Posts Tagged ‘Shrove Tuesday’

Pancake Tuesday 2014

Happy Pancake Tuesday! Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Tuesday, is today and if you’re on some “healthy diet” regime…you’ll have to give yourself a special dispensation so you can partake in this festive tradition that we love so much in Ireland.

If you’re not familiar with the tradition of Pancake Tuesday, it falls the day before Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of the Lenten season for Christians. {Don’t forget to get your Ashes tomorrow!} You can learn all about the tradition of Pancake Tuesday and find my tried-and-tested go-to recipe for traditional Irish pancakes here.

This year, in our Irish home, I am shaking things up. I’m not sure how my kids will feel about this, but I am making Korean-style pancakes in honour of the Winter Olympics in South Korea. I’d love to show you a Korean pancake I made earlier…but since we haven’t had dinner yet…I’ve got nothing of my own to show you just now*. But, what follows are some Korean pancake recipes that I’ve saved over the past few weeks to make tonight. I hope one of these appeals to you and yours!

~ XoK

Hotteok, Hoddeok or Hodduk, 호떡

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These gorgeous Korean pancakes are stuffed with delicious brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts…which just sounds so fabulous right now! According to Sue over at My Korean Kitchen, they are one of the “most popular Korean street snacks and are popular in winter”. What I particularly like about this recipe is the ingredient list is pretty much the same as we use for our traditional Irish crepe-style pancakes.

Pa Jun

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Ok, so he’s not Korean and he lives in Paris, but recipes from David Lebovitz are always good…so for me this recipe for scallion, red pepper, egg on top, Korean-style pancakes made the cut. Again, I love that David’s recipe because it uses simple ingredients…and I can imagine throwing in a few prawns or other ingredient to make them even more interesting.

Scallion & Shrimp 

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Does’t this pancake look good? Nami, a Japanese home cook, based in San Francisco, offers this delicious recipe on her blog Just One Cookbook. You might say, “but she’s Japanese…not Korean!”…and you’re right. But, you know, my sweet grandmother was Chinese and she had a bunch of friends from so many Asian countries and she and her girlfriends would share and cook up each other’s recipes with such regularity that I am going to believe Nami lives the same way…it works for me!

Flourless Korean Pancakes…aka Potato Korean Pancakes

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I won’t be making these tonight…but I thought for any of you who are not eating flour…but are eating potatoes…this recipe might work. From the very adorable Seonkyoung Longest, this blog posted recipe for Potato Pancakes also offers an easy to follow video.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Busy mom note here: I meant to publish this post earlier in the day for my fellow Irish readers!

** For more delicious Pancake Tuesday recipe ideas please visit my previous post here.





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Happy Pancake Tuesday!

Ham, Cheese and Spinach Pancake

Ham, Cheese and Spinach Pancake

Strawberries with Fresh Whipped Cream Pancakes

Strawberries with Fresh Whipped Cream Pancakes

So…have you fired up your favourite nonstick pan or well-seasoned crêpe pan yet? If not, is it because you’re still on the fence about what kind of pancakes to make?

In our Irish home, we’re pretty “traditional” in our thinking: our favourite pancake fillings are ham and cheese {with spinach, for the adults} for our main course and either Nutella and bananas, fresh whipped cream and strawberries {seasoned with a squeeze of lemon and a wee bit of sugar}, or, the plain and simple, sprinkle of caster sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon for dessert. Yummm….!

There are so many delicious ingredients that pair together nicely in a pancake. If you haven’t already decided what to put in your Pancake Tuesday pancakes, consider the following:

Savoury Fillings

* Pulled Pork (or Chicken) and Barbecue Sauce

* Citrus Shrimp with Butter and Parsley (recipe here)

* Creamy Chicken with Ham and Mushroom (recipe here)

* Apple, Brie and Prosciutto (recipe here)

* Smoked Salmon with Spinach and Cream Cheese (recipe here)

* Pesto, Cream Cheese, and Sundried Tomato (recipe here)

* Spinach, Artichoke and Brie (recipe here)

* Scrambled Egg with Tomato and Avocado (recipe here)

* Wasabi, Lox, Tomato and Chive (recipe here)

* Tomato Caprese (recipe here)


* Peanut butter and banana

* Butterscotch Sauce and Banana (recipe here)

* Lemon Curd with Blueberry Compote

* Poached Pear and Apple (recipe here)

* Cinnamon Roll (recipe here)

* Apple Cinnamon (recipe here)

* Boston Cream (recipe here)

* Biscoff and Raspberry (recipe here)

* Creme Bruleé (recipe here)

* Sautéed Bananas and Chocolate (recipe here)

Well…best get to buttering my pan… I have a hungry family waiting!

