This has got to be one of my favourite food days, Shrove Tuesday. Childhood memories of pancake races and lemon pips come flooding back. Like all great traditions there is also the history behind it. Shrove according to the lovely Alan Coxon on Twitter this morning “The word comes from the old English word “Shrive” meaning confess and also from the Christian to be Shriven!”. It all kicks off Lent with a fling before the feeling of obligation and fasting. Other countries have a similiar tradition, think Mardi Gras!!
Pancakes are served in one way or another all over world. Thankfully not just for pancake day. Who can remember those thick pancakes with maple syrup and ice cream? These were a Little Chef favourite and an all day treat. Scotch pancakes, like my grandmother used to make, served cold with butter for supper. The Potteries have their oatcakes and pikelets. Blinis, potato pancakes, crepes, johnnycakes and even dosas are household names. The Dutch serve them with bacon and cheese. A pancake has to be one of the most versatile, economic and delicious dishes out there. As a close relative of the Yorkshire pudding, it’s probably a little more popular than we think?
Anyway a quick recipe (Courteousy of Delia Smith):
110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
Start by mixing the egg, salt and flour until you have a paste. SLOWLY add milk and water mix and whisk as you go. Carefully watching for lumps. Melt the butter gently in a pan. Add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into the batter.
The real secret to pancakes lies in the heat of the pan and keeping the pan non-stick. Rub the pan down with the butter and keep some oil on the side to keep it non-stick(ish). In all likelihood the first pancake will be a mess. Not sure how that happens, but it does seem to make the pan better for the next one. If you don’t want to flip or turn you can place under grill.
Serve with? Sugar and lemon juice are traditional, some many other things to choose from though. One final piece of advice, watch out for the lemon pips.