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Shrove Tuesday 2012 (Pancake Day)

Shrove Tuesday - Pancake dayShrove Tuesday - 21st February 2012 - Pancake Day

Customer:  Waiter, will my pancake be long?
Waiter:  No sir, it will be flat and round like everyone else's.

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Pancake Jokes

An Englishman, Welshman and an American were having a drink.

At first they talked about cars and farms, and true to form, the American had the swankiest car and the biggest farm.  Then they got to talking about children's names.

'My son was born on St David's Day', remarked the Welshman, 'So - look you, we obviously Christened him David.'

'That's a real coincidence', observed the Englishman', My son was born on Michaelmas Day, 29th of September, so we decided to call him Michael.'

'That's remarkable', piped up the American, 'Exactly the same thing happened with my son Pancake.'

Playing God?

It was Shrove Tuesday and Mrs Thomas was making pancakes for her sons, Michael 6, and Eddie 8.

As usual, the brothers began to argue over who should get the first pancake. Their mother saw a wonderful opportunity for a moral lesson.

'If Jesus were sitting at the table, He would say, "Let my brother have the first pancake".'

Quick as a flash Eddie turned to Michael and said, 'Michael, today you can be Jesus!'

Reader's Pancake Joke, Complete with Funny Picture

What did the young pancake say to the old burnt pancake?
I don't like your flip side.

Shrove Tuesday? - Give me Mardi Gras any day!

Pancake jokes

Every dog has his day, but for Patch, Pancake Day was not it.  (Kindly sent in by Jason E)

Emma Loves Her Pancakes

One February Emma went to her psychiatrist.  She told him, "My friends said that I had to come see you because they think I have a problem with pancakes."

The psychiatrist says, "Why do they think that?"

"Well," Emma replies. "Because, I just like pancakes."

"That's not a problem," the psychiatrist responds. "I love griddle cakes too!"

"Really?!" the Emma exclaims. "Then you should come to my house, I have a whole attic full of pancakes!"

Pancake Joke For April Fool's Day

On April 1st John's mother put a fire cracker under the pancakes.

She blew her stack.

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When Is Shrove Tuesday in 2012? - 21st February

Remember that it's Easter that fixes the date for Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day).  Therefore working backwards, we have Lent with its 40 days of fasting before we get to Easter Day.  Thus Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, so the day before is when cooks use up all the 'naughty foods'. In the olden days two 'naughty foods', which are not allowed in Lent, would be butter and eggs - ideal for making pancakes.  Hence Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day 2012 is on the 21st of February.

Curiously, when calculating Lent, Sundays don't count, hence Shrove Tuesday is actually 47 days before Easter Sunday.

Date for Shrove Tuesday 2012

The earliest possible date for Shrove Tuesday is the 3rd of February, while the latest possible date is the 9th of March.

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A Definition of Shroving

Shroving is a ancient British custom in which children sang or recited poetry in exchange for food or money.
A popular shroving rhyme went like this:

Knock, knock, the pan's hot
And we are coming a-shroving
For a piece of pancake
Or a piece of bacon
Or a piece of truckle* cheese
Of your own making.

*Truckle cheese is barrel shaped and is often mature Cheddar.

Some Tasty International Pancakes Brought to You by Stephanie and WillPancake jokes

America (USA):  We believe that American style pancakes are particularly thick or fluffy, and best served with Vermont maple syrup and butter.  Some American cooks add a little vanilla, while others add blueberries; most also add baking powder to create their 'griddlecakes'.

Canada:  Canadian pancakes are moister than American ones but still served with maple syrup.

China:  Chinese pancakes are fried in sesame oil and are apparently superb with duck.

Finland:  Finnish pancakes are ideal for people with a sweet tooth, these should be served with jam, whipped cream, berries, cinnamon and sugar, honey or maple syrup.

France:  Will can support the fact that the French excel at crepes [sweet] and galettes [savoury] and often served with a bowl of local cider.

Germany:  The Germans tend to make apple pancakes which are baked in the oven.  They also have 'Puff' pancakes, which look like English 'Yorkshire Puddings'.

India:  Indian pancakes sound scrummy; savoury pancakes are prepared with ginger, garlic and cayenne. Mung beans may also be part of the recipe.

