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Happy Pancake Day!

So there was this one day I had a terrible craving for pancakes. You know how it is. We went to a Little Chef (a better than average side-of-the-highway fast food chain) and I ordered some. Imagine my surprise when — expecting a big, fat stack of flapjacks, dripping with butter and syrup — placed before me was one thin crêpe, folded over, with a squeeze of lemon. A perfectly good crêpe, I have to say, but not what I meant, yo.

This is what Brits call a pancake. I’ve since seen them sold as fairground food at village fêtes — very large ones, cooked to order on portable griddles and topped with a variety of things. They’re nice. And when I want a stack of flapjacks, they’re dead easy to make.

Anyway, it’s Pancake Day AKA Shrove Tuesday. British Pancake Day traditions go back hundreds and hundreds of years, the main one being a footrace. Women (and sometimes men dressed as women — a thing British men will do at the drop of a chapeau) run with a pancake in a skillet. Sadly, they don’t have to flip the pancake the whole way, but they do have to give it a couple of turns.

There are also street football games some places. I get the impression street football games aren’t so much games with rules and winners and people keeping score as, just, a mob of people in the street kicking a ball around. Whatevs. I don’t do sprot.

Pancake Day is always a small surprise. I think of Britain as being so secular — and I think of Lent as being Catholic — but the CofE is closer to Catholicism than I’d realized, and they do have pancake ingredient displays in the supermarkets beforehand. No fasting tomorrow though.

Me? I’m having pizza tonight.

February 17, 2015 — 10:03 pm
Comments: 21