In my last blog I promised to tell you all about my favourite festival in February – Pancake Day! This year it is taking place on 12th February – next Tuesday!
So, what is Pancake Day? It is the last day before Lent, a Christian festival leading up to Easter. Lent lasts for 40 weekdays and during this time many people give up (stop eating) certain types of food, including butter and eggs. Pancakes (which have butter and eggs in!) are eaten on the day before Lent starts because it is the last chance for people to indulge themselves and use up food they cannot eat!
I know what you’re thinking – ‘Pancake Day’ doesn’t really sound like the name of a religious festival. Actually, the official name is Shrove Tuesday. ‘Shrove’ comes from an old English word, ‘shrive’ which means ‘to confess’. In the Middle Ages, many people would confess their sins on Shrove Tuesday because they wanted to be forgiven before Lent began.
There are 2 different types of pancake – Scotch pancakes which are very popular in America and Shrove pancakes which are popular in the UK and are usually eaten on Pancake Day.
If you want to eat a pancake on Pancake Day (something I will definitely be doing!), there are many restaurants and creperies you can go to. There is actually a very good pancake restaurant right near Bloomsbury International called My Old Dutch. Come to reception and we will be happy to show you where it is!
If you are trying to save money (something I am also trying to do!), you can make pancakes yourself. Invite a few friends from school or any English speaking friends and you can practise your English conversation skills! Below you will see a very easy recipe to make Shrove pancakes which will impress all your friends – trust me, I can’t cook anything but I can make these!
Easy Pancake Recipe
You will need a flat bottomed frying pan, a sieve, a mixing bowl and a big spoon or whisk.
Ingredients (this will make approximately 8 pancakes):
– 100g plain flour
– 250ml milk
– 1 egg
– Pinch of salt
– 50g butter for the frying pan
Making the batter:
- Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
- Crack the egg into the centre of the mixture and begin mixing.
- Continue to mix and gradually add about a quarter of the milk.
- Mix until you see bubbles in the mixture.
- Pour in the remaining milk slowly while you continue to mix.
Making the pancakes:
- Heat the frying pan and place a small piece of butter in the middle. Wait until it melts and spreads all over the pan.
- Pour in a small amount of batter using a jug or ladle; enough to thinly cover the bottom of the pan (move the pan around to help the batter spread evenly).
- Cook for a couple of minutes until the bottom is golden brown.
- Turn the pancake over with a spatula (or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try to flip the pancake just using the frying pan!)
- Cook the other side until golden brown.
Now you can put on any topping you want – you can try maple syrup, lemon and sugar, strawberries, chocolate sauce or my personal favourite, banana and chocolate! And the best part – time to eat!
If you make any pancakes, please take a photo and send it to me – if it looks tasty enough, I will include it in next week’s Bloomsbury Blog!
A very fun thing to do or see on Shrove Tuesday is the Great Spitalfields Pancake Race. Teams of 4 people dress up in wacky costumes and run up and down Dray Walk (off Brick Lane) while flipping pancakes to raise money for charity! You can get a team together and compete or it’s just as fun to go and watch (and laugh at) other people! The races start at 12.30pm, with the finals later on – there are prizes for the winners and the best dressed team.
Have fun with English
Word ladders are a fun way to learn new words, practise your English vocabulary and learn English quickly!
You have to move from the top word to the bottom word and add 3 real English words in between. Every time you add a new word you need to change ONE LETTER from the previous word (for example, share – stare – store – storm).
The first word ladder has clues to help you:
|The opposite of ‘war’|
|A flying machine|
This word ladder is a bit trickier as it has no clues. Good luck!
Last week’s answers
Similes: as big as an elephant, as white as snow, as tall as a giraffe, as light as a feather, as slow as a snail, as free as a bird, as cold as ice, as busy as a bee.
How many did you get right? Have you used any in a sentence this week?
Have a good week everyone and eat lots of pancakes!!