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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pancake Tuesday!

     Some call it Mardi Gras, Some call it Fat Tuesday, some call it Fasnacht, but at home in upstate New York, when I was a kid we called it Pancake Tuesday.  As part of a Lenten tradition the day before Ash Wednesday was a day of feasting.  It was also the day we got to have breakfast for supper!  Pancakes!  Sometimes with sausages; sometimes with bacon.
     As the mother of seven kids, Mom spent a lot of time at the stove that evening flipping pancakes while we sat at the kitchen table and gobbled them up.  Butter.  Sour cream in big globs.  And Maple syrup poured in great streams onto pancake after pancake.  We were hungry kids!
     My Dad tapped our great big maple tree - the one in the backyard, the oldest tree in town - and netted just enough maple syrup for our feast.  He would stay up all night while it boiled to a syrup on our kitchen stove.  Our windows would be covered in steam.  The cupboard doors would warp and the ceiling tiles would arch.  So what?  It was sugar time!
     It occurs to me that one of the reasons why the people of upstate New York call Shrove Tuesday, "Pancake Tuesday," is because that is the season of maple syrup - sugar! - and a most welcome feast for the people of the north country who still have a ways to go before spring.

Here's my recipe for homemade pancakes (I never use a mix - not even Bisquik)
1 C flour
3 T fat of some sort (Lard, butter, oil...)
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 fresh egg from a happy chicken
1 C milk.
Blend flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in fat.  Add egg and milk.  Stir but not too much.  You want it lumpy.  Fry in a fairly hot frying pan that has been greased with fat (I use bacon drippings)

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Comments on this blog are welcome. Ask questions, post your own experiences about the subject, post recipes, helpful tips, stories. Thanks! ~Bev