The pagans knew how to party! They marked every festival with mirth and merriment but above all food. Food playing a central part to their festivities. So it isn’t really surprising that the Christians adopted this ethos before embarking upon a period of abstinence and denial.
Throughout the 40 days of Lent, people are called to fasting and prayer. However, the week preceding Lent has become a time of merrymaking, culminating on Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
One way to use up the eggs, milk and fats in the house is to add flour to make pancakes.
- 120g plain flour
- pinch salt
- 2 free-range eggs
- 210ml milk
- 90ml water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- butter/oil for frying
1st: Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and create a well in the centre. In a jug mix the milk and water.
2nd: Crack the eggs into the centre and beat into the flour. Gradually pour the milk and water mixture until you get a smooth liquid.
3rd: Stir in the oil and allow to stand for approx 30mins.
4th: Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot and then add the butter or oil until the pan is slicked in the butter/oil. I tend to drain the excess and then wipe nearly clean with a paper towel. Lower the heat. Keep checking the heat as you go as you need the batter to cook before you toss/flip it.
Through experience I normally have to sacrifice my first one to the pancake gods before my batch is to prove bountiful
By the time bubbles are forming and popping on top, and the edges look slightly dry the underside should be golden brown. Only once golden will it be easy to slide the pancake around in the pan.
All I can say at this stage is to give it a go. Flipping a pancake is fun. And that is what being in the kitchen should be about. Don’t be afraid. Tip the frying pan away from you and in one quick movement with a flick of the wrist, toss your pancake into the air towards you – always remembering that you need to try and catch it!!
If you are not going to toss it into the air – once the underside is golden brown you are going to need to flip the pancake over. Slide a metal spatula quickly under the centre of the pancake and flip over quickly and purposefully.
- Caster sugar and lemon juice
- Nutella, bananas and hazelnuts
- Jam (with an extra sprinkle of sugar!)
- Golden syrup
- Ice cream
- Greek Yoghurt and honey
As these are more French crêpes than American hotcakes I wouldn’t go for maple syrup nor crispy bacon as it really does not work here. Think sugary, chocolaty, rich, decadent and fattening, and you’re on the right track.
At the end of the day, if you’re going to give up sweets and/or chocolate for 40 days why not gorge on them until you’re ready to burst?!