Yes! There really is a Pancake Day!
Exciting, isn't it?!
In honor of this day, which falls on Tuesday February 24th in 2009, I have collected bits of information on the history of Pancake Day and lots of links and a few fun pancake poems.
(Oh!and checkout my Pancake folktale and Recipe at StorytellingCookingAndKids.blogspot.com )
Pancake Day is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday which is the day before Lent. Lent is a Christian holiday that was established in the 4th century as 40 days and is generally a period of fasting or other forms of self-denial. People generally eat a lot and have fun the day before Lent begins. Shrove Tuesday is often referred to as Pancake Day because fats, which were generally prohibited during Lent, had to be used up. People would take all the eggs and dairy products that they had left in their kitchens and use them to make delicious pancakes.
In the United Kingdom of Great Britian, Northern Ireland and several other countries around the world, Pancake Day is celebrated with fun, games, and of course a lot of eating. However, the most well known activity on this day is the Pancake Day race at Olney in Buckinghamshire, England which has been held since 1445. It all began when a woman was cooking pancakes on Shrove Tuesday to use up all of her perishables before Lent. While she was still cooking she heard the chiming of the bells summoning her to church. Not wanting to be late, the woman ran to church with her apron on and the frying pan still in her hand. Little did she know that this would start a tradition that would be around for over 500 years!
Only women are allowed to participate in this race. They must run a designated path with a frying pan and end up at the church. They must have a hot pancake in the frying pan which they must flip at least three times before they complete the race. The first woman to complete the race and arrive at church with the pancake is declared the winner. She then serves the pancake to the bellringer and is rewarded with a kiss from the bellringer called the “Kiss of peace”. This race still occurs in England and in several other cities.
Info found here
Here are a few poems about pancakes:
The Pancake Collector
by Jack Prelutsky
Come visit my pancake collection
It’s unique in the civilized world
I have pancakes in every description,
Pancakes flaky and fluffy and curled
I have pancakes of various sizes
Pancakes regular, heavy and light
Underdone pancakes and overdone pancakes
And pancakes so perfectly right
I have pancakes locked up in the closets
have pancakes on hangers and hooks
There are bags in boxes and bureaus
And pressed in the pages of books
There are pretty ones sewn to the cushions
And tastefully pinned to the drapes.
The ceilings are coated with pancakes
And pressed in the pages with crepes.
I have pancakes in most of my pockets
And concealed in the lining of suites
There are tiny ones stuffed in my mittens
And large one packed in my boots
I have extra of most of my pancakes,
I maintain them in rows on these shelves
And if you say nice things about them
You may take a few home for yourself
I see that you’ve got to be going
Won’t you let yourselves out by the door?
It is time that I pour out he batter
And bake up a few hundred more
by Christina Rossetti
Mix a pancake,
Stir a pancake,
Pop it in the pan.
Fry the pancake,
Toss the pancake,
Catch it if you can.
by Shel Silverstein
Who wants a pancake,
Sweet and piping hot?
Good little Grace looks up and says,
"I'll take the one on top."
Who else wants a pancake,
Fresh off the griddle?
Terrible Teresa smiles and says,
"I'll take the one in the middle."
Of course, I found a vid on Youtube! This one is odd but kinda fun. Enjoy!!
....and FYI, here's some information on the Different Types of Pancakes
BAO BING, PO-PING: The thin Mandarin pancakes served with Peking duck and moo shu pork. The cakes are made of fine wheat flour and boiling water, rolled thin and cooked two at a time.
BIN-JA TUK: Korean pancakes made from soaked mung beans. While the pancakes cook, strips of pork and kimchi are placed on top, then the cake is flipped.
BLINI: The savory, ultra-light pancake of Russia made traditionally with buckwheat flour and cooked in a small cast-iron pan. Blini are eaten hot with butter, herring, smoked salmon, chopped egg or caviar and sour cream. They date back to the Middle Ages
BLINTZ: The traditional pancake of Jewish cuisine is fried and rolled with sweet or savory fillings, such as lox or cinnamon and sugar and sour cream.
CREIER DE RITEL PANE: A Romanian dish of pancakes filled with mashed calves brains, onion, parsley and eggs. Once filled, the pancake is dipped in eggs and breadcrumbs and deep fried.
CREPE: The French pancake is, of course, the thinnest of them all. Sweet or savory, crepes can be street food or served in a five-star restaurant. Crepes Suzette, once the epitome of luxury desserts, is doused with liqueur and set afire.
DADAR GUTUNG: This Indonesian pancake is wrapped around coconut meat cooked in water with brown sugar and flavored with lemon juice and cinnamon, with a little salt.
EIERKUCKAS: A rich pancake from the Alsace Lorraine region of Northeastern France. The batter is mixed with red currant jelly and cream.
FLENSJES: A thick Dutch pancake served for dessert with sugar, ginger, jam or marmalade.
FLAESKPANNKAKA: This Swedish pancake is cooked until nearly set, then pork or bacon is laid on top and cooked until completed.
INJERA: This spongy, yeasted pancake-like bread made from millet flour doubles as food and utensil in Ethiopia. One or two injera are placed on a large tray and then covered with various stews. Diners scoop the stew with torn pieces of extra injera. Lastly, the injera bread that lines the tray, soaked through with stew juices, is eaten.
LATKE: In Jewish cuisines, the crisp potato pancake is eaten with sour cream or applesauce.
PALASCINTA: A thin Hungarian pancake similar to and used like a French crepe. Also popular in Austria.
PANNEKOEKE: The basic Dutch pancake might be small, filled with custard and served as dessert, or large with bacon cooked into it and dressed with molasses as an entree.
PIKELETS: A yeasted pancake with a holey surface in England. In New Zealand and Australia, the term refers to tiny pancakes that are served cold with preserves, whipped cream or lemon butter.
PLOYES: French Canadian sweet or savory buckwheat pancakes cooked on one side only.
POH PIA: In Singapore, these pancakes are served with a variety of filling, such as chicken or fried garlic, and sauces for diners to choose from.
QATA-EF: In Egypt and Syria, these pancakes are cooked on one side, folded over a sweetened cheese or nut filling, then deep fried. Medieval Arabic cookbooks mention this dish.
TORTILLA: A thin pancake-like flatbread made of cornmeal or flour and water that dates back thousands of years in Mexico and Latin American cooking.
Finally, in case you need/want more information, here are a few good links:
The Pancake, an Appreciation