Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Shrove Tuesday

This weekend saw the first clumps of violets appearing in our area.



The sight of violets (and snowdrops) gladdens my heart because for me, this means that Spring is on the march.

A lovely vase of daffodils now resides in our sittingroom, courtesy of the flower shop near the tram station, which is suddenly filled with all sorts of flowers:


Even the dandelions on the avenue are in full bloom and enjoying the sun!

And to add to the general gaiety - it being the final day of Carnival - today is Shrove Tuesday: The one day in the year that my family eat pancakes…

The word 'Shrove' comes from the old word 'to shrive' or to confess.  Today is the day to think over the things one is sorry for, that occurred during the year past.   One will have the next six weeks of Lent that will follow, in which to think about them, say sorry for them, and prepare to try and be a better person.  
Old customs and old traditions accompany this day, and what better way to prepare for tomorrow's Ash Wednesday fast - with which to begin the Lenten Season - than with a lovely plate of freshly made pancakes? After all, isn't Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) the other term for Shrove Tuesday?

Here is a fat delicious pancake being made ready in the pan:

Now it sits on the plate, having had its first sprinkling of sugar and lemon juice:

Then it is rolled up, covered with more lemon juice and more sugar.

Eat them while they are hot!!

Do you eat pancakes on this day?
(Or any other day?)

How do you like them?

I am a lemon and sugar person myself whereas AGA likes his drizzled over with honey.  I had a great aunt who ate them with sour cream and caviar…
Some people like their pancakes with Nutella and a friend of mine eats vegan pancakes - no eggs but a couple of teaspoons of baking powder is mixed into the batter.

What about you?

30 comments:

  1. First one, lemon and sugar. Second, maple syrup or jam.

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    1. I'll share the first one and AGA will share the second.

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  2. Hi Kirk! No, we do not eat pancakes today, intact I have never heard of this! I just made a pizza! I am envious of your violets! We were 5 degrees f this morning. When will winter end? I just saw your London post as well. How lucky you are to venture all over! And that robin is precious….our American robins are so different!

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    1. Pizza? Margherita? That is my favourite.
      I have to say that the violets always put on a very good show around here. At our house in Melbourne we grow a lot of parma violets and in the evening their scent is just wonderful!

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  3. Dear Kirk,

    Ah, your part of the world is showing, with all that powdered sugar and lemon juice. You make no mention of maple syrup, which is what most Americans (I can say with confidence) put on their pancakes. If you've never tried it, I think I could make you into a convert. I still have fond memories of the beautiful girl who graced the Vermont Maid Maple Syrup bottle. And of course the Canadians import a lot of high quality maple syrup from (literally) their neck of the woods.

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    1. Dear Mark,
      My father loved pancakes with 'real' maple syrup. He had lived for a time in Canada and had discovered it while there. AGA is also a fan but I have never tried it myself. Perhaps I should try and rectify that defect!

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    2. Life will never be the same.

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  4. White cream cheese inside and sour cream on top. Nothing sweet :)

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    1. My great-aunts would have approved!

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  5. Hello Kirk:

    Such wonderful signs of spring although we still have a little way to go here.

    Pancakes, palacsinta, are eaten all of the time here as a pudding, usually with a filling which could be jam, cocoa, cream or cottage cheese, etc. etc. Seldom, if ever, are they served with sugar and lemon. Indeed on the one occasion we requested them in this way, Tímea thought it very odd indeed.

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    1. Dear Jane and Lance,
      We have had such a mild winter that it has hardly been winter at all! This has been a blessing for the birds because last year it was so bitter that I fear many of them didn't make it.
      Pancakes with cocoa? That's a new one! We never had pancakes for pudding. I don't know why but both sides of my family had a strict protocol for pancakes - only on Shrove Tuesday. I remember some years ago stopping at a Little Chef en route for some place or other, and ordering the pancakes. I felt almost guilty in eating them out of season!

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  6. Oh Kirk, I wish spring was showing her lovely head in our neck of the woods, but we still have so much snow and cold temperatures that when daylight savings time was announced to come this Saturday night, I could NOT believe it. It still feels like the dead of January here, but I can rejoice for you and other friends who are reporting snowdrops and violets!

