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


  1. OK, maybe I should really revise my planned menu for the week. I've got bacon, and I've got maple syrup and I've got flour. Pancakes would be such an easy dinner tonight ...

  2. I enjoyed the list of superstitions :) And I have to agree if one does eat soup on shrovetide their nose will drip. In fact mine does every time I eat soup LOL!

    As I told you before, I plan on making pancakes for supper tonight. Then sit back and enjoy the Olympics on TV.

    Hope things get less hectic for you.

  3. Happy Pancake day! I love the recipe for cabbage crepes; must try to make those soon!

  4. oh sausages and sauerkraut in northern Germany - I didn't know :) But I think the traditions have changed a little bit the last 100 years. Nowadays shrovetuesday isn't anymore so important in Germany. We celebrate much more on monday (Rosenmontag) and the days before, especially on thursday (Fat Thursday). A lot of Berliner Pfannkuchen are eaten and other greasy pastry. Pancakes are more an english tradition.

  5. What fun! I wish I had remembered about it, I might have done pancakes for dinner.
    I am all for adopting any food related traditions!

  6. Thank goodness I didn't spin yesterday.

  7. Louise, thanks for this post. As always, there's lots of information here! And thanks for the references so we can explore more on our own...

    Here in Wallonia we still eat pancakes on the Tuesday before lent, but it also follows Carnival, so it's kind of welcome. If you know what I mean.

  8. Those are some fun pancake recipes! I love crepes, but sure never had cabbage crepes. Your posts make me sound smart amongst my friends. Thanks for teaching me something new all of the time. Hope you are having a good week Louise!

  9. You know i love this sort of stuff. Thanks for sharing all the great information!

  10. I had milk yesterday. Maybe I won't get sunburned this summer! :)

  11. I love your die cut booklets! They're really cute. I have some of those books produced by some food manufacturer or other, and they're quite useful! How was your auction?

  12. Wow - so interesting, thanks for sharing...

  13. I should have done pancakes last night. They would have been better than the mess I served instead.

  14. I loved reading all these interesting tidbits about Shrove Tuesday. Love the little Log Cabin recipes too. I had peas today but they weren't gray - never saw gray ones before.

  15. Funny to read about the superstitions...
    And know I crave for a pancake with plenty of syrup !

  16. Hey Louise!

    My kids love pancakes! Yeah me too. I might just have to cook them up some. They also like it when I make homemade waffles.

  17. Cute article!! Now I want to eat pancakes, fry donuts, but not spin around. :)

  18. Thank goodness I'm not religious nor pagan enough to cut bacontime for the next 40 days! Especially that it is indeed maple syrup time here... I actually indulged in my first sugar-shacking-indigestion-maple-covered-fluffy-omelett last week end! MMMMmmmm... and it was amazing. Now to the next one!!! LOL What a carnaval!

    P.s.: Still looking for a Kraft caramel apple pie recipe!!!? Ding! Ding! Got any?

  19. Here's a recipe for Cabbage Crepes from a previous post,its very nice recipe.

  20. Hi Louise,

    Nice post!

    I've been meaning to tell you "Thank you" for telling me about Petra's blog. With the German Google translator, I'm doing pretty reading it.

  21. I am such a pancake lover. Those bran ones caught my eye so just might have to give those a big ole try, grins.

    The cabbage recipe, though, now that is something unique. I think I am in LOVE with that, so perfect for St.P's day that's coming up next month. Bookmarking this page.

    Thank you for sharing these with us. I appreciate you.

  22. I hope you totally enjoyed your Pancake Dinner, T.W. Thanks for dropping by:)

    The superstitions were fun, Sher and I'm sure the kids loved their pancake supper. I haven't seen the Olympics at all this year. I hope I remember to catch the figure Skating next week. I'm hoping to post a few "Olympic" recipes.

    I thought the cabbage crepes recipe was rather intriguing also, 5 Star Foodie. Please share when you make them:)

    I was talking to a woman at a local dairy this morning Petra and she was telling me stories about how her grandmother always made Fastnachts the day before lent. I love hearing about the different cultures and traditions.

    It isn't too late Natashya. Pancake Week isn't over yet!!!

  23. Thank goodness, Karen:)

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the post Kate. I'm trying to find a happy medium between "tidbits" and recipes.

    Thank YOU! Kasha. I too learn something new and interesting when I visit your blog. I never made cabbage crepes either. We'll have to plan an online cabbage crepe dinner!!!

    It sure was a fun post to do, OysterCulture. Fun indeed!!!

    That struck my funny bone too Adele. Hopefully, you're safe from sunburn this year:)

    Why thank you Marjie. You know how it is with choosing favorites, I try to keep my excitement about them "shushed." I don't want the others to get offended. You don't really want to ask about the auction do you:) Since you did, it was GREAT!!! I bought 427 cookbooks, cooking magazines (Cook Illustrated & Cook's Country) AND Herbal books in mint condition!!! Thanks for popping in...

    Thanks Darius. I bet you whip up a "mean" pancake!!!

    I'm sure whatever you delighted the Knight with was good fix'ens to him, Channon. Personally, I should resign myself to making pancakes for dinner more often. They are so versatile!!!

  24. Thanks for visiting Cinnamon-Girl♥ I hadn't heard of grey peas either until I did this post. It seems they have quite a history in England but for now, here's a recipe and a few tidbits about them, just in case the subject should ever come up again.

    Maple syrup sounds good to me Sidney!

    Just remember to make extra Jim. They freeze really well.

    Thanks Ninette. I'm so glad your visit made you hungry:)

    Maple Time is next month in the states Vibi. Maple bacon is sounding mighty good! I hope hubby will enjoy the pie you bake. I do think that recipe should do it. Good Luck!!!

    Glad you like it Term Papers Drop by anytime.

    I'm delighted you've discovered Petra's blog, Cynthia. Isn't it just filled with all kinds of tasty tidbits.

    I hadn't even thought about St. Patrick's Day. Those cabbage crepes would make a wonderful meal, no wouldn't they? Thanks for the idea, Katy. Please let us know if you make them...

  25. Interesting tidbits. I learned a lot today. Thanks for sharing.

    Hope you're having a great weekend. :)

  26. Welcome Simply Delicious. I know one thing I won't be doing this weekend; buying more cookbooks! Thanks for visiting...

  27. I love those photos of the old cook books you post Louise, you must have a really good collection.

    I had a shot at subscribing to the comments but it only works by using a feed and I never check those. :(

    Hopefully I'll remember to pop back to see how it's all going.

  28. I love your die-cut booklets. That's something I will have to look for.

  29. Why thank you Sire. I'm so glad you enjoyed them. The die-cuts are really special:) If I don't stop buying cookbooks, I just may have to move!!!

    Thanks for "popping" in Postcardy. The die-cuts are very hard to come by but ooh la la when one is discovered!!!

  30. My kids loves pancakes with maple syrup.


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise