My favourite (international) traditions: Pancake Tuesday
If you ask me, one of the best things about travelling is that you get to know other traditions. Growing up, you experience every year pretty much in the same way. A Christmas tree always looks a certain way and the food on Easter always includes a certain dish but not another. Once you travel, you get the chance to experience everything differently. Back home, you can adopt your favourite traditions that you met along the road, like Pancake Tuesday!
Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday, is wedged between Shrove Monday and Ash Wednesday and is thus part of the preparations for Lent. In England, and other Commonwealth countries, people celebrate the day by using up all their richer foods, like eggs, milk and sugar, which they will sacrifice during the 40 days of Lent.
I first learnt about Pancake Tuesday in New Zealand. My family was Catholic and so Shrovetide and Lent were important markers during the year. On Pancake Tuesday then, we made pancakes and ate them with sugar and lemon juice on top.
Then I actually forgot about Pancake Tuesday for a couple of years. Or at least I cannot remember whether I ate pancakes every year on this day. But in 2011, I studied in England and Pancake Tuesday was a really big deal there. Supermarkets stocked ready-made pancake mix, lemons, sugar and maple syrup and displayed them only inches from the front entrance. There really wasn’t any way to escape this “holiday”.
Ever since then, I have eaten pancakes every year on the Tuesday before Lent and I am keenly looking forward to it every year.
If you want to try and celebrate Pancake Tuesday for yourself, Jamie Oliver has some great inspiration on his website. And if you have almost nothing at home, then I can recommend the 1-cup pancakes I’ve posted below, some sugar and a bit of lemon juice. Enjoy! 😀
Have you adopted a tradition from somewhere you were travelling? Share your stories with me in the comments below.