Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Win an Abra-ca-Debora Pancake Day Hamper!

Next week is Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) and one of my previous incarnations as an RE teacher it was always an easy lesson to prepare. In case you were absent that day (and in case you're remotely interested) here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Pancake Day, with answers in varying degrees of seriousness...

1. Why 'pancakes'?
The usual answer is that it was an attempt to use up all the rich foods that would otherwise have gone to waste during the fast of Lent (which begins the day after, Ash Wednesday).  Hence the name 'fat Tuesday' (Mardi Gras) in some parts of the world.

2. Ok then, why is it always on a Tuesday?
Ah, slightly more complicated, that. But basically, because Lent (which begins when? Come on, I've told you once!) is the forty day (ok, it's more than forty straight days but Sundays don't count, right?) period leading up to Easter. And Easter is the traditional 'moveable feast' as it has to be based (for historical reasons) on the phases of the moon. And as we know, lunar and solar months are different. 

3. And why 'Shrove'?
Bit technical, that one. It comes from the word 'shriven' which basically means 'to be forgiven' and refers to the need to 'fess up before fasting. So, 'Shrove' Tuesday means 'confess-your-sins-and-be-forgiven-ready-for-fasting' Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is shorter, obviously.

4. Tossing. Tell me about tossing.
Well the story goes that housewives busy with their pancakes forgot the time and had to make a dash for the church to receive absolution (forgiveness - see above) in time - taking their pancakes and their frying pans with them. Personally I think that's possibly one of the most far-fetched pseudo-explanations in history so here's my theory: everyone knows how hard it is to toss a pancake and what a mess it can make of the kitchen if it goes wrong. So do it outside and if the worst happens, the birds will clear the mess. It's a short step from that to running - back inside, having tossed (successfully) - to feed the family before the pancake goes cold.  

5. Sounds a bit far-fetched to me. Are you sure?
Of course not. But if you think that's far-fetched how about the traditional Irish custom of pancake crocking - basically going from door to door demanding pancakes and threatening to throw broken crockery at the house if unsuccessful. Don't try this at home. 

Instead, why not try winning one of these fabulous Abra-ca-Debora Pancake Day Hampers? I've got one to give away to the lucky reader who leaves the most entertaining pancake-related comment or anecdote below (criteria: Charlie's amusement as measured by breadth of smile or length of laughter - judges decision final!) before pancake day itself, next Tuesday March 4th. And in the meantime why not pop over to the Abra-ca-Debora website and get some inspiration for the big day from their fabulous pancake recipes.

Happy Tossing!



47 comments:

  1. One year my brother was trying to be a culinary genius, and cooked the family a pancake feast, with a sweet and a savoury pancake each.... Unfortunately he'd somehow managed to muddle his own up, and had one pancake with lemon juice on it... and one with mince, peas, onions and sugar!! Which he didn't realise until he took a bite of the savoury one! Ewww! I shared mine with him cos I'm nice :P

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  2. When I was a kid my aunty was teaching me how to toss pancakes. No, I didn't get it stuck to the ceiling. No, I didn't drop it outside the pan. I tossed it perfectly and it landed back in the pan... and as I was looking at my aunt telling her how well I tossed it, her dog stole the pancake out of the pan and ate it! Oh...

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  3. I had a pancake tossing contest with my son, my son was actually very good but I was useless, I tossed the pancake but didn't manage to catch it and it landed on our sausage dogs head, it made her jump and she ran out the kitchen with it over her face, she did manage to get it off with her paw and gobbled up the whole thing!

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  4. My brother tried to make pancakes - He is a pretty good cook usually but was not sure about pancakes so he was busy cooking them and used the wrong type of flour so the pancake just grew and grew and grew! It managed to rise so big it looked more like a cake!! He was not sure what happened and when he decided to try and flip it over it went up in the air a little then flopped straight onto his head then fell onto the dogs head!! The dog then run off with it into the other room and ate the whole thing within a second! So the day is now named after the PAN CAKES THAT THE DOG ATE.

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  5. Charlie. This is the picture of Muffin that ate the Pancake! https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1/1966672_727446300628715_716334787_n.jpg

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  6. my dad made the best pancakes.

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  7. i love pancakes with my family

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  8. There once was two kids sat at home
    Who looked at mum and started to moan
    'We're hungry!' they cried
    pleading in their eyes
    'Make pancakes!' They said with a groan


    So mum set to making them four
    Got ready sugar and lemon galore
    She flipped up the pan
    The cake sailed without plan
    And fell with a 'smack' on the floor

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  9. When I first moved in with my boyfriend I wanted to try and impress him with crepe suzette, The pan caught fire and in my shock I dropped the pan which unfortunately landed on the kitchen floor and burnt a hole. It's safe to say he was not impressed and it ended up costing us £200 to fix as we had to get a joiner to replace the floorboard plus new lino had to be laid. Oops

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  10. My youngest is peppa pig mad and after watching the pancake episode she wanted to "Hoopla" her own pancake but being a bit young I wouldn't let her. After I made her pancake she covered it with bananas and chocolate spread so I rolled it up and cut it into small pieces - Leaving her to take her pancake across the kitchen to the table i heard the magic "Hoopla" and sure enough she had tossed the contents of her plate into the air. Thank god for laminate flooring

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  11. What dinosaur loves pancakes? A trisyruptops :-D x

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  12. We were invited to my brother in law for pancakes on pancake day a few years ago. A plate with a handful of rolled up Nutella filled pancakes were sitting in the middle of the coffee table. As people were busy in the kitchen (making pancakes I assumed) or otherwise away I started munching on the pancakes (I hadn't had dinner yet)
    When my brother in law came back with a tray of cups and coffee his face fell. I hadn't realized he had made 1 pancake each and I had eaten all but one :(
    Never got invited back for pancake day (what's the point of 1 pancake each though?)

