Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Happy Pancake Day!

Today is Shrove Tuesday (from the Anglo-Saxon term for Confession) the last day before Lent.

I hope you've enjoyed your pancakes (traditionally cooked to use up eggs etc. before Lent). See the link below which has details of the famous pancake race in Olney in Bucks, which started in 1445 when a housewife was cooking pancakes, heard the church Shrivening bell and raced to the church, frying pan in hand!

So tuck into those pancakes if you haven't already - and keep our traditions alive!

Just forty days then to the Hot Cross buns...

"... as fit as a pancake for Shrove Tuesday."
William Shakespeare (All's Well that Ends Well)

Shrove-Tuesday, at whose entrance in the morning all the whole kingdom is inquiet, but by that time the clocke strikes eleven, which (by the help of a knavish sexton) is commonly before nine, then there is a bell rung, cal'd the Pancake-bell, the sound whereof makes thousands of people distracted, and forgetful either of manners or humanitie; then there is a thing called wheaten floure, which the cookes do mingle with water, eggs, spice, and other tragical, magical inchantments, and then they put it by little and little into a frying pan of boiling suet, where it makes a confused dismal hissing, (like the Lernean Snakes in the reeds of Acheron, Stix, or Phlegeton) until at last, by the skill of the Cooke, it is transformed into the forme of a Flip-Jack, cal'd a Pancake, which ominous incantation the ignorant people doe devoure very greedily.

John Taylor, English poet (1580 - 1654) ; Jack-a-Lent, His Beginning and Entertainment (1630)

Left: Shrove Tuesday - a name with its origins in Anglo-Saxon times, yet with even older roots.

Shrove Tuesday
Olney Pancake Day Race


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