Shrove Tuesday AKA Pancake Day - from basic batter to fantastic fillers and a side of history

Shrove Tuesday AKA Pancake Day - from basic batter to fantastic fillers and a side of history

Take a big bowl. Mix this lot...

100g of plain flour
300ml of milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

There you have it, your pancake mix, ready to be spooned, bit by bit into a greased, hot frying pan. Pancake batter is a life skill, even if most of us only wheel it out one day a year.

Shrove Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent, which traditionally involved fasting. ‘Shrove’ is derived from ‘shrive’ which means absolution for sins – cleaning the slate, basically. People would use Shrove Tuesday to confess their sins before Lent. The reason pancakes were consumed is because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the period of abstinence began.

Today, pancakes are still cooked across the UK, to the delight of adults and children alike.

Favourite savoury fillers include grated cheddar –which melts onto the hot pancake, with crispy bacon and parsley. Although for something more sophisticated this James Martin spinach and mushroom recipe will tick the box.

Sweet fillers tend to be either simple (lemon juice and sugar) or plain lazy (Nutella), but for something a little more complex and grown-up, try Crepes Suzette and enjoy caramel with a kick of Cointreau.

The only thing we can’t help you with is the perfect pancake flip. In our experience, you’ve either got the knack or you haven’t…

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