24 February 2009

Shrove Tuesday

From the Fish Eaters' fine website:

The Tuesday of Shrovetide is a particularly big party day known as "Mardi Gras" (French for "Fat Tuesday") - or "Pancake Tuesday" because fats, eggs, and butter in the house had to be used up before Lent began, and making pancakes or waffles was a good way to do it. In many places, especially in England, pancake races became popular and remain popular today. In these races, women must run while flipping a pancake so many times, and whoever crosses the finish line first wins. The largest pancake race in England is in Olney, in Buckinghamshire. There, the women must wear a dress, apron, and bonnet, and flip the pancake three times -- while ensuring it is intact after they cross the finish line, of course. The story told to explain the origins of this race is that in 1445, a homemaker heard the shriving bell (the bell rung to summon people to confession on this day) as she was busy working in her kitchen. Not wanting to be late, she rushed about and ran off with her skillet still in hand.

At Westminster School in London, the "Pancake Grease" is held, an event during which the schoolmaster tosses a very large pancake over a bar that's set to about 15 feet high. The children make a mad scramble for it, and whoever emerges with the largest piece is the winner.

5 comments:

Somebody Calls Me Nana said...

Very interesting...don't forget packzi if you're Polish, and gumbo if you're from New Orleans.

The other Grandma said...

If they are Lisa's buttermilk pancakes I am all in.

big daddy said...

If Maria were in the scramble, I'm sure she would win!

vince said...

ihop has taken it one step further by giving out a free short stack of pancakes. just thought you should know.

John said...

That is fantastic! I hope you took full advantage.