Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shrove-tide Tidbits & Delicacies

The tradition of celebrating Shrove-tide is quite frankly, as old as the hills. There are many wonderful websites and blogs that tell of the history of Shrove-tide, Carling Sunday, Collop Monday and "Shrove Tuesday", "Fat Tuesday" or as we are more likely to call it, "Pancake Day."

"Throwing Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday in Westminster School"

At the last minute, I decided to include the resource links at the bottom of this post and celebrate with a two syrup recipe booklets instead. Why? Well, it occurred to me that pancakes are often "naked" without Syrup!

First, let's get a little taste of a few superstitions bound in the diversions leading up to the Lenten Fast. I found these two ditties in, of all places, Old English Sports by Peter Hampson Ditchfield (1891)

"In every house are shouts and cries, and mirth and revel rout,
And dainty tables spread, and all beset with guests about."

Describing the old English carnival: Mardi Gras?

"Some run about the streets attired like monks, and some like kings
Accompanied with pomp, and guard, and other stately things.
Some like wild beasts do run abroad in skins that divers be
Arrayed, and eke with loathsome shapes, that dreadful are to see,
They counterfeit both bears and wolves, and lions fierce in sight,
And raging bulls; some play the cranes, with wings and stilts upright."

These rather humorous excerpts were harvested from the Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences (1903) available at google books:

1. It is a saying among the Walloons that if a woman spins on "Mardi gras" (Shrove Tuesday) the flax crop will fail.
2. In Macedonia, just the same as in many other countries, there is great feasting on the night before Lent. At the end of the banquet all the crumbs are gathered up in the tablecloth and shaken outside the gate. This is done to cast out all the fleas in the house.
3. If sausages and sauerkraut are eaten at Shrovetide, good luck will follow. (North Germany).
4. At Basum near Osnabrück, Germany, it is considered lucky to throw stones at cocks at Shrovetide.
5. On the last day of Shrovetide a procession of masqueraders, goes through the streets of Bohemian villages headed by "Shrovetide" himself with a straw hat fancifully made, on his head. Who ever can snatch a straw from his head gear and place it under the setting hen the following spring, or under the old goose, can be sure the eggs will hatch well.
6. Shrovetide or butter week is a great holiday-time in Russia, and in fact is called "mad week," for they do all sorts of strange things, dressing up in odd costumes, going about in masks to their friends, dancing, making merry, and drinking until they are "mad as March hares."
7. If you eat soup on Shrovetide you will have a dripping nose.
8. After frying doughnuts on Shrove Tuesday, take the fat and grease all the iron implements in the house, and they will not rust that year.
9. Eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and gray peas on Ash-Wednesday, and you'll have money all the year round.
10. If you eat milk on Shrove Tuesday you will not get burnt by the sun in summer.
11. If you bake pancakes on pancake-day (Shrove Tuesday) your house will be free from roaches, bugs, and vermin for the year.

A Bucket of Syrup

The recipe for Griddle Cakes is from the above die-cut tally card booklet. I have many die-cut recipe booklets, booklets in the shape of the product that is advertised but, this is one of the few booklets that I have that are advertising bridge tally cards. Cool huh!

The following Log Cabin die-cut recipe booklet you may have seen before. I shared a few recipes from it to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth last year.

Two recipes for griddle cakes for Pancake Day. (click to enlarge)

I must apologize for tossing this post together but something unexpected has come up and I probably won't get to posting for a couple of days. I will have access to my computer so I will be catching up on all of your blogs. You can "catch" my previous Pancake Day post in the column on the left. I celebrated Pancake Day last year and I kicked off Pancake Week Sunday with Dutch Babies just in case you missed them. Have FUN!!!

Just a Note: Today is also National Almond Day and tomorrow is world Cabbage Day. I so wanted to post for World Cabbage Day:( Here's a recipe for Cabbage Crepes from a previous post.

1. Shrove Tuesday in England
2. Pancake Day in Ireland
3. Fat Tuesday in Poland
4. Shrove Tuesday in Lithuania
5. Finnish Shrove-Tide
6. Shrovetide in Russia
7. Shrovetide Football
8. Old English Sports, by Peter Hampson Ditchfield (1891)
9. Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday
10. Shrove Tuesday Buns
11. Pancake Day @ Wilson's Almanac