Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pancake Day

Today is Pancake Day. Shrove Tuesday.

We all like pancakes.
So why doesn't Pancake Day's arrival feature on telly any more?

Years ago, we used to get helpful adverts to remind us of the coming feast: 'Dont forget Jif Lemon Day'. The tart juice is squirted over the pancake; it counterpoints the piles of sugery gooh and provides one of your five-a-day. But this year, if I hadn't looked in my pocket diary (£2.99 from Poundland), I wouldn't have known the great celebration was upon us; w
hat a nice surprise to perk up an overcast day.

In olden times, as 'Christians' were about to enter into the mad self-denial of Lent they'd enjoy one last feast. Eggs, cream, sugar, butter, all slapped together in a calorie-busting, gluttonous mountain. By the time they'd recovered it was Ash Wednesday; forty days of fasting on dust and gravel until the joy of easter eggs.

Over the years, in the United States Pancake Day has evolved into Fat Tuesday. But in America, Fat Tuesday is followed by Even Fatter Wednesday, Obese Thursday and Lard-Arse Friday.

When I was young, growing up in Merrie England, the BBC's Blue Peter children's programme always made a big thing about Shrove Tuesday, and showed you how to cook the best pancakes in the land. I don't know if they still do; I haven't been able to watch it since vandals destroyed the Blue Peter garden and disturbed poor Petra's ashes.

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