Are you ready for some flipping good fun? Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday to use its official title, is fast approaching. It’s the only day of the year when pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner is acceptable. Not sure which topping to have? Not a problem - you’re allowed to try them all! Like all great traditions, there is a more serious side to this festive feast day, which means there are lots of ways to celebrate and explore why we love pancakes in the classroom.
Let’s start at the beginning.
What Is Shrove Tuesday?
Shrove Tuesday is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent. Lent begins the following day, Ash Wednesday, and so starts the forty days of fasting in the run up to Easter.
What Does Shrove Tuesday Actually Mean?
The word Shrove comes from the English word ‘shrive’ meaning ‘to obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of confession’. Historically, Christians would be called to confession by the ringing sounds of the Pancake bell, which is still rung today.
Now we know the meaning behind the name, let’s turn our attention to the ways in which you can make the most of your Pancake Day this year!
Did you know, the oldest known recipe for pancakes comes from an English cookery book, "The Good Huswifes Handmaide For The Kitchin"? The old recipe is very similar to the one we use today apart from its use of mutton mince! You can read more about the original pancake recipe here.
Here's our recipe (without the mutton mince!) for making eight delicious pancakes:
- 125g plain flour – make sure you sift it to keep the pancakes light and fluffy
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk – beat together
- 225ml whole or semi-skimmed milk plus 2 tbsp of water
- Small knob of butter
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Create a hole in the middle and pour in the egg.
- Add 2 tbsp of water to your milk and pour a little into the flour/egg. Beat well together - you’re looking to create a paste type consistency. When nice and smooth, gradually pour in the remainder of the milk mixture, and continue to beat until you have a smooth batter – after all, who wants a lumpy pancake!
- Now – don’t rush. For the best pancakes, cover your mixing bowl and place your mixture in the fridge for an hour, or more if you have the time.
- When you can’t wait any longer, pop a knob of butter into your frying pan, wait until it melts and starts to sizzle. Quickly pour in enough mixture to cover the base of the frying pan – not too much, otherwise your pancake will be way too thick, and not easy to flip!
- You’ll know when to get ready for the big FLIP when your pancake starts to loosen a little around the edges of the frying pan. Loosen a little more with a spatula, then FLIP – good luck!
- About 30 more seconds to go, then your yummy pancake will be ready to go. Pop onto a plate and dig in!
Everyone loves Pancake Day, so why not make a pancake party out of it? It makes a brilliant assembly or special themed day for the classroom.
Here are a few top tips to get you started:
- Start the day with excitement in a singing assembly and learn the fabulously catchy song We’re Making Pancakes from the newest addition to the Out of the Ark Music collection, Spring Assembly Songs.
Don’t stop there! Really get the energy levels up and the blood pumping with our super simple pancake dance. The children will love the dance (especially if the teachers join in!) and there’s a video on our website to help with the moves.
- Bring it all together in an end of the week pancake assembly. Use Assembly Plan: Eggs Galore from Spring Assembly Songs. This unique assembly plan takes you through a comprehensive step-by-step guide to delivering an assembly with the objective to reflect on the symbolism of eggs in springtime festivals. Check out an example of our Spring Assembly plans here.
However you decide to celebrate Pancake Day, we hope there's lots of fun, laughter and celebrating – and don’t forget the sugar on the top!
Written by Georgia Cooke (irony unintended!) - Head of Creative Marketing, Out of the Ark Music Team.
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Out of the Ark Music has been providing schools across the country – and world – with wonderful primary school musicals and primary school songs for nearly 30 years. Our Christmas musicals and nativity plays make children sparkle and shine, year after year, as they proudly perform their school Christmas play. Our extensive collection of fun and joyous Easter songs, harvest songs, school assembly songs, leavers songs and even space songs, fill schools with laughter and give students and teachers alike, a reason to sing every day of the week. We’re glad you’re supporting us in our dreams of creating the best music for schools around the globe. Read more about us here.