Italy:  Calzonia are common in Italy, they are more like an enclosed pizza than an English pancake.

Mexico:  The renowned Mexican pancake equivalent is the wheat tortilla; Will has also eaten them made from maize [cornmeal].

Netherlands:  'Flensjes' are crepe cakes, usually made with apples and occasionally rhubarb.

Nigeria: Nigerian pancakes are often served with beans, tomatoes and shrimp, making a complete meal.

Norway:  'Krumkakes' are thin, crisp, cone-shaped cookie-like crepes, often served at Christmas. They are sometimes made with a special flat iron which leaves a decorative pattern.

Poland: Will and Guy's friend, Kinga Sadkowska, tells them that Polish pancakes, 'Nalesniki', are thin crepes which are usually served with a special cottage cheese filling. Lovely.

Russia: The regular Russian the pancake of choice is the 'blini': which is small and thick, ideal with sour cream or caviar.

Perhaps you are able to add to this list?  We would like to get to 20 types of pancakes.?  If so, please let us know.  We particularly prize funny pancakes.

Sweden:  The Swedish Raggmunk is made from riced potatoes.

Welsh: The Welsh make their pancakes with buttermilk or sour cream.

Perhaps you are able to add to this list?  We would like to get to 20 types of pancakes?  If so, please let us know.  We particularly prize funny pancakes.

Why Pancake Day is Celebrated Less in the USA

...(videVfl2)

Much of America celebrates Mardi Gras on the day before Lent.  That's the same day as Shrove Tuesday, and as there is no contest between pancakes and a parade followed by a party, Shrove Tuesday gets overlooked anywhere where they celebrate Mardi Gras.  Incidentally 'Mardi' is the French for Tuesday and Gras means fat, hence 'Fat Tuesday'.

Etymology of the Word Shrove

In modern English, the word 'Shrove' has no meaning outside of pancake or Shrove Tuesday.  Academics can trace shrove to the past tense of the verb shrive, which itself means absolution.  This derivation helps to cement the meaning of eating up luxury food before the penance of fasting during Lent.

If you bring to mind other old words such as Yuletide (Christmas) and Eastertide, then it will be no surprise that there are lesser known '-tides', Allhallowtide (Halloween), Whitsuntide (Whitson) and Shrovetide.  My point is that Shrove Tuesday is the last day of Shrovetide.

Shrove Tuesday Traditions

In the 21st century, Shrove Tuesday is most strongly associated with pancake activities.

  • The world record for cooking the biggest pancake was set in Rochdale, Yorkshire, England in 1994. The super-pancake measured 15 metres in diameter and weighed 3 tons.
  • Ralf Laue from Leipzig, Saxony, Germany broke the world record in 1997 by tossing a pancake 416 times in two minutes.
  • Pancake races in various towns, most famously, in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England.

Shrovetide

Shrovetide football in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England is something different, a unique game.  On Shrove Tuesday, and also on Ash Wednesday, the Up'ards play the Down'ards, its a no hold's barred game of football with the goals three miles apart.

Instead of a kick-off, Shrovetide has a 'turning up' where a dignitary throws the special ornate ball into the crowd and the game starts.  The event first came to the wider public's notice when in 1928 the then Prince of Wales (Later abdicating King Edward VIII) got caught up in the mêlée.  Without modern-day protection officers he got sucked into the scrum and came out with his nose bleeding. Shrovetide 2009

The only rules are:
You must not intentionally cause harm to others
No motorised vehicles
No hiding the ball in bags or rucksacks
No trespassing, especially in churchyards.

Result for 2011
Tuesday's game was a draw with Adrian Webb for the Down'ards scoring a goal at 4:50 and then Richard Goodall scoring a goal for the Up'ards at 6:45.

Wednesday's game was also draw with Simon Betteridge scoring for the Down'ards about 3:30 and then Simon Fisher scoring a goal for the Up'ards at 8:55.

The first time in 75 years there have been four goals say Will and Guy.

The 2010 game
This was of the most controversial renewals for some years.  Eventually the committee decided that at the end of day one Dave Spencer's goal be disallowed because it was "goalled" AFTER the 22.00 deadline.  The amended result was a 1:1 draw.

