Shrove Tuesday AKA Pancake Day AKA Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday 8 March 2011 and is the last day before Lent. Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up – so Shrove Tuesday is the final chance to indulge oneself and eat foods that aren’t allowed during Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden. Today Christians traditionally give up one thing, such as chocolate, for Lent. In days gone by there was a whole week of celebrations and in other parts of the world the celebrations are still very extravagant. The carnivals held in New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro originate from the celebrations preceding Lent. In fact the word carnival comes from the Latin meaning ‘removal of meat’ which refers to the early Christian Lentern diet.
Why don’t you make a mask to wear in the Mardi Gras festival and/or try out one of our pancake recipes. The savoury and sweet mini pancake recipes even have an accompanying video.
Still related to feasts, 1 March is St David’s Day – the feast day of St David the patron saint of Wales. St David’s Day is commemorated by the wearing of daffodils or leeks. Both plants are traditionally regarded as national emblems. There are many explanations of how the leek came to be adopted as the national emblem of Wales. One is that St David advised the Welsh, on the eve of battle with the Saxons, to wear leeks in their caps to distinguish friend from the enemy. Shakespeare mentions in Henry V, that the Welsh archers wore leeks at the battle of Agincourt in 1415.
Try our crispy cheese and leek sausages. They are a tasty and nutritious meat-free option for a main meal or snack. They can even be frozen before cooking.
After all this cooking why not visit our section Making and Baking: The Science and Technology and discover what makes bread rise; how making bread at home differs from commercial bread making; some of the different types of bread available; and what the symbols and numbers on the label of a loaf of bread mean.
And don’t forget, before you begin any cooking session please make sure you are familiar with the health and safety checklist.