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Pancake Day! - My life in England

I’ve always enjoyed my food, and one day in the year that I would always look forward to as a child is Pancake Day, which just happens to be today this year! Some years, I remember that I would go to my Nanna and Grandad’s and eat pancakes for lunch and then come home and have pancakes for dinner, too. I think I ate 8 or 9 one year!

The traditional way to eat them in England is with sugar and lemon juice, but I prefer mine with vanilla ice cream instead of sugar. I love the combination of the sourness of the lemon and the sweetness of the ice cream. I usually fold the ice cream up in the pancake, eat it with a knife and fork and then lick the plate clean! English pancakes are fairly thin and big, a bit like French crepes, but slightly thicker. This year, as the chef (my husband) is American, we’ll be having smaller, fatter ones, like they eat in the US.

Pancake Day is also called Shrove Tuesday and is connected to Lent and Easter – two important festivals in Christianity. Since the day we celebrate Easter changes, so does the day we celebrate Pancake Day. Although I’m not religious, like most English people we continue to celebrate these traditions. Before Easter, there is a 40 day period that is called Lent, which used to be a time when Christians would fast - like most Muslims do during Ramadan. However, I don’t know anyone that fasts these days, not even very pious, or religious, people. These days, people usually pick something that they want to give up, typically sweet things like chocolate, cakes and biscuits, or desserts in general, but it could be anything such as social media, watching TV, etc and abstain from doing them until Easter. It’s a test of your willpower and was intended to remind people of the suffering Jesus experienced as he made his forty-day journey through the desert.

Shrove Tuesday marks the last day before Lent begins, and so was the last opportunity people had to eat up all ingredients traditionally given up for Lent, specifically milk, eggs and flour, which are also they key ingredients used to make pancakes.

If you had to give something up for Lent, what would it be a why?

Check out my instagram: englishsarauk, to see my story and photos, and leave a comment with your answer.

For more information:

Simple pancake recipe

Why is it called Shrove Tuesday?

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