The 2008 Sensation
In 2008 there was a sensation when the Up'ards were accused of cheating by having a counterfeit decoy ball.  Each year a new ball is crafted with most ornate design.  The Down'ards claim that a crucial time they were distracted by this fake impostor of a ball.  To get any progress along the 3 mile pitch you need brains and subterfuge, as well as brawn and speed; selling the proverbial dummy is OK, but introducing another ball threatens the integrity of the game.  The stewards' enquiry is likely to rumble on.

Shrovetide Scores

2011 Up'ards 2 : 2 Down'ards
2010 Up'ards 1 : 1 Down'ards 
2009 Up'ards 1 : 1 Down'ards
2008 Up'ards 2 : 0 Down'ards
2007 Up'ards 1 : 0 Down'ards

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Ripon Pancake Day Race ScrappedRipon Pancake Race banned

The Ripon traditional pancake race has been scrapped because of fears over health and safety.

The event was revived 13 years ago and since then crowds have gathered in the centre of Ripon, North Yorkshire, UK, on Shrove Tuesday. Schoolchildren run down a cobbled street flipping pancakes after the start is signalled by the ringing of the cathedral's ancient 'pancake bell' at 11 am. 

Organisers reluctantly scrapped the popular event this year because of mounting costs and bureaucracy linked to health and safety rules.  The police wanted more than £1,000, to control the event.  In the past, local schools and businesses have entered teams to race while tossing pancakes.

Organiser Bernard Bateman added, 'Health and safety has just gone too far. It makes you think twice about even trying to hold events like this, even though they are extremely popular, especially amongst children. The main issue with health and safety is the cobbled street people could slip on, but it causes us so much trouble just for a little issue. This stupidity never happened previously. It's a shame that these issues stop the children enjoying such a traditional event.'

Will and Guy can't help but agree with Mr Bateman.  We also wonder if this is just a UK problem, please let us know the Health and Safety  situation is in other countries.

Guy's Special Pancake Recipe

Ingredients
150g / 6oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
3 eggs
300ml / 12 fl oz milk mixed with 100ml / 4fl oz water
75g / 3oz butter

Special Shrove Tuesday ingredient - Sultanas.  Add about 20 currants, raisins or sultanas (best) to the mixture when it's in the frying pan.

MethodShrove Tuesday
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Top tip: Hold the sieve high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing.  Break the eggs into the flour (naturally no shells). Then whisk the eggs, a fork is fine, but lovers of gismos may prefer to use an electric whisk.  Another tip: leave the mixture for 30 minutes so that any difficult lumps will dissolve naturally.

Now you are ready to add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, keep whisking until you get the consistency of thin cream.  You always get lumps, but have faith, eventually they will dissolve into the mixture.  Next melt the butter in a pan.  Spoon the butter into the batter and whisk it in.  Tip: use kitchen paper to smear the pan with butter before you make each pancake.

Cooking the Pancakes:
Get the pan smoking hot, then turn the heat down to medium.  By all means experiment with various thicknesses, but my opinion is that thinner is better, aim more for crêpes rather than crumpets.  Here is where you add those sultanas, I think about 20 is right, but be flexible.

Trick: As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip the mixture around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter.  It should take only half a minute to cook the first side. The first pancake is often a bit leathery - no worries, the rest will be fine.Pancake Day Tuesday

Here is a high risk, high reward strategy - toss your pancake.  Remember that 'leathery' first pancake?  Use it to practice your tossing.  The secret is to flick the wrist so that you give the pancake a slow spin, then bring the pan down in sympathy with the flipping pancake.

To serve:
Squeeze fresh lemon juice (else use one of those plastic lemon juice bottles)
Some like sugar sprinkled on their pancakes (not me)
Option 1: Spread maple syrup.
Option 2: Crêpes Suzette variation: Add one finger of warm brandy to the cooked pancake then set fire with a match.  (If you are not a poser, you are better off drinking the brandy as a chaser.)
Roll-up your pancake with a fork then cut pieces of your 'tube'.

Secret - Eat your pancakes fresh; re-heated pancakes lose their texture compared with those straight out of the pan.

 

Footnote:
Please send us your funny Shrove Tuesday 2012 stories and pancake jokes.

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