Pancake Tuesday

In the US today is both Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras -- but in Ireland, Great Britain and Canada today is also Pancake Tuesday! Also known as Shrove Tuesday, the tradition of making pancakes the day before Lent came about because families wanted to use up their milk and eggs that were likely to expire during the Lenten season. 

When we lived in Ireland I was a part-time nanny for a 10 year old girl named Claire. She introduced me to Pancake Tuesday and all of the fun that comes with it! On this day every year Claire and most Irish children eat pancakes for breakfast (and sometimes lunch and dinner!) and I was in charge of whipping some up for her and the neighborhood kids as an after school treat. In Ireland, "pancakes" are actually more like what we think of as crepes here in the States, thin and eaten with jam or Nutella. But Claire always wanted me to make "American pancakes" which were extra thick and fluffy. Up until that time I had never made pancakes without a mix of some sort but cake and pancake mixes are nearly impossible to find over there so I learned to make them from scratch, which is actually very easy and saves money.

Here are a couple of recipes for everyone, courtesy of the Irish Times. I love the tradition of Pancake Tuesday, might have to be a new annual treat in our house!

Basic Irish-style pancakes: 
225g plain flour 
2 eggs 
1 pt milk 
3tbs melted butter 
A pinch of salt 
Sieve the flour and salt. Make a well in the centre, drop in the eggs and add the milk. Mix to a smooth batter then stir in the melted butter. Try to leave the batter to rest for an hour before you use it, or make it the day before.
American-style pancakes (with baking powder) a la Jamie Oliver: 
3 large eggs 
115g plain flour 
1 heaped tsp baking powder 
140ml milk 
A pinch of salt 
First separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another. Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter. Whisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter – it is now ready to use. Heat a good non-stick pan on a medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to look golden and firm. Turn over and continue frying until both sides are golden.

PS. More types of pancakes from around the world!
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  1. My favorite mix is the Snoqualmie Falls/Salish Lodge mix, but my husband does mix up a mean pancake from scratch -- very light and airy. Makes me feel like I can eat about 20 without feeling guilty :)

    1. Oooo I'll have to try that one! Love Salish Lodge.

  2. Laura, Alex and I randomly had pancakes today. We'll have to make it a tradition.