The Monday and Tuesday before Lent are known as Shrovetide, which is derived from an Old English word, “shrive”, meaning, “to confess”. The days before Lent are commonly spent “spring cleaning”, although I personally will be incorporating this throughout the season this year with the goal being to bring my house (physical and spiritual) to order by Easter. You can read more about my plans for lent, here. That being said, many choose to have their homes prepared before beginning of the season, and view Shrovetide as a time for confession to prepare their hearts and minds to enter into this penitential season.
The Tuesday of Shrovetide, however, is viewed as a day of partying and great celebration. You might recognize it as it is more commonly known, Mardi Gras which is actually French for “Fat Tuesday” or “Pancake Tuesday”, as traditionally all fats, eggs and butter had to be used before Lent began on Ash Wednesday, and pancakes made good use of them. Christians are encouraged to observe this day with feasting and frivolity and take advantage of the opportunity to be festive prior to the more somber Lenten spirit to come.
As we have plans for dinner with friends tonight, I won’t be making pancakes this year, and in all honesty, as my Kate is not a big fan, it’s a lot of work for one person anyway. I actually love pancakes, and I keep thinking that I should take some time to make up a big batch one day and freeze them. But alas, it seems that thought never comes to mind until I find myself hungry for them and don’t want to wait through cooking up a big batch before I can enjoy them! My absolute favorite pancakes are Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel,but I enjoy them more in the cooler Autumn months, at the height of pumpkin spice everything! But truth be told, that streusel topping pairs pretty well with another favorites, Old Fashioned Buttermilk. But if you’re looking for just a simple, traditional pancake that makes up quickly, I’ve used the following recipe in the past with good results.
Shrove Tuesday Pancakes
4 large eggs
1 cup milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla, extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Additional melted butter
Fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend first 6 ingredients in blender. Gradually add flour; blend until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes.
Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with butter. Add 2 generous tablespoons batter, tilting pan to coat bottom. Cook until golden on bottom, about 45 seconds. Turn pancake over. Cook until bottom is speckled with brown, about 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with butter as needed.
Before I close I was also going to share that Ihop serves up a free short stack of their buttermilk pancakes today, but this year at least, they’ve changed that day to February 27. I’m not sure why they are diverting from tradition on this, but at any rate, if you like pancakes, be sure to mark that on your calendar!
So whether you observe Shrove Tuesday, or not, I pray that your day will be fun and festive! It’s been raining here for a few days with no end in sight. It makes for a perfectly somber setting as we enter into this season of Lent, although admittedly, I would welcome a bit of sun!
Until then, my friends, take rest in Him!