That’s right, it’s the most scrumptious holiday of the year: Shrove Tuesday. Many of us will have seen the numerous adverts telling us to stock up on eggs, Nutella, lemons and other delicious pancake-based ingredients… I for one, cannot wait to get stuck into the stodgy goodness.
Now, most will know that Shrove Tuesday also marks the start of Lent: the 6-week religious period of seeking penance for sins and remembering the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert. In modern times, this normally means the second time in the year (after January) that people give up weird things and become a bit more boring. But before we all do that, we get to FEAST on delicious PANCAKES.
So pancakes are traditionally associated with Shrove Tuesday or ‘Mardi Gras’ (which, fun fact, actually means Fat Tuesday in French) because rich and luxurious foods such as eggs and butter were not to be eaten during Lent, meaning that they had to be eaten before the observance started. The day was effectively an opportunity to fatten yourself up before the period of fasting began, and a way of using up all the food in your cupboards which would not last the 6 weeks until Easter.
Effectively, Shrove Tuesday is the ultimate in sustainability: a chance to reduce food waste and use up ALL of your leftovers.
As with most 21st century holidays, Shrove Tuesday has been commercialised and we’ve all been brainwashed into thinking that we need to buy lots of new things in order to enjoy it (primarily a huge vat of palm-oil filled Nutella). But in fact, pancakes (if made as a traditional crepe) are a perfect vehicle for almost any topping. Who says you can’t have a cheese and pesto pancake? Or a PB&J pancake? Or something rogue like a bombay potato and mango chutney pancake?
So on this joyous day, I ask you to join me in Week 9 of the Sustainable Revolution: use what you’ve already got to make your pancakes delicious. Whether you go sweet, savoury, fluffy or flat, find something to top them with which doesn’t involve spending (or wasting) a thing.
Send us photos of your pancake creations or comment with your rogue recipes!