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Pancake Tuesday

You might have noticed the pancake mix, lemon and sugar showing up on the shelves of your local supermarkets. Pancake Tuesday is tomorrow, Wednesday 14th of February, Valentines Day, is Ash Wednesday this year.

Shrove Tuesday, the religious name for the day, comes from the word shrive which comes from the absolution for sins by doing penance during the time of lent. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of Mardi Gras Carnival when all those goodies being given up need to be cleaned off the shelf so that they will not be tempting during Lent.

Mardi Gras goes back to an ancient Roman custom of merry making before a period of fast. In Germany Mardi Gras is called Fastnacht and I remember being told that any adultery during Fastnacht was not applicable to a divorce. Even in Germany, they take their Carnival seriously.Here we have the mostly staid pancake day or Pancake Tuesday.

Although there are many variations of a pancake, fluffy American ones, thin French crepes, Middle European blintzes, they are all made with a batter. The great American classic “The Joy of Cooking” has some recommendations for any batter. Mix the ingredients quickly, leaving lumps, don’t over beat. Allow the mixture to rest, covered, for 3 hours to overnight. Add vegetable oil to the skillet/griddle and wipe clean. Use the kitchen towel to add in a little oil later. Here are two recipes, one for fluffy American pancakes, the other for thin French crepes.



Fluffy pancakes will normally have a raising agent.


1 cup (135g) plain flour.

1 teaspoon baking powder.

1/2 teaspoon salt.

2 tablespoons caster sugar.

1  teaspoon vanilla essence

2/3 cup (135 ml) whole milk.

1 large egg, lightly beaten.

2 tablespoons melted butter (slightly cooled), plus extra for cooking.


This recipe will make 6 pancakes, double if you hosting more people.

Combine the dry ingredients and sift them. Allow the melted butter to cool slightly and combine with the beaten egg, milk and vanilla. The milk is best at room temperature. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and combine with a few swift strokes. Allow to rest.

If the batter looks a little dry, add a small amount more of milk, if too wet, a small amount of flour. Make sure the griddle is hot. Test by dropping a small amount of batter on it. Adjust temperature to cook but not burn.

Enjoy with lemon and sugar, hazelnut spread, strawberry preserves.


Crepes recipes, a thin batter.

1 cup (135g) plain flour.

1/4 tsp (pinch) salt.

3 large eggs.

1 cup (250ml) milk.

Optional 1/2 tsp vanilla essence.

Butter for pan.

Combine flour and salt. Mix with wet ingredients with whisk or in blender. Allow to sit for 30 minutes minimum to overnight.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Add butter to pan. Pour batter into pan. Lift pan from heat and tilt and swirl until a thin coat of batter is on the bottom. When lightly brown, usually 1 to 2 minutes but when the sides are curling away, use fish slice to flip over. Cook for short while longer.

This recipe should make approximately 12 crepes.

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