Pancakes are one of my favourite foods. They are also the first food that I learned to make without looking up the recipe! This is because of a handy tip I learned from my Mum.
All you need to do is remember three ingredients: eggs, flour, milk, and the numbers 1, 3 and 5.
1 egg for 3 ounces of flour and 5 fluid ounces of milk.
It’s easy because the ingredients follow the numbers in alphabetical order. Eggs, flour, milk. 1, 3, 5.
Mix it all together and voila pancake batter! Usually, you’ll need 1 egg for every person that you want to make pancakes for, so scale up accordingly!
Occasionally, I have pancakes for lunch in the middle of the day. Sometimes I wake up on my day off and Nathan has made a stack of pancakes for me to eat in bed and he gets a load of brownie points! I have fond memories as a child of sitting at the kitchen table and trying not to shovel a pancake into my mouth too quickly, because if I did, it would mean waiting for what felt like eternity before the next one was ready.
Pancakes are a tasty treat, especially if they’re cooked in butter and covered in sugar and lemon juice! They symbolise all things yummy and decadent.
Pancake Day, aka, Shrove Tuesday, is the last day before Lent begins. Lent is traditionally a season of fasting and therefore it was the custom to use up all the tasty things in the house before Lent began. That’s why we mix flour, eggs and milk together, and fry them in butter. It’s like one last treat before six weeks of fasting begin.
In the church, we fast because we know that giving something up for a while can help us focus on God. Similarly, some people choose to start doing something different during Lent to help them draw closer to God. Lent is a reminded of the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, fasting and praying.
Whether you would say that you’re a Christian or not, why not use Lent to work on simplifying or improving your life in some way? Many of us have such full and busy lives, but that isn’t always a good thing. For Lent, you could ‘fast’ from noise by having more quiet time. You could invest in yourself and focus on your self-care by prioritising some ‘me time’ for six weeks. You could aim to have less screen time every day. You could drink less alcohol, or eat more greens. You could even go vegan!
The possibilities are endless, but Lent is a good time to remove distractions and focus on what’s important. There are, of course, seasons to celebrate and to enjoy. But life is about balance, and we must also remember to have times of simplification. Lent is an opportunity to do just that.
My plan this Lent is to uninstall the Twitter and Facebook apps on my phone and reduce the amount I scroll through social media. I can still look on my laptop though so I won’t be completely silent! I’m also hoping to cover both my parishes in prayer by doing half an hour of prayer walking a day. I want to be less distracted and do something to deepen my relationship with God.
If you’re having pancakes this week, why not try to do something this Lent? It could be de-cluttering, eating less of something, helping others more, or something else entirely. It’s so important to have a look at our lives and spend time doing, or not doing, something that will make them more fruitful in the long run.