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  13. A mummy was making pancakes for her little boys Ben & George. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
    Mum saw the opportunity for a moral lesson and said "If Jesus were sitting here, he would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait'."
    Ben turned to his little brother and said, "George, you can be Jesus!" :)

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  14. Traditionalist that I am, it has to be lemon and sugar!

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  15. mmm hot pancakes with apple and cinnamon xxx

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  16. Pancake jokes are all a bit "flat" and pretty "crepe" really, does anyone really give a "toss" and why does it always fall on a Tuesday ?..!

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  17. Last year we made pancakes and I let my son have a go at tossing them. One ended up stuck on the ceiling and we couldn't get it down. We had to wait till it fell

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  18. Not long after me and my husband first met i made pancakes and accidentally sprinkles (ok covered!) them with SALT instead of sugar - he didnt even say anythiing until after he had finished! Needless to say i married him and he does all the cooking! haha

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  19. one year many moons ago when i had my first flat, i went to toss the pancake, the handle snapped dropping the pan onto my foot and breaking my little toe :(

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  20. Waiter, waiter, will the pancakes be long?
    No sir, round.

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  21. Good old maple syrup and some love :)

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  22. I can't believe it's pancake day again.

    Honestly, it just crêped up on me :)

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  23. One pancake said to the other pancake 'wanna be my flat mate ? '

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  24. My dad decided to make the pancakes in our house one year, he mixed up the sugar for salt (yuck!!) and his flipping was no good, one landed on the dogs head and he gobbled it up!

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  25. We lived in the US for three years and the only way to get a good pancake was to make it yourself. I worked with seniors and I did them a pancake party, they were pretty skeptical about the thin crepe like pancakes feeling like they had been had, but would they try them with anything but syrup - absolutely not. I begged and I pleaded, I told them that lemon and sugar was the best thing since sliced bread, but still no. Then one told me he had been a sniper, so I gave up asking and gave them syrup, syrup and more syrup!

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  26. When I was little, I used to believe that cowpats and pancakes were the same thing. (Nowadays, even though I'm a grown up, I still call pancakes cow pats. I like my cowpats with lemon and sugar!)

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  27. How does a penguin make pancakes?
    (With its flippers!)

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  28. pancake day the only day of the year when its cool to be a tosser ;-)

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  29. I love my pancakes with lemon and sugar.

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  30. Nothing beats traditional lemon and sugar

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  31. Waiter, waiter, will the pancakes be long? No madam, round.

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  32. Nice bit of apple sauce and cream

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  33. Claire offered to care for the eight-year-old daughter of neighbours who
    were going away for the weekend. On the Saturday morning, she made
    breakfast, laying a generous helping of bacon and eggs in front of the
    child. "Mummy always serves hot pancakes for breakfast," said the
    eight-year-old.



    So Claire, very eager to please, hurried into the kitchen and quickly
    prepared a plate of hot pancakes, which she laid in front of the girl.
    "No, thank you," she said.



    "But I thought you said your mother always has hot pancakes for breakfast!" said Claire in surprise.



    "She does," said the child. "But I don't eat them!" :-)

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  34. I once flipped a pancake high into the air and it landed on my head!!

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  35. i cant cook them to save my life! i burn them or set teatowels on fire!! or if i get that bit done a pancake toss turns to a massive flop and ends up on the floor or the ceiling!! oops! thats why i leave them to the other half! or even better should try these save us an accident! he he! :) x

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  36. every pancake day my husband and I have a pancake flipping contest to see who can flip the highest ... last year my 4 kids were hysterical when hubby flipped his and it splatted on the ceiling lol!

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  37. we always celebrate pancake day because 27 years ago my daughter was born on Shrove tuesday. naturally I cooked the pancakes first and almost didn't make it to the hospital!

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  38. One year I rang my Mum and after a few minutes heard my Dad call out "This isn't going to toss itself". Imagine my relief when I realised what day it was.

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  39. My mum isn't the best cook in the world, she's a little scatterbrained and easily distracted. One pancake day she was especially busy. She had three noisy kids to care for, washing to do, a cat to feed. There were toys to put away, and plates and cups to collect up. But she managed it - three piles of steaming hot pancakes, one each, awaited us when we got home from school. My brother, grinning, was the first to take a massive bite. The look on his face soon changed to one of horror. "Bleargh," he squealed. Pancake flew out of his mouth, back onto his plate and across the tablecloth. Unfortunately my mum hadn't sprinkled sugar over the top of our pancakes, she'd got confused when doing the washing: it was soap!

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  40. my fave memory is flipping a pancake, missing catching it and it landed on the cat

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  41. Jennifer, after a weekend of much laughter (and a few laboured explanations of humour too subtle or advanced for Charlie) I'm pleased to say your post is the one he found the funniest - congratulations! That means - if you email your contact details - you win the hamper.

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