Pancake Day and Lent : What Do They Have In Common

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It’s almost Pancake Day! I did not know the history behind this day until recently. Follow along as I talk about what it is and share some recipes my family is making on Shrove Tuesday. 

What is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday started when Pope St. Gregory prohibited Christians from eating all meat and animal products during the time of Lent around A.D. 600. So Christians made pancakes to use up their eggs, milk, and butter. Though the tradition was in mostly European countries, many Americans observe this day and serve pancakes. 

Shrove Tuesday is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday each year, 47 days before Easter Sunday. This year that will be Tuesday, February 16, 2021. This celebration is the beginning of Lent in Western churches. Shrove, derived from shrive, refers to the confession of sins as a preparation for Lent, a usual practice in Europe in the Middle Ages.”

We as a family have not celebrated Pancake Tuesday previously. I decided this was a great year to start a new tradition! Our family celebrates Ash Wednesday so this is a good start to our Lenten journey. With our littles being 1 and 3, I am excited to have them in the kitchen with us to prepare the pancakes.

With our food allergies, I wanted to find a few different recipes to try. Our family eats gluten-free, dairy free, egg free baked goods. But, we decided for pancake day we would make different types of pancakes for everyone to enjoy. Here are our favorite recipes. 

Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes – These were the favorites of the family because of the light and fluffy texture. We’ll make a double batch next time and freeze them for an easy breakfast in the morning. Another idea I had was to add some fresh lemon zest to the batter to give it a more lemon blueberry flavor. One of my favorite combinations!

Traditional British Shrove Pancakes – These pancakes are more what we would think of as crepes. Very thin and normally don’t use syrup on them. Instead, we put very thin jelly on ours. You could also just sprinkle sugar and squeeze some lemon juice on them as you serve them. My older girls really liked these as they reminded them of the crepes from their grandma’s house.

Banana Blueberry Fritters – We have made these fritters many times as my Littles have grown up. It’s a very simple recipe. And helps to use up the overripe bananas we constantly seem to have. These are gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free so they are safe for our little guy. He also really enjoys mashing the bananas with his hands so it keeps him busy while I am in the kitchen. I have used buckwheat flour and I could only taste a subtle difference. They are healthy for kiddos and adults alike. 

As I have been researching and learning more about Shrove Tuesday I came to understand that it is also Fat Tuesday during Mardi Gras. So I wanted to incorporate that into how we will celebrate. We’re printing mask printables and getting sequins and glitter for the kiddos to decorate them. Another excuse for my Littles to make a mess!

I would love to hear what traditions or recipes your family uses to celebrate Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras! And would love to see pictures of all the pancake and mask creations! Tag us @desmoinesmom on Instagram. 

Do you do anything for Pancake Day or Fat Tuesday? 

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Elizabeth’s crazy clan includes Elizabeth Rain (2007), Sophia (2011), Will (2017) and Evie Grace (2019) and husband, Mike. You will read posts ranging from co-parenting, being a stepmom and mom simultaneously to mental health in moms. Please reach out to Elizabeth with any questions or stories of your own as she loves to engage with other moms. By sharing stories and listening to other moms’ happys, crappys, and sappys we better ourselves. Growth comes from having a group of moms that challenge you and empower you to be a better version of yourself each day.

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