It's Pancake Day!
February 24, 2009 9:42 AM   Subscribe

It's Pancake Day! Also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, the day before Lent is celebrated in the UK by events such as football matches, races, and the consumption of mountains of pancakes. Perhaps you celebrated by running a pancake race, like the famous one in Ripon? Or, perhaps, you made some lovely pancakes of your own?
posted by Grrlscout (48 comments total)

 
Laissez le bon temps roulez!!
posted by the_royal_we at 9:47 AM on February 24, 2009


For those of us in the U.S. (except Vermont, it turns out) there is still time to get to IHOP for a free stack.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:50 AM on February 24, 2009


Please note that if you, as an American used to fluffy buttermilk pancakes, go to the UK searching for same, you will be sorely dissapointed. Never has the phrase 'separated by a common language' been more true.

In the UK, pancakes either means what Americans call 'crepes' - thin tortilla like things that you wrap stuff in - or they are big bready things sort of like muffins.

I speak from experience.
posted by vacapinta at 9:54 AM on February 24, 2009


Oatcakes, motherfucker!
posted by Jofus at 9:55 AM on February 24, 2009


Ooh! Ooh! This means tomorrow is Tell Catholics There's Something On Their Face Day!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:56 AM on February 24, 2009 [11 favorites]


The only pancake I have ever wanted but will never have.
posted by Foam Pants at 9:57 AM on February 24, 2009


Also: Why are pancakes always (except for today) breakfast? They're like edible opium. Not exactly an ideal pre-work meal.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:01 AM on February 24, 2009


Slight derail: would it be reasonable to say that the traditional observation of Lent is to the Catholic religion what Ramadan is to Islam? I know the rationales behind the two are different, but they are both periods of religious fasting and prayer lasting around a month.
Is the comparison accurate, and would pointing out the similarities between the two be considered improper or insulting to either Catholics or Muslims?
Also, is there an Islamic version of Shrove Tuesday? (I know Eid-al-Fitr would be the celebration that ends Ramadan, somewhat similar to the the Easter celebration that marks the end of Lent). Thanks!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:03 AM on February 24, 2009


I'll be getting the pan on in a minute...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:03 AM on February 24, 2009


Ripon mentioned on the front page of Metafilter?! The last 'city' in England to have a McDonalds. Likely the only one without a cinema. Never thought I'd see the day.
posted by 6am at 10:06 AM on February 24, 2009


Please note that if you, as an American used to fluffy buttermilk pancakes, go to the UK searching for same, you will be sorely dissapointed.

Or not. I vastly prefer a UK pancake to the fluffy American monster. Tastes vary, of course, but a squeeze of lemon and powdered sugar on a UK pancake is sheer heaven.

Love the Maid Marion clip.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:10 AM on February 24, 2009


would it be reasonable to say that the traditional observation of Lent is to the Catholic religion what Ramadan is to Islam? I know the rationales behind the two are different, but they are both periods of religious fasting and prayer lasting around a month.

No, the fasting is far different.
posted by mkb at 10:15 AM on February 24, 2009


As in, Muslims are expected to actually fast.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:18 AM on February 24, 2009


Pancake day? Psssh. Motherfuckin' paczki day.
posted by klangklangston at 10:25 AM on February 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


PACZI & FASCHTNACTS FTW.
posted by SPUTNIK at 10:30 AM on February 24, 2009


Slight derail: would it be reasonable to say that the traditional observation of Lent is to the Catholic religion what Ramadan is to Islam? I know the rationales behind the two are different, but they are both periods of religious fasting and prayer lasting around a month.
Is the comparison accurate, and would pointing out the similarities between the two be considered improper or insulting to either Catholics or Muslims?


Well, it'd be insulting to Protestants to characterize Lent as a specifically Catholic holiday; while Catholics have a stronger tradition of fasting, Lent is recognized as a time of sacrifice in mainline Protestant religions as well. (Also, Sys Rq, forehead ashes for Ash Wednesdays are not just Catholic either.) Am I the only former Protestant who remembers church 'round here?

The comparison between Lent and Ramadan isn't insulting (in my experience), but it isn't really accurate enough to be helpful, either. The whole thing, particularly the fasting, is less formal in Christianity than in Islam, and commemorates a completely different event, and is not held according to the same calendar, etc. It's kind of like pointing out that both in Islam and Christianity, people go to a place of worship once a week. This is true, but doesn't really illuminate anything about Islam or Christianity.

Now I want pancakes. With diced apples. Mmm.
posted by desuetude at 10:33 AM on February 24, 2009


It's also national Condom month. Be sure to use protection when eating free pancakes.
posted by ericcmack at 10:37 AM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


In the UK, pancakes either means what Americans call 'crepes'

I could never be disappointed by a crepe. I don't care what I order, there's a part of me secretly hoping a crepe of some kind will be served to me instead.
posted by lampoil at 10:44 AM on February 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Slight derail: would it be reasonable to say that the traditional observation of Lent is to the Catholic religion what Ramadan is to Islam? I know the rationales behind the two are different, but they are both periods of religious fasting and prayer lasting around a month.
Is the comparison accurate, and would pointing out the similarities between the two be considered improper or insulting to either Catholics or Muslims?


