“A ready-made 8-pack stack from the supermarket should do it.” “No need for messy frying.” “No worries about flipping, and scraping a mess off the ceiling.” Ah, the pancake discussion in anticipation of Shrove Tuesday. Anything for an easy life is the consensus. Further debate ensues: what to put on the pancakes. Lemon and sugar? Bananas and maple syrup? Chocolate spread? Butter and sugar? Something boringly savoury?
Shrove Tuesday is one of many days in the year that is marked in the shops as an excuse for particular merchandise. With Valentine’s Day done and Easter not yet here (though hot cross buns and Easter eggs have been in the shops since Christmas) now is the time to mark Shrove Tuesday. The word shrove comes from shrive which referred to the confession of sins as a preparation for Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent – a time for fasting and self-examination. The idea was that, on Shrove Tuesday, you used up food that was deemed unsuitable for a Lenten fast.
How will you do your pancakes? And how will you ‘do’ Lent? Rather than giving up nice food, you might prefer to take on something different. I’ve signed up for a couple of online challenges – to memorise some Bible verses, and to embark on a 40-day prayer journey. I also plan to read extracts from the works of C S Lewis each day of Lent. A tasty feast for the soul or a formidable fast too far? Time will tell. One thing’s for sure: I’ll need those pancakes to keep me going.