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I can hardly believe Valentine’s Day is behind us and we are barreling full-speed towards Lent, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter.

DSC01314Lent, as you probably know, is just four days away and in our house there is a lot of talk about what each of us is giving up for the next forty days. My husband is going with the Irish “usual”: he is giving up drink. The kids and I have agreed on sugar. By that I mean to say we are giving up minerals (soft drinks), chocolate, ice cream, and all sweets. Furthermore, from Ash Wednesday (5th March) to Good Friday (18th April), I promise to not make any puddings (deserts), biscuits (cookies), cupcakes, cakes or other tasty treats that have sugar…white or brown…as an added ingredient. The exception for all of us, of course, is Saint Patrick’s Day, which is when we Irish get a chance to break the fast of Lent for one day.

There is another form of abstinence that our little family will participate in during Lent and that is giving up meat on Fridays.  According to Catholic Canon Law, a person between the ages of 14 and 59 should abstain from eating meat on Fridays {every Friday throughout the year} in honour of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. While most Catholics ignore this rule, many take it up during the season of Lent. In keeping with strict Catholic tradition, we will also not eat meat on Ash Wednesday. To keep us on track, I am putting together a collection of meat-free recipes and will post them as Lenten Challenges: Meat-Free Friday posts for you to enjoy.

Speaking of Ash Wednesday…it’s the 5th of March, which is this Wednesday. It’s the day you see Catholics everywhere walking around with the sign of the cross, made from ashes, on their foreheads. The ashes have had different meanings at different times throughout history. Today is symbolises our baptismal promise to reject sin and profess our faith.

Ash Wednesday is preceded by Shrove Tuesday, which is on the 4th of March this year. “Shrove” comes from the word “shrive”, which means to confess and receive absolution. Shrove Tuesday is, therefore, a day that many Catholics will go to confession at their local church to ask forgiveness for and be absolved of their sins. According to the Dublin Diocese’s education website, “This tradition is very old. Over 1,000 years ago a monk wrote in the Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Institutes: In the week immediately before Lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him. ~ Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Institutes”. 

Shrove Tuesday is also known in Ireland as Pancake Tuesday. The significance of the “pancake” is tied up in the religious custom of abstaining from meat, butter, eggs, and dairy during Lent. So that no food would be wasted, Irish families would feast on Shrove Tuesday and use up all the foods that would not keep for forty days. Pancakes use up many of the items Catholics were not allowed to eat during Lent in past times, hence its association with Shrove Tuesday and the start of Lent. Last year, I posted a traditional Irish pancake recipe on this blog: you will find it here.

Trocaire 2014 Lenten Box

Trocaire 2014 Lenten Box

There are so many traditions surrounding Lent, as you can see from above, one of the more modern ones you may not know about if you live outside of Ireland is the Trócaire box. If you don’t know it, the Trócaire box is a small cardboard box used for collecting change. It is given to school age children across the country, who then take it home and fill it over Lent. The money raised goes directly to Trócaire, the official overseas development agency set up by the Catholic Church in Ireland that aids some of the world’s poorest people. The competition amongst school children to have the heaviest box is fierce. Up until recently, we always had to have two boxes in our house to keep the peace. This year’s campaign focuses on the global water crisis and explores water as a social justice issue.

Another modern custom, this one involving technology, is the Irish Jesuit’s online spiritual Retreat for Lent. It is part of the Irish Jesuit’s hugely popular website called Sacred Space. Sacred Space serves five million people annually, from all around the world, by guiding them through ten-minute segments of daily prayer via the computer. While it might seem odd to pray in front of a computer or mobile device, it makes prayer on “the go” or prayer for busy people {isn’t that all of us?} possible.  The theme of this year’s “Retreat for Lent” program is Called to be Saints. It draws inspiration from Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans. There is a pocket-size book, Sacred Space for Lent 2014, to compliment the website. If you are interested, it is available from Amazon and all good bookstores around the world.

