When I got to work this morning that I found out that it was Shrove Tuesday, and excitedly texted The Special One about plans for the evening. It was only when she questioned whether I really needed to make a display of religious deference that I reali
szed that the tradition of Pancake Day isn’t exactly one that travels well beyond the UK’s borders.
Back in my childhood days, Pancake Day was always the cause of much excitement in our house. My sister and I would reluctantly eat whatever food was placed infront of us, each trying to save as much room as possible for the pancakes that we knew were coming.
And then once the main course was over, suddenly the kitchen was turned into an industrial scale pancake conveyor belt, creating paper thin crepes to be slathered in lemon juice and sugar. Not real lemon juice obviously, but Jif lemon juice (with added sodium metabisulphite) from a plastic yellow lemon-shaped squeezy bottle. I think I’ve rarely tasted anything so bitter in all my life, but when liberally applied onto thin eggy pancakes with plenty of sugar, nothing ever tasted so good.
One pancake was never enough, of course. Nor was two. Or even three, quite often. By the time we left the table, both of us practically had to be rolled to our bedrooms.
Needless to say, my attempt to bring a little bit of Pancake Day to this corner of Carroll Gardens was met with confusion by The Special One, The Youngest and The Eldest. All of them looked on with a mixture of apprehension and, let’s face it, disgust, as I mixed the eggs, flour and milk into a loose batter. But when I finally began flipping the pancakes, covering them in lemon and sugar, and folding them up into a roll, I think I began to win them over. The Youngest even demanded a second.
Which is a relief, given that I’d made enough batter to provide pancakes for half of Brooklyn.