Saturday, February 28, 2009


Here is a lesson in Pancakes.

American Pancakes are yummy. They are meant to be a meal - commonly breakfast... but in our house they are often dinner when mommy is desperate and forgot to make dinner. When you cook these pancakes they get fat and fluffy. They are not hard, but not soggy or floppy, they keep their shape if you pick it up by the side.

Danish Pancakes are different... but yummy enough. They are a dessert. You can put powdered sugar, chocolate, jelly, or another topping on them. This is all I know about them. They do NOT get fat and fluffy when you cook them. They are what I would call a crepe. I think British pancakes are the same. We had some "pancakes" in London and with lemon juice and powdered sugar they were suprisingly REALLY good!

So when we first got here last year I found some pancake mix and tried to cook it until the pancakes became fat and fluffy... wasn't happening. I realized my batter was so thin that these pancakes weren't going to get fat or fluffy, so I when I cooked the next pancake I tried to make it NOT floppy or soft. I thought that it was supposed to be harder. After a really long time I had a sturdy pancake that I could have tossed like a frisbee. The kids ate it happily so I proceeded to burn the rest of my Danish pancakes and then feed them to my oblivious children ...and I was feeding them these burnt pancakes as a meal, not a dessert. Oops. ...but they didn't mind.

Anways, they have Pancake Day here... maybe. I don't know why, or really if they do for sure, but I think they do. :) It may involve something called Shrove Tuesday, but I don't know what that is either. I'm counting on some comments to clear this one up. :)

I found out about this "Maybe-Pancake-Day" while using my masterful Danish reading abilities. I read something about "Pancake Day" in an ad and thought it sounded like a great day. I decided that it would be a good excuse to eat pancakes for dinner and dessert. However, I thought it said Thursday; Torsdag = Thursday and Tirsdag = Tuesday and I can't keep them straight.

We ate our American pancakes for dinner on Thursday and thought we were partaking in the native customs here.... nope... we missed it. It was on Tuesday. We decided that in our house we will have Pancake day on the last Thursday of February. :) It's now an offical Happy Holiday.


The Guider said...

LOL, thanks for the lesson! British pancakes are the same, your thicker ones are more like what we call Scotch pancakes. I love that you deliberately burned them for your kids!

And yes Pancake Day is Shrove Tuesday. I only ever remember because I see pancake mix in the supermarket, and I know it is a Tuesday. It's the start of Lent, 40 days before Easter.

Kelli Nørgaard said...

Cannot wait to hear what comments you get on this one to educate us!! I am sure anon. will have a great deal to say! LOL

So I have to you have a box of Pioneer mix that you brought back from the US or several Pan-kits mixes...or do you have a homemade mix that you created?!?!?

Archaeogoddess said...

Fastelavn=Shrove Tuesday=Mardi Gras=Carnival=the last time you are allowed to indulge in fun and debauchery for the next 40 days. Did you get enough debauching in?

Anyway, it seems that all the Christian denominations have some form of last minute celebration that involves food. For the anglicans and catholics (and Lutherans - THANK YOU WIKIPEDIA) it's all about the pancakes. (Wikipedia again says it's because we're supposed to use up all our eggs and fat because we're not supposed to be eating them during lent. So the other sweet pastries that are specific to Denmark and Sweden are of the same idea.) For other catholics (of the non-pancake persuasion?) and orthodox, it's the carnival aka Mardi Gras (which means "fat tuesday" - years of high school french and I only learned this fact recently). And if you aren't sick of the random wiki-history (and hopefully my links are embedding... my bad if they aren't) there is a page dedicated to festelavn.

Apologies to Anon for butting in on any explanation you had in mind. :-)


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