Monday, February 15, 2010


Tomorrow, February 16th, is Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day in Canada. I've eaten pancakes on this day for as long as I can remember.
In the Christian calendar, Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent which leads up to Easter; and traditionally, there were certain foods that were not allowed during Lent (fat, butter and eggs). So, all of those items were indulged in on Shrove Tuesday as a sort-of last hurrah.
Sounds good to me! (Well, the eating of pancakes does, at any rate. However, the giving up of fat, butter and eggs sounds somewhat bleak!!)
As a child in Newfoundland, my Mom would "add" things to our pancakes -- and I'm not talking about blueberries or such!! My siblings and I would eagerly gather round the table and dig into the center of our pancake first to see what we'd find: if you found a toothpick, you'd marry (or make your living as) a carpenter; a screw meant a mechanic; a twist of thread meant a seamstress or tailor. But the pancake that we all hoped to get contained a nickel!! (it was the 60's, you know); this meant that this happy person would also find riches in their future!! Whoo Hoo!
(Meanwhile, there were 4 others who had burst into tears and were now complaining loudly! It didn't take long for Mom to make sure that one person found a dime and the others each found a nickel.) I've continued this tradition with my own kids -- but with just one coin. (I'm a tough old broad -- I say let 'em weep! It builds character!)
There are a few other changes I've made to my Mom's Pancake Day meal: I use a low fat sausage, I make healthier pancakes (and I like them to have texture and bite), and I have bananas & strawberries on top with a lot less maple syrup. One of our favorite pancakes recipes is this one.
Multigrain Pancakes
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup quick or rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg (beaten) and 1 large egg white
(beaten to soft peaks)
1/8 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk at room temp
(or 1 Tbsp white vinegar and enough milk to measure 1 cup total)
1 cup fat-free sour cream
Combine all dry ingredients. Gently stir buttermilk & sour cream into egg mixture. Mix wet with dry until just combined.

If you're having pancakes tomorrow, I hope you find lots of money in them! And I hope it's miracle money that you didn't put in there yourself! And that it's in a cheque form and has 5 figures or more!
After all -- it's still Olympics season
AND I'm Canadian
-- I believe!


Grandma Yellow Hair said...

OMGoodness I came to the computer wondering what to do about supper and the first thing I find is your pancakes...problem solved...of course they want be anything special but I'll pretend they have all these special fruits on top...
This is a great post and I so enjoyed reading it...
Too funny about you only putting one coin in your kids...haha
Gotta make them tough....funny...
Off to the kitchen

Barb said...

Well - I love all yummy traditions and finding a bit of money would suit me just fine. I'll be there for breakfast, esp if you have any of those pink frosted cupcakes left!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Your pancakes sound divine with the strawberries and all. I've never found any money in mine, but I do love them!

Nezzy said...

....and what time did ya'll say you were servin' those flap~jacks??? 'Cause here on the Ponderosa I'll be eating my oatmeal, I do add cinnimon, a dash of nutmeg, raisins and English walnuts. Nope, I can't do plain old borin' oatmeal but I'd much rather have your pancakes!

Ya'll have a fun day tomorrow at your breakfast and don't break a tooth on your treasures!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Thank you! I've been trying to think all day long what I want to eat, and nothing's seemed right; now I know - Pancakes!
I don't know about that nickel thing though - I think I'll be satisfied with a little vanilla extract and some strawberries and whipped cream on top!

knitwit said...

We always did pancakes on Shrove Tuesday too. My parents are English and couldn't fathom the whole maple syrup thing, so they put sugar and lemon juice on them. No coins though. We were poor, and they were terrified of the dentist's bill!

Eva Gallant said...

What a neat tradition!

Cherie said...

What???? A day especially for pancakes??? That has to be the coolest thing ever - that will be my boys new favorite holiday!!!

Enjoy your pancakes tomorrow!!!!

Marie said...

We shall be eating pancakes of course, but I never heard of putting anything into them! What a novel idea!

Anna said...

In Italy,traditionally people don't eat meat on Ash Wednesday...but I'm vegetarian so ...
I love pancakes,my daughter sometimes makes them after reading the recipe on internet.We prefer them simply with nutella but yours look fantastic!.

Shelia said...

Hi and thank you for visiting me today! Oh, I love this story of the pancakes with treasures!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

The Garden of Egan said...

That is such a fun tradition!

Mattenylou said...

We always had pancakes, too, on Shrove Tuesday when I was growing up. I'll continue the tradition another year, hey it's a good excuse for an easy supper!

Susan said...

They don't call it Fat Tuesday for nuttin'!! I bet your family dentist loved the way your mom made pancakes with all her little extras! ;)

aliceinparis said...

Love that story about the coins and toothpicks etc. I've never heard of that custom! Forgot it was Pancake Tuesday. I LOVE pancakes.Nice recipe:)
Enjoy the Olympics tonight. Men's short program in figure skating. Exciting!