Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which, for us Catholics and many other Christian denominations, mark the start of Lent. This is a sacred time of fasting, sacrifice, prayer and penance which helps to prepare us for the celebration of Easter.
It is traditional during this time to forego all rich and fatty foods, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays when we are not allowed to eat meat. As I'm not a big fish fan this usually means that by the end of Lent my family is pretty sick of tuna pasta bake as that is one of the few fish meals I really enjoy. So this year I have decided it’s time to find a few alternatives. For the duration of Lent I will be trying out new fishy recipes on my family and sharing the results and their reactions to them.
Before we start on this special journey of Lent we have one last day to indulge. Shrove Tuesday also known as Pancake Day, is when we enjoy special treats many will forgo during Lent. We make huge stacks of pancakes that can be eaten with either savory or sweet fillings - some countries hold special pancake races where contestants have to flip pancakes in a pan while running.
In Iceland, Shrove Tuesday is known as Sprengidagur, which means Bursting Day. In France and French speaking regions in the USA it is called Mardi Gras, meaning Fat Tuesday. In Sweden it is Fettisdagen, which also translates as Fat Tuesday. To find out more about how this day is celebrated in different countries visit the British Life & Culture website by Mandy Barrow.
If you are looking for a easy and delicious pancake recipe to make for tonight try this one. It has never let me down and my family love it.
500ml cake flour (2 cups)
2 ml salt
500ml water (2 cups)
5ml lemon juice (1 teaspoon)
(This recipe can easily be doubled or even trippled depending on how many pancakes you need)
- Sift the flour and salt together.
- Mix the water, eggs and lemon juice.
- Pour the egg mixture into the flour and whisk till it forms a smooth batter.
Cover the batter and let it rest for an hour.
- Lightly oil a frying pan and heat to medium-high temperature.
- Add a ladle of batter to the pan and swirl it around till it covers the base of the pan.
- When the one side of the pancake is cooked flip it over to cook the other side.
- Keep the pancakes warm by gently simmering water in a big pot with a dinner plate on top, then simply place the cooked pancakes on top and close with a dome lid.
- When they are all finished serve hot with either a savoury or sweet filling.
Happy Shrove Tuesday everyone!! enjoy your pancakes.