Pancake Day doesn’t have to be just about eating them. Make it a fun day in the kitchen with lots of great activities which the kids can get involved in.
Before you do, you’ll want to have the right kitchen equipment like bowls, whisks and lots of kitchen towels so you’re on top of the organised mess that’s about to explode. So stock up on your sweet or savoury toppings and get excited to toss your pancakes in the air.
Why do we celebrate Pancake Day?
Pancake Day is known as Shrove Tuesday which falls on the last day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This year this watering treat day is taking place on Tuesday 28th February.
Shrove Tuesday dates back to the ancient times when Christians would go to confess their sins to the priest and be ‘shriven’ from their bad deeds. A bell would be rung to call them in which was known as the Pancake Bell, and this is where the tradition and the name was born.
So why do we eat pancakes on this day?
Families would clear their cupboards and use up food that cannot be eaten on Lent. This was mainly the tempting ones such as fats, butter, eggs, sugar and milk and the quickest way to finish them at once was by making pancakes. These ingredients are also said to represent the four points of significance at Easter and Springtime of the year. Eggs signifies creation, flour as the staff of life, milk for purity and salt is for wholeness.
To celebrate this day with the rest of Britain, Life & Style share easy ways to make this guilt-free appetiser a fun day for everyone to enjoy.
How to make the perfect pancake
A pancake should be made thin, flat and on a non-stick frying pan. Sometimes it may be better to use a fresh new pan to make the perfect rounded pancake as well as avoid it sticking to it when it is flipped in the air. Since they taste so good, don’t be surprised if you run out quickly. It will be a good idea to make over a dozen and in a variety of sizes so you can try it with different spreads and toppings.
Perfect pancake recipe:
- 8oz plain flour
- 2 large eggs and whisk lightly
- ½ pint of milk
- A pinch of salt
- Vegetable oil for frying
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and leave it to stand for 15-20 minutes. In this time you can get the kids to help you wash and dry the bowls and prepare the table with dinner plates, napkins, and any cutlery you’ll be using for the sweet and savoury spreads. Keeping the kitchen neat and tidy will make it easier to find things and you’ll definitely want to snap up some cool photos with the kids to share on your Instagram, so presentation is key. This is a great time to tell them the story of Shrove Tuesday and why it is celebrated.
Once everything is cleared, it is now time to heat a little bit of oil in the frying pan and pour just enough batter to cover the base and let it cook until it is golden brown. Roll up your sleeves, grab the handle and after a count of three, flip the pancake in the air to cook the other side. Whether you have skills or not, flaunt them! It’s meant to be fun for everyone and the children will definitely love it.
What toppings to have on your pancake?
If the pancakes aren’t enough as a treat on its own there are endless toppings you can choose to eat your pancakes with. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Nutella spreads, ice cream, chocolate chips, or drizzle maple syrup over it.
It’s no surprise the children will be heading straight for the sweetest collection, so have a fruit bowl at hand like blueberries, strawberries or banana to balance it out or else they will be running on a high sugar rush!
For the classic savoury pancakes have a selection of cheese, ham, red peppers, spinach and mushrooms. They also make quick healthy midweek meals especially if you want something light but filling so it’s a good time to get creative and try something you can make again.
Pancake Day Race
If you have some pancakes left over, gather everyone into the garden and have a pancake race. According to legends, this tradition began in 1445 by a woman in Olney, Buckinghamshire who dashed from her home with the frying pan flipping the pancake on her way to church after realizing she lost track of time.
Place the pancakes on a paper plate so it’s safe for the kids and have a prize for the one who makes it to the finishing line without dropping the pancake on the ground.