I'm a muslim and wouldn't be offended by such a comparison, and since I don't know much about lent would welcome the chance to talk about the similarities (or differences) between the two, provided I had the time/felt talkative. As far as I can tell fasting is a pretty cross-cultural practice so there's room for dialogue all around.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:48 AM on February 24, 2009


I celebrated by scarfing down a free stack at I.H.O.P.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 10:48 AM on February 24, 2009


Happy fauschnaut day!

(Sady, I suspect I am at least a two-hour drive from any fauchnauts.)
posted by JoanArkham at 10:54 AM on February 24, 2009


I've seen the Future of Pancakes, and it could be BATTER BLASTER
posted by celerystick at 10:57 AM on February 24, 2009



I'll be getting the pan on in a minute..

Same here. And probably needing the ladder shortly afterwards when I try flipping them.
posted by Electric Dragon at 10:58 AM on February 24, 2009


I like pancakes.
posted by caddis at 11:03 AM on February 24, 2009


I don't think anyone would likely be offended by the comparison between Lent and Ramadan, as long as you're willing to acknowledge the differences.

Also, is there an Islamic version of Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday was originally "use up the leftover fat and sugar before we give them up" day. It has kind of morphed for a lot of people into Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday") which is more of a "party hard while you still can" day.

Some people accuse Muslims of treating every night of Ramadan like Fat Tuesday, although it's really more like the break most Christian traditions take from fasting on Sundays in Lent. And most Muslims actually fast, unlike most of the Christians who celebrate Mardi Gras.

I know Eid-al-Fitr would be the celebration that ends Ramadan, somewhat similar to the the Easter celebration that marks the end of Lent


The difference (I think) is that Ramadan is a time of fasting for the spiritual benefits of fasting and Eid-al-Fitr is simply a celebration of the end of the fast.

Lent is a time of fasting in preparation for Easter. Easter was celebrated long before Lent and is celebrated by Christians who don't observe Lent. Lent was originally the period of preparation for new converts who were to be baptized at Easter and it became the tradition for the whole church to prepare themselves along with the catechumens for Easter.
posted by straight at 11:04 AM on February 24, 2009


I, too, like pancakes. Especially those created by mom.
posted by pyrex at 11:19 AM on February 24, 2009


As an American living in England, used to the wild abandon of mardi gras in New Orleans, I just have to ask... pancakes?

Though this helps a bit:
Mischief Night (breaking into people's houses in disguise and demanding pancakes);

I think I have a new plan for the evening...
posted by sundri at 11:29 AM on February 24, 2009


Some people accuse Muslims of treating every night of Ramadan like Fat Tuesday, although it's really more like the break most Christian traditions take from fasting on Sundays in Lent. And most Muslims actually fast, unlike most of the Christians who celebrate Mardi Gras.

As I understand it, most people who fast during Lent do it by giving up one particular food but still eating regular meals. The fast of Ramadan is much more stringent. Every day for the entire month of Ramadan, fasting Muslims consume no food or drink -- not even water -- from the time the sun comes up to the time it goes down. After a day of fasting like that, you really need a hearty meal -- it's not a luxury.
posted by ourobouros at 11:40 AM on February 24, 2009


And, being on a lunar calendar, sometimes Ramadan is in the winter which makes life a little easier and sometimes it's in the summer, which makes for a long time without food.
posted by GuyZero at 11:48 AM on February 24, 2009


Definitely not an exclusively Catholic thing. When I was young I went to an Episcopal Church (often termed "Catholic Lite" because the liteurgies are so similar) and our youth group put on a Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner each year as a fundraiser. Nothing near as wild as those Mardi Gras pancake breakfasts, though. I heard about this one time at St. Alphonzo's where someone stole the margarine, wheedled on the bingo cards, and blew up the latrine!
posted by TedW at 12:02 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mischief Night (breaking into people's houses in disguise and demanding pancakes);

I think I have a new plan for the evening...


You might want to wait for Mischief night. November 4th. And you don't steal pancakes. You put dog poo in paper bags, leave it on a door step, set it on fire, knock on the door and then leg it. Owner comes out, stamps on the fire and everyone wins. Mostly.
posted by vbfg at 12:19 PM on February 24, 2009


This is the 2nd year in a row Metafilter has reminded me to have pancakes for dinner :) Not in time to invite friends this year, alas. More bacon for me!
posted by sevenyearlurk at 12:25 PM on February 24, 2009


Motherfuckin' paczki day.

Motherfuckin' right!
posted by dagosto at 12:28 PM on February 24, 2009


I've seen the Future of Pancakes, and it could be BATTER BLASTER

I had to laugh when I saw bottles of 'pancake mixture' in the supermarket. I mean how difficult is it to get some flour, eggs and milk together? Too difficult for some people, obviously...

(Now stuffed full of pancakes)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:34 PM on February 24, 2009


I'm not sure where you all are getting your ideas about Catholic fasting. During Lent, there are only two days of actual required fasting.

