I have always loved Shrove Tuesday–Fat Tuesday–Mardi Gras. There are no carnivals here at Chateau Right. (other than the general joyous mayhem that always transpires when out for a walk with two very large and energetic dogs, or the daily crowing and self-congratulatory strutting about of Chinggis the rooster), but, all my life, every Shrove Tuesday, I’ve always made pancakes. For most of the year, when I make pancakes, I make them American-style. as my granddaughter loves them–thick and fluffy, with butter and maple syrup on top.
But on Shrove Tuesday I make them as I was taught as a child, in the English way. They’re what those on this side of the pond would call crêpes. I make them with just three ingredients: flour, eggs, and milk. (Here’s a good recipe from Mary Berry that’s exactly right: Mary Berry’s Three-Ingredient Pancake Recipe for Shrove Tuesday 2023.)
My family always served them with a sprinkling of sugar and a drizzle of freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Roll the pancakes up, and put three of them on a plate, and then apply the lemon and sugar in amounts that please you. Yum!
I’ll also note in passing that I (apparently unlike the Princess of Wales as shown in a viral video on her visit to a nursing home) am an ace pancake flipper:
I’m not sure the pan was hot enough and there was a LOT of pressure cooking o in front of all of us! pic.twitter.com/VtNiQ024Jy
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) February 21, 2023
I really have no idea what she’s doing there. Spatulas simply are not required. All it takes is a constant shaking of the pan to stop the thing sticking, a little hand-eye coordination, and the proper wrist movement:
Of course, every year, we had the example of the piece-de-resistance of proper pancake flipping in the televised pancake race at Olney, Buckinghamshire. Tradition has it that somewhere in the middle of the fifteenth century, a frazzled Olney hussif (housewife) heard the shriving bell tolling at the local church, and–in the middle of her pancake making–rushed with her frying pan to the service, flipping it all the way. In more recent years, there’s been a friendly rivalry between Olney and the ladies of Liberal Kansas (the Brits won this year), but here’s some video of the race in 1950:
So, there I was this morning, making and flipping my 2023 Shrove Tuesday pancakes and thoroughly enjoying memories of days long gone.
In addition, today, I finally put away the last of the Christmas decorations. As long as I get that done before Lent, I consider it a win!
And, finally, some Spring flowers are blooming. The first crocuses:
And–right on time, my hellebores, or Lenten Roses:
Life is good, out here on the farm. I hope it’s good with you, too.