No chance of getting fed up with pancakes

PUBLISHED: 11:16 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

Mmmm pancakes

Mmmm pancakes

I M aware that in Last Word sometimes (OK, most of the time), I seem a bit wound up. And I m also aware that I seem to dislike most of the festivals and events that we celebrate in this country. I m conscious that I ve previously had a pop at Halloween an

I'M aware that in Last Word sometimes (OK, most of the time), I seem a bit wound up.

And I'm also aware that I seem to dislike most of the festivals and events that we celebrate in this country.

I'm conscious that I've previously had a pop at Halloween and Christmas (or at least the shops selling Christmas things in August).

So today, you will be relieved to hear I'm going to be all sweetness and light, because next week it's Shrove Tuesday.

And yes, Shrove Tuesday is one annual event I love.

I have a massive sweet tooth, and so any event which encourages you to eat masses of pancakes covered in jam or lemon juice and sugar is absolutely fine by me.

Christmas is all well and good food-wise, but the really great thing about Pancake Day is that it's not just that you can eat nice food, like on December 25, but that you HAVE to.

Seeing as how, historically, during Lent dairy products were banned, the idea of Shrove Tuesday is to polish off all your eggs, milk and butter and I'm more than happy to oblige.

Technically I'm not actually going to abstain from dairy produce during Lent, but I think it's good that I enter into the spirit of things.

We got sent a timely press release this week about Shrove Tuesday which revealed all sorts of interesting facts about the event.

OK, some of them were interesting, some just downright obscure.

On the interesting side, did you know that each of the pancake's ingredients has special Lenten symbolism?

Flower is the staff of life, milk is innocence and purity, salt is incorruptibility and eggs symbolise creation.

Slightly more random was the fact that the world's biggest pancake was made in Rochdale, Lancashire in 1994.

It weighed three tonnes, was 15 metres across and contained an estimated two million calories, and I'm not going to even bother asking why someone would go to so much trouble.

The press release in question came from Aunt Bessie's, a firm which makes frozen, ready to eat "traditional" pancakes which can be microwaved or pan-fried in less than two minutes, apparently.

So they've got their plug, but they won't be making an appearance on the dining table at my house, I'm afraid, because I think my mum might stop talking to me.

When I was at university I once cheated on the pancake front by using a packet mix, which did at least require some stirring, unlike Aunt Bessie's, which comes ready formed.

But mum was still horrified that all her excellent culinary teaching had been wasted on a lazy daughter who couldn't even be bothered to make a simple batter.

So home-made it is for me, and hopefully lots of them, although I think I'll draw the line at trying to set my own world record - not even I could consume two million calories.

Happy flipping!

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