The whole point of cooking pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is for Christians to use up all the fat, eggs and sugar lurking in their cupboards to avoid any temptation during the Lent fasting period.</
The whole point of cooking pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is for Christians to use up all the fat, eggs and sugar lurking in their cupboards to avoid any temptation during the Lent fasting period.
I am not a Christian, but these ingredients are very important to me. My soldiers get lonely without their eggs, my food tastes bland without any fat and I practically brush my teeth with sugar. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and with that in mind, I also like to indulge in this ritual.
My heart is also in the tradition due to the glutton and sense of competition. The more pancakes consumed, the better. Following last year’s disappointing three-pancake limit and a floor covered in flour; I have approached Pancake Day 2012 with absolute commitment. For the past fortnight I have undertaken training for the big day.
First of all, I aimed to master the art of batter-flipping because it is just not acceptable to drop or ruin a pancake. Imagine a friend was going travelling for six weeks. You wouldn’t turn up to your last meeting three hours late and talk on the phone the whole time. Every little bit of them must be appreciated and indulged.
Every time I watch TV I hold a frying pan and enhance my flipping skills. Obviously I don’t want to waste ingredients or mess up the carpet, so I’ve been practising with various household objects. A Frisbee is perfect for absolute beginners but they are too heavy – unless you are planning to blow a whole dozen eggs in one pancake.
CDs and DVDs are lighter so make for more skilful flipping, but after my last four-hour session I realised the discs are too scratched to work anymore. The best practising material is paper. And remember, unless you own a two-foot stove, flipping practise should be embarked whilst standing up.
Since beginning training, I have mastered the action of flipping a bank statement in one with one hand and a P45 with the other. This means I will be able to cook two pancakes at the same time, a propitious talent. Next year I hope to find a way that I can simultaneously cook with my feet too (perhaps a two-foot stove would be useful after all).
It is equally as important to build up an appetite and stretch the stomach. You wouldn’t enter the Wimbledon final with no strings in your racket. Physical preparation is vital.
Egg is a high source of protein so without the right training it can leave amateurs feeling full very quickly. Building up an appetite for Shrove Tuesday is pretty easy – unless you are one of those post-Christmas diet types. Recently I discovered my local butchers sell thirty eggs for a bargain £3.99, so I don’t mind buying extra for this purpose.
I have been eating five meals a day; usually at least three involve eggs. Spanish-style potato omelettes mainly consist of protein (egg) and carbohydrate (spud), so these are ideal for appetite-increasing purposes. I also like them because by offering friends a slice of my ‘tortilla’ I sound so cultivated.
I have trained for about sixty hours in total and hope the rewards will be evident today. With a wised up frying wrist and a vacuum stomach I hope to consume at least twenty delicious pancakes. If I do not reach my target at fifty, I know I need to train harder next year.