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Today is the day when all rich ingredients usually found in the home are eaten in preparation for fasting during Lent. We don't tend to fast any more, but we still take the opportunity to make pancakes.
The word shrove is a past tense of the English verb "shrive," which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by confessing and doing penance. Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the shriving (confession) that Anglo-Saxon Christians were expected to receive immediately before Lent.
It's an old tradition!
On Pancake Day, pancake races are held in villages and towns across the United Kingdom. In 1634William Fennor wrote in his Palinodia:
"And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne."
So, a quick guide to making a delicious pancake:
Mix 4 oz of plain flour, an egg and half a pint of milk together.
Next get your (preferably non-stick) frying pan and put it on a high temperature. Melt a little butter:
Then simply spoon a ladle-full of the mixture into the pan, making sure it coats the bottom evenly:
Then (here with the help of a lovely assistant) toss the pancake!
(It's somewhere above the camera lens there)
Finally, to be really traditional serve with sugar and lemon.