Ahhh…Mardi Gras. Here you are again. I knew it was coming when beads started popping up on the store aisles last week and king cakes were positioned front and center at the bakeries. Needless to say there will be lots of revelry taking place tonight as the world seems to embrace this now secular mini-holiday.
We’ll be preparing our hearts for the Lenten season tonight with Mardi Gras’ lesser known cousin, Shrove Tuesday. I’m going to share with you a letter that our amazing kindergarten teacher sent home explaining how the children will be celebrating Shrove Tuesday today. Her words are far better than mine and I’m certainly not a believer in recreating the wheel:
We will be spending a bit more time than normal on “Chapel” topics this week since this is the beginning of Lent. The day before Ash Wednesday is known as Shrove Tuesday. The word “Shrove” comes from an ancient word “shriving” which, means “confession.” On Shrove Tuesday, we confess our sins and prepare our hearts for the beginning of Lent. On Shrove Tuesday, we prepare our homes for Lent as well. In some traditions and families, Lent is a time of strict fasting – a time when no meat, eggs or sweets are eaten. During ancient times, families would cook cakes on Shrove Tuesday to use up those things that were “forbidden” during Lent and that would not last until the Easter celebrations begin. Eggs, butter, and sugar syrup were on the list of things that needed to be used up. Thus, the tradition of serving pancakes on Shrove Tuesday to use up (not waste) certain foods began. We will cook pancakes during lunch time on Tuesday. Please send in “sides” for your child to have WITH his/her pancakes…or pack a regular lunch if your child would prefer not to have pancakes for lunch.
Another fun part of our Shrove Tuesday celebration is having pancake races. The pancake races come from a legend that long ago, in England, a woman was cooking pancakes for her family when she heard the church bell ring telling her that worship was beginning. Afraid of being late, she took off running down the street wearing her apron and carrying her frying pan with the pancake still in it! In many places today, pancake races are a SERIOUS tradition. We’ll have our own, NOT SO SERIOUS, races Tuesday. It will be lots of fun.
Sweet Littlest Middlest went to school today, but she is smack dab in the middle of a 24 hour food allergy test and won’t be able to share in the pancake feast with her friends. Her allergy test ends at 4pm today so I asked her to help me plan our own Pancake Feast for this evening. We’ll start with Grandma’s Hot Cake recipe and then add special toppings. Each of the Littles picked their special topping and guess what they came up with — marshmallows, frosting and sprinkles, strawberries and jelly beans. Hmmm…I’m not sure how this will help prepare our hearts, but our bellies will clearly be up for a fast!
Look how they are passing right over those strawberries!
Here is Grandma Schell’s Hot Cake recipe in case you want to join in on the Shrove Tuesday tradition.
Hot Cakes (Her recipe also titles them Griddlecakes)
1 1/4 c sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk (She uses buttermilk)
3 Tbs melted butter.
Mix dry ingredients; mix egg, milk and butter. Combine wet and dry mixes together. Pour onto hot griddle. Makes about 12 cakes.
“Mardi Gras lesser known cousin” — I love it. Y’all have a wonderful feast.