Pancake day more traditionally know as Shrove Tuesday, it is the last day before Lent – a day Christians confess all their sins and a last chance to feast before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday.
Lent is a time of giving things up and fasting. Traditionally Christians would give up rich foods such as fats, meat, eggs and sugar. These days many people give up something they enjoy for Lent such as chocolate.
Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day because pancakes were an easy way to use up eggs, fats and milk.
It is always 47 days before Easter Sunday so the date changes each year. This year Shrove Tuesday is on 17 February.
How do we celebrate Shrove Tuesday today?
Many people still have pancakes to eat on Pancake Day with a variety of fillings and toppings – both sweet and savoury.
Pancake races take place up and down the country with people racing with frying pans while flipping a pancake! In London teams of MPs, Lords and members of the press take part in a relay pancake race in Westminster which sees participants flipping pancakes as they race around the course.
Two of the most famous celebrations in the world are the Rio Carnival in Brazil and Mardis Gras in New Orleans – both these colourful events are festivals of celebrations, music, parades, dancing in the streets and dressing up.
A great way to celebrate Pancake Day is by making pancakes of course!
Why not make your own pancakes for tea and get children to help. It’s good to get kids involved in the kitchen, learning about cooking, food, kitchen safety, hygiene and cleaning up after cooking. Plus it can be great fun when it’s time to flip the pancakes.
Here is a basic recipe for pancakes – just add the topping of your choice.
The ingredients you will need:
- 125g of plain flour
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 300ml of milk
- Light olive oil, vegetable oil or butter for greasing the pan
How to make your pancakes:
- Before you start it’s important to make sure everything is clean and prepared. Cleanliness is a very important step, but it doesn’t have to be boring.
- Get out your cooking utensils! You will need an apron, bowl, whisk, jug, frying pan and of course a spatula for flipping your pancakes. Make sure everything is washed and dry ready to get started. Put on your apron and make sure your hair is tied back if needed – you don’t want it getting in your way.
Right let’s begin cooking.
- Put the flour and salt in to a bowl and make a hole in the centre, to make a well. Pour the egg and a little milk in to the well. Whisk the liquid, gradually incorporating the flour to make a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining milk to make a batter consistency then pour the pancake mix into a jug.
- Adults you will need to stay close for this part – put a little oil/butter into a frying pan and heat until it starts to smoke. Pour out the excess oil and pour in a little batter whilst tilting the pan until the base is coated in a thin layer. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the underside is turning golden.
- Flip over the pancake and cook for a further 30-45 seconds until it is golden on the second side. Slide the pancake out of the pan and make the remaining pancakes with the left over batter. If you’re feeling brave why don’t you try flipping your pancakes up in the air to turn them…Be careful not to drop them else you’ll have to start again.
- Now for the fun part – top your pancakes with whichever topping you wish! Traditionally lemon juice with a sprinkle of sugar is a favourite topping. But you can add chopped fruit, honey, cinnamon, chocolate spread or ice-cream. Alternatively go for savoury options such as cheese, ham, tomato or mushrooms – the world is your oyster.
- Now… let the cleaning commence! Again the cleaning process is as important and washing your hands at the start.
We hope you have enjoyed making your pancakes and eating them of course, we would really love to hear about your pancake making and see pictures of your tasty treats.
You can post your pictures to us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what other fun activities you have planned for the rest of half term week.
Whatever you do have fun.