Happy Pancake Day

Today is Shrove Tuesday (AKA Pancake Day).  It’s a day of the year that I always look forward to because, well… pancakes for dinner, that’s why!

A little history:

Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and it varies from either February or March every year because it is dependent on where Easter falls, which is based on the cycles of the sun and the moon.  

The term “shrove” comes from the religious ritual of confessing sins and being absolved (or shriven) on that day.  During Lent, it is expected that you fast or abstain from eating foods such as meat, eggs, milk, butter and sweets so preparing pancakes was a way to use up those items in your house.

I didn’t do my homework on pancake day traditions all over Canada or the world, but in Newfoundland, where I grew up, it was tradition for our mother’s to add things to our pancakes and each item found was a fun way of “fortune telling” or predicting what you would be in the future.

For example:

  • Finding coins meant you would be wealthy
  • Finding pieces of string meant you would be a fisherman.
  • Finding nails represented horseshoes and you would become a blacksmith
  • A wedding ring meant you would be married.
  • Finding a button meant you would not marry.

Our mom used to make us buckwheat pancakes and as a kid, they were my favorite kind of pancake. Mom only ever put coins in ours and I’ve done the same for my son as well. The coins were always sterilized prior to adding them to the batter and thankfully, nobody ever broke a tooth or choked to death.

I have never made pancakes from scratch so I don’t have a recipe. I use the old reliable box of Aunt Jemima Complete Buttermilk mix topped with butter and syrup and I’m never disappointed in myself 😉



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