Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mardi Gras is also Pancake Day ... Crepes Day

The day prior to Ash Wednesday is known as Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday.  Why?  Because on that day you traditionally used up the fats (like the bacon drippings, or butter) you're supposed to be restricting during the Lenten fast.

It's also called Pancake Day in many parts of the world, because pancakes can be a wonderfully rich dish that uses up eggs, butter, milk, and sugar.  Other places in the world traditionally consume other variations of fried dough or pastries, because if one is going to suffer for 40 days, you want to go out with something good.

In the UK, Australia, and Canada, Pancake Day also features pancake races, where participants carries a pancake in a frying pan. Runners toss their pancakes as they run and catch them in the frying pan. The practice started in 1444 when a housewife was still frying pancakes when she heard the church bells, and she ran out still holding the frying pan with pancake.  This sounds like something we should play with the kids next year.

Anyway, in our house we had a crepes day, even though there won't be any fasting for us over the next 40 days. 

What's the difference between crepes and pancakes?  American or Canadian pancakes are made with a leavening agent like baking powder, so that they come out fluffy and thick.  Crepes are also made of flour, milk, and eggs, but without the leavener, end up very thin.  And they're just called pancakes in other parts of the world. 
The toddler could not resist eating the crepes while they were still being constructed.
Foodgoat fills his with a cottage cheese and sugar.  I think this one was spiked with vanilla liqueur too. 
Even the littlest one enjoyed it!

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