    Your blog looks wonderful today! Anita

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    1. Thank you Anita.
      I have heard about your horrible winter weather. I hope it eases up soon. Her it has been so mild that it really hasn't felt like winter at all! There has been a bumper crop of snowdrops, violets and crocuses and now daffodils are starting to show themselves. I do love daffodils.
      Bye for now and I hope your week is a good one!
      Kirk

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  7. Signs of spring abound Kirk!! And that pancake looks super delicious! Yummy.

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    1. My favourite season is Autumn, Keith, but Spring comes a close second!

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  8. Hello Kirk - Wonderful to enjoy these flowers! We are recovering from a recent snowstorm :( I would gladly welcome the dandelions right now! Cheers, Loi

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    1. Dear Loi,
      They are saying that it will be about 16c this weekend! I can't believe it!
      I can understand that when brushing yet more snow off my coat, I would suddenly become aware of the charms of the humble dandelion!
      Sending you warming, sunny thoughts,
      Kirk

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  9. Hello Kirk, Since many of my happiest moments have been spent in the springtime occupation of making maple syrup, I tend to veer in that direction, although the sour cream contingent is certainly not to be sneered at. More and more, however, I like them just plain.
    --Jim

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    1. Dear Jim,
      Making maple syrup? Now that I would love to do! What a lovely memory to have and hold. It conjures up all sorts of pleasing images.
      I hope you are having a nice week, my friend,
      Kirk

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    2. Hi again, A while ago I posted some old-time sugaring photos:
      http://roadtoparnassus.blogspot.tw/2012/03/maple-sugar-season-nostalgic-look.html

      I have been wanting to write up my own sugaring experiences, but have hesitated because of the problem of posting photos full of people.

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  10. Spring in Europe is much more significant than down under because of the chilliness preceding it. So those flowers are extra special and brightly coloured. I'm with Mark Ruffner - I like my pancakes with maple syrup. Happy springtime, Kirk and AGA.

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    1. Thank you Sue,
      Here, it has almost been like a fairly ordinary winter in Melbourne. I am pleased about that and so are the birds. So many people talk about the joys of maple syrup that I think I shall have to try it for myself!
      Bye for now
      Kirk

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  11. I like my pancakes with butter and either maple or blueberry syrup. :) Yum. Suddenly I'm hungry. Isn't that always the way? I love that you saw violets - can Spring be far behind? I've already seen my first robins. (The expected snow storm last week never arrived and so I I'm assuming the birds knew more than I did.) After the winter we've had here in the northeast, we are very deserving of Spring in all its glory.

    Another wonderful post, Kirk. Thank you. It makes me smile to think of you on the other side of the world (well, almost) photographing flowers and making pancakes.

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  12. Love your flowers and your pancakes eat them with butter and dried cranberries. I love when the butter melt over the hot pancake....
    Wow!

    Marina

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  13. Dear Kirk,
    Oh! The sight of those spring flowers is so welcome-- even the dandelions! Our winter has been long and harsh... I am off to make pancakes immediately-- we all adore them with lemon and sugar, just as you make them.... My sons always say that you know you're "somewhere good" when you can get crepes citron from carts on the streets... It's funny that the first time they experienced this they were small boys and we were in Oxford! Paris was a paradise for them!!! :) In any case, I shall put them to work today so we have a good healthy stack-- perhaps we'll skip dinner and just have these instead...
    Warm regards from the great white north,
    Erika

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  14. So glad you're beginning to see spring flowers.

    That is the most elegant pancake I've ever seen. And now I've got a craving.

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  15. Hello Kirk, my friend.
    I admit, I grew up with lemon and sugar pancakes. I remember we could never get enough of them! I hate to think, now, of the effort my mother put into them.
    It's a coincidence only perhaps, but I'd been wondering what 'shrove' meant only a little while ago. That it equates with 'confession' reassures me that acknowledging it leads to an understanding deeper than mere appetite gratification!.

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  16. The pancakes you made are called crepes over here. The pancakes that are a staple of Canadian breakfasts resemble scotch pancakes. Those are the ones drowned in various syrups. I'm a lemon and sugar girl although my Canadian family find my choice rather odd. I must see if I can grow violets here.

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  17. Hi, Kirk!
    Your pancakes are so tasty! I have read your post before breakfast and now have to run to eat something. I love eating them with sour cream as your Aunt! I think that eating with caviar is delicious too but too expensive!

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  18. Hi Kirk!
    I have not heard about you since March. What happened?
    I see the nice plate prepared for new pancake, is it Delft blue? I've been there and it seems like ones for that fabric.
    Have a nice day!

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