned in the name of change either.
Here’s an easy pancake recipe if you’re in the mood this afternoon…
Pinch of salt
300 ml milk
I tbsp. melted butter.
Sift flour and salt into bowl, make well in centre. Crack egg into well and add melted butter and half the milk, stirring with wooden spoon till mixed. Beat till batter is smooth, stir in the other half of the milk. Leave for 30 minutes.
Use a non-stick pan, oil medium heat, drop a level tablespoonful in and cook for about a minute till golden brown underneath, and turn, and cook for another minute. Serve with sugar, lemon juice, honey, cream, or jam…..and enjoy.