DSC_0387And, finally, to round out today’s post on Lenten traditions, there’s one more custom we keep in our home during Lent and that is the baking and eating of Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday. Why they are associated with Good Friday, specifically, is really unknown but some say an Anglican monk placed the sign of the cross on the buns to honour Christ’s suffering on the cross on Good Friday. Nearly everyone is familiar with the old nursery rhyme, “One a penny, two a penny hot cross buns…if you have no daughter’s give them to your sons…One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns”…but there is also a sweet rhyme for friendship that goes, “Half for you and half for me, between us two good luck shall be”.

I will post my favourite hot cross bun another day for you to try. In the meantime, good luck to you as you begin your season of Lent. God bless.

Related Articles:

Pope Francis’ Message for Lent 2014 at http://www.catholicbishops.ie/2014/02/04/pope-francis-message-lent-2014/

Reflecting on the Lent Season from Loyola Press at: http://www.loyolapress.com/reflecting-on-the-lent-season.htm

Baileys Irish Cream Pancakes with Whiskey Maple Syrup at http://www.college-cooking.com/2013/03/10/baileys-irish-cream-crepes-and-baileys-irish-cream-pancakes-with-whisky-maple-syrup/

Chocolate Stout Crepes with Irish Cream Whip at http://www.countrycleaver.com/2012/03/chocolate-stout-crepes-and-irish-cream-whip.html

Hot Apple and Apricot Crepe recipe from The Wineport  Restaurant in Glasson, Co. Westmeath at http://www.irishheart.ie/iopen24/apple-apricot-crepe-t-7_22_91_186.html

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An Irish spring is always full of promise. The days are longer, daffodils dot the roadways with their bright yellow heads, ewes are birthing in fields not too far away, and there are several festive celebrations to carry us right up to summer. The first such event, Pancake Tuesday, takes place today.

IMG_3449Pancake Tuesday, also known in Ireland as Shrove Tuesday, is the Irish version of the widely known Fat Tuesday. It falls just before Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of the Lenten season for Christians.

As with most things Irish, I learned of Pancake Tuesday from my lovely in-laws. My mother in law and sister-in-law make the lightest of pancakes and serve them up with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of caster sugar. The recipe offered below is simply delicious and the one we follow in our Irish Home.

The custom of making pancakes, which actually resemble French crêpes, stems from the days when an Irish homemaker would rid her larder of eggs, sugar, butter and other dairy products so her family could fast for forty-plus days without temptation. Today Pancake Tuesday is less about theology and more about fun.

Known in Irish as Máirt na hInide, you’re sure to enjoy this sometimes-savoury, sometimes-sweet tradition in your home as much as we do in ours.

Simple Irish Pancakes

Serves Four


1 cup/120gm plain flour (self-raising flour)

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

8oz/200ml milk

1/3 cup/75ml water

4 tablespoons/2oz butter, melted


1. Sift the flour and salt into a medium size mixing bowl.

2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and the add eggs.

3. Add the milk and the butter and whisk.

4. Slowly add the water and continue to whisk until you have a thin batter that is free of lumps.

5. Melt some butter in a warm pan and, when bubbling, add a ladle of batter to the pan. Picking up your pan carefully, tilt it in a circular motion to spread the batter around.

6. Return your pan to the heat and allow the pancake to set. When lightly toasted, flip the pancake and allow the second side to turn a golden colour.

7. Remove from heat and cover with cling film (plastic wrap) until the batter is cooked up. Serve immediately, if possible, with one of the following fillings:


Lemon juice and caster sugar



Stewed fruit

Bananas with toffee

Lemon curd

Cream and maple syrup


Chopped ham

Grated or crumbled cheese

Shredded salmon with capers and red onion

Spinach, bacon and mushroom

For more information about Irish pancakes and the Irish tradition of Pancake Tuesday, please visit these websites http://www.joe.ie/home/dumb-it-down/what-is-pancake-tuesday-noseriously-0021257-1



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