Shrove Tuesday – whether you’re invested in the religious aspects of the Christian tradition or not – is a day for cooking, eating and pan flipping together.
Falling on February 16th, here are just a few of the emotions the feted pancake day can induce…
You wake up on the morning of Shrove Tuesday to discover someone has eaten the last of the eggs, and the lemons you’d stashed away for this very occasion, have gone mouldy.
It might be a hangover from school, when it was too much of a rush first thing to indulge in pancakes at breakfast, but no matter how old you get, waiting all day for pancakes is a total drag. You want them now, dammit. Pancake Day is definitely a dinnertime thing though. Sigh.
You’ve restocked the pancake larder. The dining table is stacked with lemon quarters, a bowl of white granulated sugar, a tin of golden syrup and a huge jar of Nutella. The perfect frying pan is buttered and ready to go, now you just have to dig out a decent pancake recipe.
Delia Smith has never let you down before, but Jamie Oliver is so reliable, and Mary Berry is basically the Queen. But then, there are so many brightly-coloured, strawberry topped, distractingly incredible looking recipes and photos on Instagram… you can’t decide who to commit to.
Honestly I can’t explain how much I love pancake day
— Elanor (@elrosemur) February 9, 2021
Delia it is. And thank goodness she doesn’t instruct you to chill the batter for an hour before starting. Your household has entirely run out of patience and is starting to get hungry – which is always the way, because on Shrove Tuesday, dinner is skipped entirely for pancake after pancake after pancake after pancake.
The butter has melted! The first ladleful of batter has hit the pan! The first flip is about to happen…
Disaster. You bungle the flip, the first pancake is now a pale folded pleat. To be fair, you must remind yourself, the first one is always a bit of a mess. You eat it fast while you line the next pancake up.
Pancake Day deserves to be the star of February, in fact it deserves to be up there with all the other holidays
— anna ♡ (@teethlikearms) February 8, 2021
On a roll
Once that pan is properly hot and your flip action is perfected, you’re on fire. Your waiting diners can’t eat those pancakes fast enough. Lemon and sugar is flying everywhere; Nutella is smeared across every face; the clatter of forks is intense. You feel amazing. Until you suddenly feel very full…
You’re eight pancakes in, your molars ache from the sugar, there’s blobs of batter throughout the house and everyone has sloped off back to their rooms, because the high drama of pancake flipping has worn off. Now only the final pancake – small and a little flabby – is left, alongside a lot of washing up. This, you think, is why pancakes should only be made once a year.
You’ve had an hour or two to recover from the excess, and now you’re eyeing up the leftover eggs, milk and lemons. Perhaps you could whip up a breakfast batch tomorrow after all. It wasn’t that much work, was it?!