If you're Catholic, there is a difference between fasting and abstaining. Currently in the US (this is determined by each conference of bishops, so it's probably different elsewhere) you're supposed to abstain from meat on Ash Wed. and all Fridays in lent. That means no eating meat, all day (but you can eat fish and eggs, so ymmv on the "meat"). You're supposed to fast -- which means no eating or drinking except dinner meal (although I've never been told not to have water) -- on Ash Wed. and Good Friday (what my dad always called "the holiest day of the year"). (Also, you're supposed to fast for at least an hour before receiving communion, no matter when that is.) This is true for healthy individuals between the ages of 14 and 60. (I think I get excepted out of this even by my dad 'cuz I'm with child! woo!)

This is all covered by the Cannons of the church, and more can be read in Wikipedia, of course.

Growing up in my world, we were also expected to "give up" something (usually candy of all kinds -- makes Easter baskets more fun!) and to do something positive (usually some kind of praying or charity works or whatever). As far as I know, that's all voluntary. Also of interest: at least in our parish, St. Patricks day was officially exempted out of Lent, no matter when it fell. That meant candy and meat, even on Friday! I have no idea if that was sanctioned by the powers that be, or just a benefit of a Irish Catholic Priest.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:35 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, Amen on the Packzi day. I don't know what you freaks are talking about with pancakes (or the king cakes that seem to permeate around here). I've spent way too much time today searching for a polish bakery in Cincinnati!
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:36 PM on February 24, 2009


(Also, Sys Rq, forehead ashes for Ash Wednesdays are not just Catholic either.)

Forgive me (or, no, wait--do we do that?), for I was christened into this denomination; it's less a church than a youth rec centre. Still, I can't imagine any TRUE PROTESTANT ever going to church on a Wednesday.

My family did always go on Pancake Tuesday, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:50 PM on February 24, 2009


This is all covered by the Cannons of the church

That ubiquitous misspelling will never stop being hilarious.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:04 PM on February 24, 2009


In the Eastern Orthodox tradition (we are like the cranky cousins of Catholics, with funnier hats), Lent is very serious business. It's six weeks of fasting, this year for my church at least from March 2. You get a week of vegetarian - ie: eat all the cheese in the house, and then you go full on vegan for six weeks. You get the occasional olive oil and wine allowed on a Sunday, and you can have certain types of seafood in tiny bits, but it is grim.

The first year I kept the Lent fasts, I remember pouring a glass of milk for one of my kids (depending on age, they get various levels, mine as under 12 just went vegetarian) and leaning over it, gazing at it in absolute longing. Giving up dairy is painful.

Although oddly enough, Oreos are completely vegan.

The idea is the forty days of biblical tradition, and you're supposed to set aside the money saved from eating less and not going out and give it to charity at Easter.

The first egg after forty days, a hard boiled egg you get at midnight Easter service is the most delicious egg you will eat ever.

Now I must go and eat all the cheese left in the house.
posted by viggorlijah at 1:12 PM on February 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sys Rq -- d'oh, you're so right.
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:16 PM on February 24, 2009


Still, I can't imagine any TRUE PROTESTANT ever going to church on a Wednesday.

Down here in the Bible Belt Wednesday night church is ubiquitous, often combined with some sort of pot luck/covered dish supper.
posted by TedW at 1:31 PM on February 24, 2009


I (an American in London) taught a South African friend to make crêpes today. Neither of us are that religious, but I feel virtuous for having made a convert to the Pancake Pantheon.
posted by Pallas Athena at 1:49 PM on February 24, 2009


Still, I can't imagine any TRUE PROTESTANT ever going to church on a Wednesday.


silly rabbit
posted by caddis at 1:57 PM on February 24, 2009


Down here in the Bible Belt Wednesday night church is ubiquitous, often combined with some sort of pot luck/covered dish supper.

Yeah, but are they going to church, or just going to a church?

(I was mostly just having a laugh at the idea of a "real Protestant")
posted by Sys Rq at 2:01 PM on February 24, 2009


OKONOMIAKI MAH-ZAH-FAH-KAH!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:12 PM on February 24, 2009


I had never heard of paczki until we moved near a bakery that has it.For those (like me) who had never heard of it, the pronunciation is "poonch'-key" with a long OOOO in the middle. The pronunciation is not exactly intuitively obvious, since there's no n in the middle. Or o either, for that matter.
If you just ask for "punch'-key", they'll figure it out.
I don't know why they only make them one day a year; I'd love to get them once a month or so.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 3:20 PM on February 24, 2009


mmmmm...

Tonight's dinner was pancakes, eggs, real Maple syrup and bacon wrapped tater tots.

We're not particularly observant of anything. We just don't resist a reason to have breakfast for dinner.
posted by onhazier at 5:32 PM on February 24, 2009


Round here, breakfast for dinner is, well, eponysterical.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:10 PM on February 24, 2009


« Older When Resul Pookutty won the Oscar for Sound Mixing...  |  "... many critics and editors,... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments