Jif Lemon Day!

If  you are American, today is Mardi Gras.  If you are Catholic, today is the day before Lent.  If you are British, today is Shrove Tuesday, better known as Pancake Day!  OK, technically the same as Shrove Tuesday, but let’s skirt over technicalities here.

I have often wondered why I have never heard the term ‘Shrove Tuesday’ here.  Wikipedia set me straight:

Shrove Tuesday is a term used in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia for the day preceding the first day of the Christian season of fasting and prayer called Lent.

The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of confession and doing penance. Thus Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the shriving that English Christians were expected to do prior to receiving absolution immediately before Lent begins. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of “shrovetide”, somewhat analogous to the carnival tradition that developed separately in countries of Latin Europe. The term “Shrove Tuesday” is no longer widely known in the United States outside of Liturgical Traditions, such as the Lutheran, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic Churches.  Because of the increase in many immigrant populations and traditions since the 19th century “Mardi Gras” is much more widely-used.

The festival is widely associated with the eating of foods such as pancakes, and often known simply as Pancake Day, originally because these used up ingredients such as fat and eggs, the consumption of which was traditionally restricted during Lent.

Like most other traditions (like how Americans eat corned beef on St. Paddy’s Day, even though the Irish never have.  When the great famine occurred and they fled Ireland and landed in America, bacon was too expensive to eat with their cabbage  — known as Bubble and Squeak, btw — so they adopted the Jewish tradition of eating the beef instead.  Never let it be said you don’t learn something when you come here), protocol is dropped, and regardless of your religious affiliation or not, everyone makes pancakes for dinner tonight.

Pancakes aren’t just looked upon as a breakfast staple in the UK, in fact, you can eat pancakes anytime you want, and you don’t even have to give the excuse of having ‘breakfast for dinner’ to do it either.  I used to love stopping by the local bakery on my way to work, and ask for a buttered pancake.  It was such a good treat.

Growing up, my mum made two types of pancakes, the thinner, more crepe-like version (served with sugar and (jif) lemon juice), and the other hockey-puck thick version.  My mum’s are much sweeter than my husband is used to.

n.b.  my mum uses a coffee/tea mug to measure out the ingredients.  Aye, I know.  So, when I say cup, I mean MUG.


1 cup sugar
4 – 4.5 cups of flour
pinch of salt
pinch of baking powder
3 eggs
20 fl. oz milk (a British pint)

Combine everything in a large bowl, adding the flour last, gradually.

Makes: emm . . . a lot.

Here’s a great recipe for crepes:

1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine flour, milk, eggs, and oil.  Add salt.  Heat a lightly greased 6 inch skillet; remove from heat.  Spoon in 2 Tbsp batter; lift and tilt skillet to spread evenly.  Return to heat; brown on one side only.  To remove, invert pan over paper towel.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Fill with your favourite filling.

Makes 7.


21 responses to “Jif Lemon Day!

  1. i’m not so much on the pancakery. i like savory stuff better than salty. but i LOVE breakfast any time of day!!

  2. As I was eating my pancakes for tea tonight I thought to myself, “these aren’t as sweet as ma maw’s”… yep. I love pancakes from the bakery, I love how they slice them down the middle to make 2 super skinny ones and then put butter and jam inside. YUM!

  3. OK, this sounds way better than the mix we use. I gotta get on this!

  4. OMG that is a lot of sugar. I’m still gonna try it though 🙂 David doesn’t use anything on his pancakes but some peanut butter. He is not a syrup boy nor does he EVER put butter on anything. Not sure how he does it!

  5. They sound yummy!!!! I think I’ll share the recipe with my hubby (he’s the pancake man) and have him make them. Oooooooooooo, I can’t wait!

  6. I never knew that about corned beef and cabbage. I think it’s pretty foul. My family does Chinese takeout for New Years.
    But we had pancakes last year on shrove Tuesday. CB will use any excuse to have pancakes.

  7. SWMBO makes pancakes from scratch – always has. She doesn’t like any of the mixes that much. But I do love her scratch pancakes. So do my boys.

  8. I love Pancake Day – it’s great to eat breakfast for dinner!

  9. I love how the day before Lent we are expected to stuff ourselves into oblivion. Ahhh!

  10. Pancake Day is one of the better UK traditions I have adopted. I always make the breakfast pancakes (American style) but my wife is the only one who can make proper Shrove Tuesday pancakes.

  11. Is the liquid measure in the crepes recipe at 1-1/2 cups = 1-1/2 mugs or 12fl oz.? Not trying to be persnickety, just clear. SI Metric is SO much more clear than the US Customary system. Poundals anyone?

    Also, how do folks from the UK pronounce the word “syrup”? I do it as the 2nd pronunciation in American English, per http://www.m-w.com .wav file. My wife says it as the first. I find these things mostly fall according to family traditions. Just curious, and always entertaining.

    (I have loved the m-w site for many years, as someone incapable of pronouncing words I haven’t heard pronounced before; some type of odd learning disability I’d say…)

    I’m going to make some crepes for brekkie on Friday morning – fresh strawberries and heavy whipping cream inside. Yum!

    • The recipe for the crepes (pronounced like ‘steps’ and not the ‘A’ sound in the UK) is with proper bonefide cups, good fo use in the American kitchen.

      I listened to the audio, I think we’re closer to the 1st audio. In fact, the way I say it, can also mean “sit up” hahaha.

      When I made the crepes, I was wish I had some Nutella around. Then again, maybe it was a good thing I didn’t!

  12. I just use the mix stuff, but this sounds so much better. I often cook breakfast for supper, mainly because I never cook breakfast anymore.

  13. Don’t know about your neck of the woods, but everyone here called it “Fat” Tuesday. I nearly fell about laughing the first time I heard that many years ago.
    I made the kids the thin pancakes, but we ended up calling them crepes as the little guy became very confused and insisted that daddy makes the real (ie. American) pancakes.

  14. Mmmmmm. I could eat pancakes anytime of the day. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. These recipes sounds awesome! I’ll definitely give them both a shot 🙂

  15. I too often wondered about the whole shrove tuesday thingy. Thanks for that. Did you ever have your pancakes with Lyle’s Golden Syrup? Yummm!

  16. I am still wondering how the lemon juice is used on top of the pancakes. May have to give that a try, although I am we have no lent traditions in our baptist household. ; )

  17. Mmm pancakes, although it took me till yesterday to get around to making them. AND they turned out to Crepe like for me , i like them thick and fluffy. Will try again soon

  18. I like the description of the corned beef. I saw corned beef on a menu here, and when I went to order it as a sandwich I received weird looks. Now I realize corned beef is not the same in the UK as it is in the US!

  19. Great site. I keep finding new and interesting things here.

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