Happy Fat Tuesday: Eat Pancakes!

comments (5) February 24th, 2009     

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MichaelaMurphy Michaela Murphy, contributor
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Romeo the Dalmatian is all spots and sparkle for Fat Tuesday. See more of Romeo on Flicker.

Romeo the Dalmatian is all spots and sparkle for Fat Tuesday. See more of Romeo on Flicker.

Photo: Courtesy of Romeo's Mom /Flicker

My Irish Catholic family called the day before Ash Wednesday and the official beginning of the Lenten season Pancake Tuesday.  For me and my siblings, these Tuesdays held a special wacky allure.  My mother was hardly what anyone in any sense would have called a traditional mom. Home cooked dinners were a rarity in our household, and in those rare instances my mother would forego an apron in favor of Go-go boots. Think Barbarella with a spatula. But every year, the night before Lent she would pull out the stops and make us all pancakes for dinner.  We loved the topsy-turvy-ness of a breakfast food served up for dinner and quite frankly, the sight of my mother dramatically coaxing dinner out of skillet, struck us all as an event worthy of special recognition (if not (always) celebration)

It is funny to think back on how, as little children, we thought that the night before we were to solemnly file into Mass to get our heads smudged with ashes, and swear off chocolate until Easter (and the Easter Bunny) was the really BIG deal because our mother would make us pancakes.  Yes, the nuns definitely had their work cut out for them with the Murphy clan.

Tonight, I am going to remember my mother and serve up a piping hot plate of pancakes for supper and raise a glass of juice to Pancake Tuesday.

Here's a terrific pancake recipe for you to try--and I promise not at all like the ones my mother would lovingly thud onto our plates.

Or if you are craving more of a taste of Fat Tuesday New orleans style, Finecooking.com has a fantastic Mardi Gras menu for a crowd.

Happy Mardi Gras & Happy Pancake Tuesday!


posted in: panckaes, fat tuesday

Comments (5)

SarahSaturday writes: I really, really hope she was making the pancakes in go-go boots and that your kitchen color was something like avocado. A brilliant post, and although not Catholic, I am now thinking of converting.
Posted: 1:07 am on February 25th
Fiberfads writes: Having just finished a waffle dinner (they're faster to make for a crowd than pancakes...especially when you're using 3 waffle irons), I found this post delightful. The custom of Fat Tuesday (pancake tuesday) comes from the day when fasting during Lent was actually challenging: no meat or dairy products for the entire Lenten season. Thus, since refrigeration was limited at best, the household would cook up all the dairy the night before Ash Wednesday so that nothing would spoil and be wasted. What a way to use a lot of dairy...pancakes. Of course, its also a big carb load to help you through the fasting on Ash Wednesday. Either way, what a great tradition.

Posted: 9:07 pm on February 24th
Carriecan writes: I've never heard of Fat Tuesday as pancake Tuesday...? But I like it and I like the idea of eating breakfast for dinner. Your mom sounds like a hoot!
Posted: 8:39 pm on February 24th
JenniferStern writes: OMG...that's so funny, guess what my mother dropped off to me today?? A new griddle to make pancakes on! Guess what we're doing tomorrow morning before school! ...We are going to have a pancake Wednesday morning...ashes aren't until 7:00 pm (That's when my daughter signed herself up to be an altar girl!)
Posted: 6:38 pm on February 24th
Not_So_Plain_Jane writes: I really like this post, it's very funny, very sweet, and all in just a few sentences. Thanks for this different take on Fat Tuesday--happy pancakes too!
Posted: 6:14 pm on February 24th
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