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13 February 2013 @ 10:22 am

Since, as my mother said, we couldn’t be in New Orleans last night, we had pancakes for dinner instead.

Actually, Pancake Tuesday is a totally new-to-me concept since coming here. Or not *totally*, because when we lived in California with a British friend on hand, she would do pancakes on Fat Tuesday. But aside from that, totally new to me. Is it something people other places in America do or am I right in thinking of it is a European(British?) tradition?

(I was making maple syrup for the pancakes, and as I usually do, as I was waiting for the sugar to boil away, I stood there watching it and thinking, “Until the blood runs clear,” which I assume is PERFECTLY NORMAL and EVERYONE ELSE DOES IT.)

Anyway, now it’s Lent, which is of no importance to me at all, except I’ve decided I’ll take advantage of other people’s traditions and give up junk food for forty days. God knows (aheh. so to speak) I should anyway, so solidarity with somebody else’s religious traditions!

I also need to write 3K a day during Lent in order to finish this wretched book. I suspect the phrase “ahahahaha” applies. Except I really have to. :}

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

The Bellinghmanbellinghman on February 13th, 2013 10:46 am (UTC)
The idea of Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday) was to use up all those perishable, pleasurable, food items before Lent. It appears to be a Commonwealth tradition, hence Ireland having it (Ireland being part of the United Kingdom until about a century ago). Why the US didn't get it is another question, probably related to the Puritan traditions of the founders.

Why other places in Europe don't do it is another question. But many of them do Carnival instead. Including Basel, which (typically different) waits until the first Monday morning in Lent before getting going. Hah, take that Genevan Calvinists! Take that, Catholics of the South! We parade our satirical floats against you. We march our massed ranks of Queen Mothers in your general direction!

(Can you tell we need this holiday?)
kitmizkit on February 13th, 2013 03:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I knew what prompted Lent, and I'd deduced why Ireland and Britain both have Pancake Tuesday. And of course Mardi Gras in New Orleans *is* Carnival, though it's certainly the only place in the States that goes at it with gusto (presumably because it was in fact not settled by Puritans at all).

Yes. I can tell you need this holiday. :)
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on February 13th, 2013 11:40 am (UTC)
Pancake Day! Wonderful institution. I'm not sure if it's just the UK, though.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on February 13th, 2013 11:56 am (UTC)
There would appear to be a Pancake Week tradition in the Russian Orthodox tradition. But they don't keep the same date for Easter, which throws off their dates relative to ours.

(Pancake racing with blinis, anyone?)
Jannejanne on February 13th, 2013 03:22 pm (UTC)
No pancakes here, the special start-of-lent food is http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fastelavnsboller :) I think I need to stop by a bakery on the way home, now that I'm reminded...
kitmizkit on February 13th, 2013 03:43 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that looks lovely! Nom nom!
Alix (Tersa): Arnold--contemplative (tersa)tersa on February 13th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC)
Even though I'm a recovering Catholic and have been for most of my adult life now...there is something about Lent that has stuck with me. For years after I got out of high school I still went to Ash Wednesday mass, went meatless on Friday, and gave up things (one year it was caffeine, and my god, the withdrawl headaches I got. Another year, I went vegetarian).

I think even without the religious trappings, the concept of Lent is still a good one in terms of a test of self-discipline.
?elsceetaria on February 13th, 2013 06:34 pm (UTC)
Down here in Georgia, I've done a few pancake day type things. Most notably was the pancake breakfast coheld between the Luthern and Methodist student groups at undergrad.

It's rare, but not unheard of.
irishkateirishkate on February 13th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)

You can manage it - both the fast and the writing...I'm rooting for you..
hegemony hedgehogagrimony on February 13th, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
My roommate does gluten free pancakes that are very much like Susannah's shrove Tuesday pancakes. Nom nom.
Axisor: Brain in a Jaraxisor on February 14th, 2013 01:30 am (UTC)
Saw this webcomic today and thought you'd enjoy it, esp since it is relevant to your post:

kitmizkit on February 14th, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
Nathaliespacedlaw on February 14th, 2013 07:01 am (UTC)
In France, pancake day is on Candlemass
Geek of Weird Shit: weldinggows on February 14th, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
Inspired by your junk food fast, I've decided to give up booze for Lent - the one caveat being some nice wine if Greg decides he wants to go out for his birthday.
kitmizkit on February 14th, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
*fistbump of solidarity*!

Yeah, I'll make an exception too, if we win the lottery or something. :) The best thing about Lent's timing for me is that there are no birthdays or major holidays (well, Valentine's Day, but I never did get the hang of that) during it, so it's a clear stretch of no excuses. :)
Geek of Weird Shit: weldinggows on February 14th, 2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
*laugh* Oh, see, I have plenty of excuses, like Greg's birthday, it being high season, or "oh, it's Thursday."

OTOH, if I am paying someone to get me in shape, the least I could do is not sabotage my own efforts, right?

*fistbump back*
Geek of Weird Shit: statlerwaldorfgows on February 14th, 2013 04:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, and FWIW, it's definitely going to take some practice.

Greg and I were lying in bed this morning, both of having the day off (!!!), and he suggested mimosas. I said "Sure!" and started thinking whether or not we had enough orange juice.

Greg was the one who reminded me I'd decided to give it up for Lent. *headdesk*
Trent the Uncatchableknappenp on February 14th, 2013 08:00 pm (UTC)
Our church (Episcopal) had a pancake night on Fat Tuesday, though I didn't know it was Fat Tuesday at the time 'cause I wasn't really aware of Mardi Gras. Various elders would make the pancakes (including the priest) and the high school youth group would serve them.

Of course, being an Episcopal church, aka Anglican, aka C of E ... I dunno. Anyway.