Pancake day was a fabulous morning and we raised $480 for our Community meal program in the Valley. A big thank you to Green’s Baking Australia for the generous donation of Pancake shakes for the day. We started at 7am in the morning, giving out pancakes and chatting to our visitors. A big thanks to everyone who donated money towards the Community meal program. Every Wednesday we serve a 3 course dinner at our Brisbane Relief centre at 316 St Paul’s terrace, Fortitude Valley. If you are interested in helping with the meal just have a look at their website on how to donate your time.
And of course we couldn’t have had a Pancake day without our hardworking volunteers from Albert Street Uniting – a HUGE thank you to everyone that came and helped on the day. Setup was 6.30am and the pull down was 10.30am so a very big morning!
How did Pancake Day begin?
Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the period Christians call ‘Lent’ – the 40 days leading up to Easter when Christians remember the time Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. Historically during the time of Lent, people gave up luxury items including foods such as butter and eggs. This led to the tradition of making pancakes on the day before Lent to use up the butter and eggs. Shrove Tuesday and pancakes became perfect partners!
In many parts of the world, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Mardi Gras and is a time of celebration and generous hospitality. In some cultures, it is traditional to eat as much as possible on Shrove Tuesday … up to 12 times a day! Perhaps the best-known Shrove Tuesday celebration is the Pancake Day Race at Olney in
Buckinghamshire, England, which has been held since 1445. Its origin is the story of a woman who was cooking pancakes when she heard the shriving bell summoning her to confession. Going to church was compulsory at that time so she ran to church wearing her apron and still holding her frying pan. This started a tradition of the Pancake Day Race, which has lasted for more than 500 years.
The same day, at London’s Westminster School, a verger from the Abbey led a procession of boys into the schoolyard for the Annual Pancake Grease. The school’s cook tossed a huge pancake over a 5m-high bar. The boys scrambled for a piece and the one who obtained the largest piece received a cash prize. In Province, there is a superstition that if you hold a coin in your left hand while you toss a pancake you’ll be rich.
In Brie, it is traditional to give the first pancake to the hen that laid the eggs for the pancake. And it is always regarded as bad luck if a pancake falls on the floor mid-toss. It is said that Napoleon, who with Josephine liked to cook and eat pancakes, blamed the failure of his Russian campaign on one he had dropped years before at Malmaison.
(with thanks to Uniting Care South Australia for the history)