Pancake Day

In some parts of the world, it is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. But here in the UK, it’s Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day. So get out the frying pan and flip (or if you’re feeling adventurous – toss) those pancakes.

Shrove Tuesday is a different day each year, based on the church calendar and the timing of Easter. Put simply, it is the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. This year, it falls on February 28.

So why pancakes? Although they might seem like a pretty basic dish now, in medieval days, eggs, butter, and milk were all on the indulgent side and they needed to be used up before the 40 days of Lenten fasting. So what better way to use them up than in a pancake. Other theories say that the eating of pancakes on this day may have originated even before then, as a Pagan way of welcoming spring, the round pancake representing the sun.

Nowadays, some places still celebrate with pancake races and we even have mathematicians who have devised what they claim is the formula for the perfect flip!

But we all know that the real subject of debate is what to put on your pancakes. Some like them savory, filled with perhaps some chicken or cheese and ham. Others like a spreading of jam or Nutella. I personally go for the traditional favourite: lemon juice and brown sugar… albeit with a small addition of melty chocolate chips.

By Biso (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Pancake Recipe

1 egg

280 ml milk

110g plain flour

1 tbs melted butter

Whisk the egg into the flour. Slowly beat in the milk and melted butter to create a smooth batter.

Heat a frying pan and add a tiny bit of butter or oil, making sure to swirl it across the bottom of the pan. Add a ladle of the batter, tipping the frying pan so that the batter creates a thin covering. You will know when the pancake is ready to toss or flip because it will start to come away at the edges and it will move easily in the pan. Toss it and cook for just a few more seconds before serving with your fillings of choice.

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