If you’re middle aged like me, and if you were raised Catholic, then you might remember that Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day. This is the day that Christians celebrate the beginning of Lent and the giving up of something in memory of Jesus who was sent into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights and was tempted by the devil. These forty days also precede Easter. The more Americanized version would be Mardi Gras (fat Tuesday).
I remember growing up in Newfoundland when we celebrated Pancake Day. Supper would be, what else – pancakes! But the pancakes Mom made had surprises in them. When no one was looking, she would hide little things in the batter. So when we took pancakes on our plates, we forked them furiously to see what the surprise was. It could be anything from coins to buttons, screws and other little things that she found. If you found a dime, it meant that you would be rich; a button meant that you would be a seamstress; a screw or nail meant that you would be a builder. It was also a way of getting rich if you could just eat lots of pancakes and find lots of coins.
I don’t think that people do this anymore, and it’s a shame; just one of the cherished traditions that have gone by the wayside. I’m sure the pancakes weren’t that healthy back then, so I’m including a healthy pancake recipe here.
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients; then add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
For apple pancakes, add one chopped apple to the batter.
For blueberry pancakes, add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries.