“Abandoning meditation, penance and self-restraint, and the wisdom of good actions, you do not worship and adore the Lord's Name.” - Sri Guru Granth Sahib
Happy Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday”, or “Pancake Tuesday” are alternative names for Shrove Tuesday. In most Western churches this is the last day of the pre-Lenten non-fasting period. It was a day during which all remaining eggs, milk, butter and cheese in the house had to be consumed, hence the custom of making pancakes. The term “Shrove” is the past tense of the verb “to shrive”:
shrive |SHrīv| verb ( past shrove |SHrōv|; past participle shriven |ˈSHrivən| ) [ with obj. ] archaic
(of a priest) Hear the confession of, assign penance to, and absolve (someone).
• (shrive oneself) Present oneself to a priest for confession, penance, and absolution.
ORIGIN Old English scrīfan ‘impose as a penance,’ of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schrijven and German schreiben ‘write,’ from Latin scribere ‘write.’
This related to the observance of presenting oneself to a priest for confession before the holy period of Lent began. The religious significance of this day has been lost in our mostly secular society, but the festive element of Mardi Gras has remained with great carnivals being staged in many parts of the world around this time. The pancake making and eating seems to have also survived. Interesting how the corporeal has managed to survive, but the spiritual, alas, has petered out…
1 pint (≈ 470 mL) cream
6 fresh eggs
1/4 pound (≈ 114 g) sugar
1 nutmeg, grated
flour to make a thin batter
some butter for frying
Beat well the cream and eggs together and add the sugar and nutmeg. Add as much flour as will make a thin pancake batter. Be careful as not to add much flour. Grease the hot pan with a little butter and wipe lightly with a cloth. Spoon the batter so that the bottom of the pan is covered evenly and thinly. Fry the pancake well on one side and then toss quickly so that the other side is also a golden brown colour. Serve with savoury or sweet fillings.