Why are we flipping pancakes?

Having grown up in a Christian household I’m shocked when people tell me they don’t know the reasons behind Pancake Day; so here’s a quick guide on the true meaning behind the yummy celebration.

What is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day, otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday, marks the last day before lent.

But what is Lent?

Lent is the 40 days in the lead up to Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday and culminating on Easter Sunday. It’s a time for Christians to live in a time of sacrifice and spiritual self-discipline, usually giving up some kind of sweet treat, or unhealthy substance. Fasting provides us a way to focus on God’s word in preparation for the Resurrection of Christ.

Why does it last 40 days?

40 days is the traditional amount of time for spiritual testing throughout the Bible, and is in particular connection with the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. Matthew 4:1-4 ‘Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ We imitate Christ’s spiritual discipline in celebration over his triumph over sin and death.

So why do we eat pancakes?

Traditionally, on Shrove Tuesday, families would use up all the unhealthy foods in the cupboard so that they would not be tempted throughout lent. Pancakes became an easy way to consume all the flour, eggs, milk and butter in one meal and thus the tradition was born.

How can I celebrate lent?

You can take part in our Don’t Waste Lent badge, and complete an action each week in the run up to Easter. We’ve got particular activities based around climate change which give you guys a chance to respond to the harm being done to our world.

Finally – how do I make pancakes?

– 110g Plain flour (sifted)
– Pinch of salt
– 1 Large egg
– 280ml Milk
– 50g Butter (melted)
Sift flour into a bowl
Make a ‘well’ in the middle and break the egg in.
Add salt and a splash of milk, whisk to a cream.
Add the rest of the milk and melted butter.
Whisk until smooth.
Melt a little bit of butter in a hot frying pan.
Add the mixture so it thinly covers the bottom.
When the edges begin to brown and lift, shake the pan to see if the pancake slides around.
Flip the Pancake.
Cook lightly.

Best served with lemon and sugar, (or copious amounts of chocolate spread).

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